Doing the heavy lifting

The nawbaggery has started early this year. It’s never really gone away of course, but in 2020 we can expect a deluge of miserabilism from the UK media as it realises that the drive for Scottish independence is gaining momentum. Earlier this week we had a perfect example on Sky News, when two political talking heads were interviewed about the likely political agenda for the year ahead. Both spoke about how Scotland would be a big topic. The metrocommentariat’s ignorance of what’s really going on here was fully on display.

One of the interviewees was Jonathan Haslam, a former advisor to Conservative MP John Major and a Cambridge University professor of the history of international relations who specialises in the former Soviet Union. Perhaps he should have confined himself to speaking about collective farms, because all he managed to do in relation to Scotland was to show that his source of information is the Ruth Davidson fan club, and even then he’s clearly not been listening to British nationalist cheerleaders in Scotland very closely. Which to be fair is a perfectly reasonable response to the Scottish Conservatives. No one in Scotland listens to them either.

After all the Conservatives in Scotland campaigned on the basis of stopping indyref2 and telling people to tell Nicola Sturgeon again about another referendum. Only when the voters of Scotland did just that, and told Nicola Sturgeon that yes, please, we’d quite like another referendum, and by the way that Boris Johnson can take a running jump off that bridge of his that’s never going to get built, the Scottish Tories acted like they’d won the election in Scotland. You don’t listen to people who are so detatched from reality that they think that they won an election when they just lost over half their MPs and they ended up far far behind the party that swept the board. You certainly don’t listen to people who think that they have a right to block the democratic will of the people of Scotland by selectively applying a different set of rules to suit themselves.

Anyway, according to Jonathan, one of the key issues which is likely to derail the independence cause is the Scottish Government’s failure to deliver the Queensferry Crossing and the soaring costs associated with it. Okaaaay. You know, that bridge that opened over two years ago, on time and under budget? The one that quite a few of you will have driven over recently? Well it’s not really there. You’re actually being borne aloft over the waters of the Firth of Forth on the back of a misapprehension. Bloody nats eh, building fantasy bridges that look and feel solid and which are capable of carrying traffic. There you were, in yer da’s car, thinking that you were driving over the bridge to Fife, when all this time you were suspended in mid air like Wile E Coyote going over a cliff in an ACME rocket sled.

Jonathan had very obviously not done his homework. This seems to be a thing with Conservatives who bang on about bridges, as we’ve discovered with Boris Johnson. It appears that Tories don’t really understand the difference between bridges and political distraction techniques. Or more likely they do understand, but choose not to care. When a supposed expert comes on a TV news show and pontificates about something which is so evidently incorrect, all it means is that nothing else he or she says can be trusted. All it has proven is that they haven’t done the most basic research. Yet this counts as expertise about Scotland in the UK media.

However what was really striking was that no one else on the programme, neither the Sky News interviewer nor the other guest who was being interviewed based upon her presumed expertise on how the politics of Scotland will affect the UK, pointed out Jonathan’s basic and glaring error of fact. Viewers in the rest of the UK will have been left with the impression that the Queensferry Crossing remains a major political scandal in Scotland.

Jonathan Haslam’s ignorance of the Queensferry Crossing and his belief that it’s a major scandal is by itself just one minor incidence, and as an isolated incidence it would be trivial and relatively unimportant. Yet the real scandal here is that this kind of discussion is typical in the British media. Time and time again we get people trotted out who know little about Scotland and who confidently assert something untrue which gets repeated so often that it becomes lodged in the political discourse. Despite all that has passed, we still get the Spanish veto myth being trotted out. We hear repeatedly and continually that a referendum without a Section 30 order would be illegal and that Boris Johnson’s permission is required for an independence vote.

This constant barrage of negativity, lies, misunderstandings, falsehoods, and confusion has a psychological effect. It takes its toll upon independence campaigners who feel that they are stuck in a nightmare groundhog day of always having to rebutt the same old garbage day after day after day. It wears people down. It tires and exhausts them. And that’s precisely the effect that it’s intended to have.

As we enter 2020, the cause of independence has never been stronger, yet at the same time there’s a growing feeling that independence campaigners are weary, tired, and dispirited. You can’t remain on red alert, at a pitch of activity, for a long extended period. And when there’s a lack of clear target in the shape of a date for an independence vote, people fall prey to infighting, divisions, and distractions.

Today it’s been reported that some SNP MPs believe that it’s unlikely that there will be an independence referendum in 2020, and that this is no bad thing. This is not an attitude which is going to do anything to salve the growing disquiet amongst the wider independence movement, it risks telling independence campaigners and the wider movement that it’s being taken for granted. There is a growing feeling that the wider movement is doing the heavy lifting, while the leadership sits aloof. A leader who doesn’t inspire hope and confidence is not a leader but a laird.

So as we begin 2020, the New Year’s Resolution for the SNP leadership must be to engage more closely with the wider movement, to inspire hope and confidence, to demonstrate that there is a clear and coherent plan for achieving independence. There must be a more serious and coherent rebuttal of the lies and misinformation of the British nationalists and their pals in the media. And there comes a time when plans must be spelled out. That time is coming. A leader can only lead when he or she engages with those who are led and gives them a reason to keep doing the heavy lifting. The prize is almost within reach, let’s not stumble at the last stretch.

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101 thoughts on “Doing the heavy lifting

  1. Pingback: Doing the heavy lifting | speymouth

  2. As someone who moved to Scotland fairly recently, I find it really fascinating that British media with almost exclusively non-Scottish journalists always call non-Scottish people to discuss Scotland. It’s seems just so patronising. Why isn’t their more outcry at this?

    • Basically because we have no media with which we can use to get that point across. Believe me, it’s pointless shouting at the telly and with social media only hitting those who already have the correct info we are struggling to have our voice heard.

      Although we have come a vast distance already without them! And we have had demonstrations at the beeb but it either doesn’t get reported or we are shown in a bad light.

      What works is having hubs/stalls/shops/canvassing where meeting the public is face to face. We need a campaign to start asap.

    • It is not patronising it is propaganda. Complaints have been made for years by many many people to the broadcasters and they just get ignored.

  3. One good thing we’ve not heard a peep out of jo swinson since dec 12th though some one needs to ask snp mp kenny macaskull of East Lothian whos side hes currently on.

    • I don’t have a problem with the efforts of Nicola Sturgeon to date. It is all the chancers below her that are not pulling their weight with their unhelpful comments.

    • I agree, why is he being touted as a senior SNP MP, he may have history, but he is a new MP. His views are counter productive to independence. The fact that Jim Sillars and he, are on the same wavelength, shows he is not to be trusted.

  4. “However what was really striking was that no one else on the programme, neither the Sky News interviewer nor the other guest who was being interviewed based upon her presumed expertise on how the politics of Scotland will affect the UK, pointed out Jonathan’s basic and glaring error of fact. Viewers in the rest of the UK will have been left with the impression that the Queensferry Crossing remains a major political scandal in Scotland.” –
    Along with impressions of a worse education system, worse NHS, druggies on high sugar diets, the list goes on and on…
    However, I refuse to believe either Haslam or the rest of the Sky assembly are ignorant of the reality in Scotland rather than ignoring it to perpetuate the “subsidy junkies” theme for an English audience… but they are skating on very thin ice indeed presuming English viewers are stupid, much as Pacific Quay’s output is increasingly derided.
    When you feed bullshit to your audience, you destroy trust, it will not end well for the media organisations if they continue…

    • I seem to remember that a certain James Joyce was hung for treason for broadcasting lies and misinformation designed to undermine the resolve and will of the people of GB, and he only got to do it once a day, Scotland gets it 24/7.
      I’m sure all these well educated broadcasters and pundits are well aware of the hypocrisy of what they are doing, after all tge bbc wrote the handbook on propaganda, and I’m sure they dont consider themselves to be evil fascists, but from where I’m sitting….

        • Thanks for the correction and the link though I am well aware of the history. I have never read James Joyce, but his name is known to me.

      • Indeed it was William Joyce, dubbed at the time Lord Hawhaw, ironic given the future Lord Fnaugh-fnaugh once he has done his masters’ bidding…
        The problem with propaganda outwith war is that reality has a nasty habit of catching up and overtaking, the speed of information dissemination outstrips printed word in modern times, which is why we have 77 Brig etc doing what they do…
        The problem for the broadcasters and pundits is they are working in real time in a minefield they thought would be a good living…
        But crucially Paul’s point as echoed by others is get off the pot, challenge, dispute, debunk, and that has to be from the front or be found wanting, the latter being Whitehall’s last hope.

  5. Off topic, I know, but I have been off the news for the past few days. Guardian Reporting that 127000 applicants for the free Open University Duolingo GAELIC course! And even Severin (bless his cotton socks) Carrell reports on an actual Scottish goldmine which is going to produce Scottish gold!
    But back to the topic. How is it humanly possible that a so-called reputable expert can state such unalloyed rubbish on national TV an d get away with it?
    I am not in the UK at the moment, and at every social event I am greeted with incredulity at the lunacy that has taken over the UK. It doesn’t help when I dsay that Scotland is different – the response is always the same. Why do the Scots stand for it? Don’t they have any self-respect?

  6. No more canvassing for SNP until they get up off their knees and fight Scotland’s democratic right for a referendum. How often do the SNP have to be told to be more visible and vocal in support of Independence?
    Take your support to your local YES group. We need a visible groundswell of support from those in favour of Independence. So streetstalls, leaflets, webpages and facebook.
    I hope to see you in Glasgow on 11th January.

    • The Pensioners for Independence group I belong to frequently have to refute that we are there in support of the SNP. We always say we are of all parties and none. We support INDEPENDENCE.
      Paul is correct in saying that we are tired and dispirited, but we will continue to hold our twice/thrice/four times a week stalls throughout Edinburgh and Lothians. Plus all the other P4I groups all over Scotland. We can’t stop now, we’ve put in too much groundwork already.
      The main focus for us is the older generation, although we have had several young folk coming up to our stalls in support, taking leaflets for their parents/grandparents.
      ALL of the pro-independence parties need to be doing and saying more. The Greens need to come forward and take some responsibility too.
      You’ll see us and our banner on 11th January.

  7. Sigh. The time for niceness is over, surely now? IMO SNP politicians have to become more combative, get assertive, even if you offend some people. Far too much nicey nicey. Yes I understand how confused and fragile the soft NOs are, but they wont pay attention unless you grab the narrative, and to rest the narrative from the BBC and other sections of the British establishment, you may just have to take a few risks – invite ridicule sometimes, troll em bait em, get them to talk about what you want them to tlk aboit, rather than allowing the same old drones to recirculate SNP-BAD stories ad nauseum. Trying to rebut the attacks in the nicest possible way wont work, not now. You have to be more brutal than they are. Too many soft, nicey nicey speakers in the SNP. We need a few but not too many. We also need some real ferocious attack dogs, and these seem to be very rare these days. Have they all gone or have they been muzzled?

    I’m no fan of POTUS Trump, but he sure knows how to use the media. The media that absolutely hate him, by the way. Does he look mad? Yes. Does he invite ridiculde? Of course! But here’s the thing – the news is always, always about Trump. Nobody else gets a look in. And that is what you have to do. Do not be afraid of MSM ridicule – nobody believes them anyway. People form their own opinions, but they do have to hear both sides of the story. You have to control the narrative – take a risk, say anything, but grab attention and get everyone talking about the next referendum and scottish independence all the time.

  8. Does the SNP or the Scottish Government actually have a rebuttal unit? If they do they are totally ineffectual. Can anyone point me to anything the so called rebuttal unit has actually rebutted? I would love to be informed of it. Please, please SNP/Scottish Government start rebutting on a daily basis – you certainly have more than enough to rebut on a daily basis. In fact if you were serious, you could rebut on an hourly basis – the situation is that bad. Nicola, the ground troops are getting really restless.

    • Yes they do apparently have a rebuttal unit. Also they, as the Scottish Government, put out daily press releases highlighting facts and figures about health, education, crime, the economy etc etc.

      But you have not seen them. Do you ever wonder why that is? Perhaps it is because the media, both print and broadcast, do not report them. Do you think that might be it?

      Do you have any solution to offer? No, did not think so.

      The power lies with the media. They are the ones who decide what is given prominence and what is ignored. Surely to goodness you know that much by now.

      • No No No. Don;t fall into the same old opt-out. Of course there is a solution – but you have to take a risk. You have to grab attention and set the narrative. Be outrageous from time to time. Playing it safe and using the lame excuse “Oh we rebut all the time but the media won’t cover it” just doen’ wash, I’m afraid.

        You have to get the media covering your agenda – whatever it takes.

        And that involves risk. 🙂

          • Do you? Not been very succesful to date, have we? I do know that nicey nicey rebutting does not work. The media will take the bait if you are clever and command the narrative.

          • Nothing will stop the media acting with impunity because working hand in glove with the state. The only action we could have taken was to introduce law that criminalized the decimination of information that misinformed, disinformed and lied to the electorate during the constitutional process.

  9. Example: the media would jump on a chance to bad-mouth the SNP or Scottish independence, so you drop some bait – say something that they think will put you in a bad light, but actually, people are willing to listen to:

    “Scotland subsidises the rUK.”

    “The UK has stolen one gazillion in oil revenues from the people of Scotland”

    “Indy Scotland will electrify all its railways and restire those ripped up by Beeching”

    It’s not rocket science but you do have to say something controversial. The media will challenge you but – here’s the catch – you have set the narrative. Ta raaaa!!!! 🙂

    The media are very predictable – about time the SNP used that predictability against them to get their story out.

    Another tip – the media cannot cope with more than one big story at a time, so when something bad comes out, hit em with another big story etc. total confusion- they cannot focus their ammo on nrethan one target. It’s been done for thousands of years. For a reason.

  10. Another example, call out the MSM for what they are:

    Has anyone in the SNP got the gust to shout “fake news!” “British propoganda”?

    Thye may laugh out loud, but many ordinary folk will watch and think “Yep, they are fake!”

    Oh I wish they would – just once.

    • Absolutely nailed it Luigi. Unfortunately you cannot see Nicola Sturgeon (for all her good points) acting as you suggest. Everyone is very calm and reasoned therefore their message is just wallpaper. You have Trump and Johnson down to a T. Be outrageous set the news agenda and drown out all other news. Can’t see that ever working………could you?

  11. Perhaps we could all say, WE the sovereign people of Scotland are ending the treaty of the union on……. and name a date in 2020, due to the the treaty having been broken and is no longer valid, after all we have that right, and have always had that right, more than any political party in Britain. it is udi when any government does it, but not when a sovereign people do it in their own name in their own country, Westminster allowed it to pass into Hansard in July 2018 that the sovereign people of Scotland had the right to choose who governs us, and we have had that right for a lot longer than that, You will get media coverage, and the more people that do it, the more the media will cover it, we can fly our flags through our towns and villages all we want and get ignored, and there is no pressure on the media to cover our story, do what is said above and many media’s from many countries will cover the story. We the sovereign people and nation of Scotland set a date to end the treaty of the union.

  12. ..”So as we begin 2020, the New Year’s Resolution for the SNP leadership must be to engage more closely with the wider movement, to inspire hope and confidence, to demonstrate that there is a clear and coherent plan for achieving independence. There must be a more serious and coherent rebuttal of the lies and misinformation of the British nationalists and their pals in the media. And there comes a time when plans must be spelled out. That time is coming. A leader can only lead when he or she engages with those who are led and gives them a reason to keep doing the heavy lifting. The prize is almost within reach, let’s not stumble at the last stretch.”

    Any suggestions as to how, ”Nicola Sturgeon could engage more with the wider movement to inspire hope and confidence”?

    The MSM are calling the shots by not reporting what she says or does no matter how inspirational her words and deeds. More so they are spreading lies and misinformation to dishearten and sow feelings of uncertainty and distrust amongst us, in relation to her and our ability to win Indyref2. And it looks as though we are all falling for it. Someone will no doubt come on and say that she should be attending AUOB marches when, imo, that’s the last thing that she should do with the constant issues, some seemingly serious, with those who are running that show.

    ”She should demonstrate that there is a clear and coherent plan for achieving independence.”

    I thought that she had done that already? She / we await LBJ’s response to the request for a Section 30 order. From what I can make out he has 30 days to reply (may be wrong – read it somewhere) one way or another or not. And then at that point, I’m sure that she’ll outline what she’s going to do next.

    ”There must be a more serious and coherent rebuttal of the lies and misinformation of the British nationalists and their pals in the media.”

    Any suggestions on how she should do that? Demand to be heard on TV / radio news every night or have her daily say in the newspapers? Send out a weekly rebuttal bulletin to every household in Scotland? If that’s what people are looking for they’ll have to start financially supporting the SNP …. big time. Be a bit more discerning as to who they donate their hard earned money to.

    Some pro-Independence sites used to highlight the MSM lies and misinformation but they are now, imo, doing the BritNats job for them by attacking their, the BritNats, number one threat, that is Nicola Sturgeon.

    And as Legerwood has pointed out, the Scottish Government puts out daily press releases highlighting facts and figures about health, education, crime, the economy etc etc. Anyone bothering to read them? More so disseminating that news?

    This ”stumbling” to my mind, has nothing to do with Nicola Sturgeon at all. This has come to pass via those who are actually trying to destroy Nicola Sturgeon. A well known strategy used in wartime and / or in relation to destabilising countries. Take out the leader/s first. Thousands of British nationalists have flooded social media in an attempt to castigate, no crucify, her. And by God it seems that their clarion call has clearly been heard.

    So ”as we begin 2020”, I would imagine that Nicola Sturgeon must be at her lowest ebb. She’s surrounded by many, many enemies here in Scotland including in Holyrood, many, many enemies south of the border, has one newspaper out of around 40 on her side, has the British Establishment network working against her, little money to fight this campaign versus her opponents £millions (£billions?), the English controlled Unions in Scotland trying to pull the rug from under her feet, gets death threats and worse on a daily basis and now this.

    Doing the heavy lifting? If anyone has been doing the heavy lifting, on our behalf, it’s Nicola Sturgeon. I’m totally scunnered with it all and to be honest if I were Nicola Sturgeon I’d just throw in the towel, walk away and let everyone get on with it.

  13. I agree with your post WGD. There has been too much drift in the SNP and now there are signs from some in the ranks of the SNP that are quite sanguine about putting off an indepedence referendum until Johnson says yes. How inspiring is that? No wonder Johnson can put off thinking about Scotland at all. I can hear him murmuring to Cummings, ” Just leave well alone. It’ll keep until we have everything in place.”

    (You have angered Nicola’s groupies who won’t hear a word of criticism against her, I’m afraid. They can’t speak for all of us and there are reasons why people are getting restive. Supporters cannot keep treading water forever. The future is always in the process of becoming but at some point people need a glimmer of that future beginning to form or else you are simply asking them to keep dreaming. Unquestioning loyalty, by the way, is not a healthy situation for any party, or indeed, any leadership.)

        • Thank you.

          There is a world of difference between unquestioning loyalty which I do not hold with nor do I think it happens and using terms that Britnats use. Also when someone who claims to support independence says that the leader of the SNP is a liar, does not want independence and is a fraud then that is way beyond reasonable questioning of a leader and is a hindrance to the cause of independence and again Is the language of the Britnats.

          • When did I say that Nicola Sturgeon is a liar and a fraud? I was questioning complacency being demonstrated by some SNP elected representatives which is not at all the same thing and also genuine concern that opportunities might leak away unused because of that complacency or excessive caution. My worry is that caution can be used against us by Johnson who is a prime example of an opportunist.

            If we deny all criticism then the British Nationalist taunt that we are cult would become true.

          • Never said you were.

            I said above “unquestioning loyalty which I do not hold with”. Therefore we agree.

  14. I personally have not been attacking the snp or Nicola sturgeon on any site, however I have been trying to wake up every one else, The snp are not sovereign, and cannot act as such, The Scottish government is not sovereign and a devolved hollyrood is certainly not sovereign, but we are, and I believe we can change the media’s response by changing what we say or do, we are nearly always moaning about what someone else has said about us or about our country or political leader, while we continue to moan we do not have a voice.
    Yes we do. we have a voice.
    Let each and every one of us that is for a independent Scotland say it as it is, we are sovereign,the Scottish people, we choose who and how we are governed, and if we choose not to be governed by any authority outside our own country of Scotland and of any authority other than we choose, we say so.
    Let all of us say it out loud, all of the Scottish people are Sovereign, check your history documents from the Arbroath treaty to July 2018.
    In fact Nicola sturgeon has been trying to tell you that for a long time, I remember her saying in a interview that the people of Scotland were sovereign and it was up to the Scottish people wether we choose independence and when, not up to Westminster. She is actually waiting for more people to wake up and speak up, so no more shushing and no more fear, let us help her to achieve what we want.

        • “Thought it would be obvious but I’ll spell it out for you – we are in a union called the UK.”


          Would you care to explain how is it then that the UK, being in a voluntary, democratic, political union with 27 other members never needed a section 30 order from each and every one of them?

          Did the Uk ever begged Brussels to send back the powers to hold a referendum?
          No. So why should Scotland?

          The UK is a voluntary political union of equals as the EU is. So why the difference? And who decided this difference?

          How in the context of a voluntary political union of equals Scotland needs to ask permission to its equal partner to hold a referendum? Even worse, how on earth in such context is Scotland’s partner holding Scotland’s powers to hold a referendum?

          Sorry, Cubby, but in the context of a voluntary, international, bipartite political union of equals is totally absurd that one partner apparently has the right to drag on its own demand the entire UK out of the EU without the consent of its equal partner and only on the back of its own mandate while the other partner needs to ask permission from it to hold a referendum within its own boundaries and to exercise its fundamental right to self determination and worse, beg for its own powers.

          I think we are being duped and not by Nicola Sturgeon but by those unionist “legal brains” who decided a section 30 order was needed on the basis of an Act before actually establishing how legitimate, in the context of international law and the Claim of Right, was to transfer to the hands of England MPs the fundamental right of Scotland to exercise its self determination and to unilaterally dissolve the treaty.

          I personally think this section 30 order is just an excuse for our partner, the Kingdom of England to take control of the situation and stall the dissolution of the treaty.

          • It is not a request to hold a referendum it is a request to follow the 2014 precedent and obtain Westminster’s agreement (for what that is worth) to honour the result.

            I have a lot of sympathy for a lot of what you say in your post.

            I won’t say any more as some twat will come along and say I am agitating for a fight with a poster.

          • “It is not a request to hold a referendum it is a request to follow the 2014 precedent and obtain Westminster’s agreement (for what that is worth) to honour the result”

            Westminster is a UK structure, the government and parliament of the United kingdom of Great Britain. That structure is not independent from Scotland at all, as it relies on Scotland’s consent to hold legitimacy to act on its behalf. How can it possibly be logical for a structure that relies on Scotland’s consent to exist to have to give its agreement to honor a result of a referendum that may actually terminate the legitimacy of that structure to act on behalf of Scotland? There is an enormous conflict of interests here. Does this mean that only Westminster can decide when its own legitimacy can be terminated? This is completely absurd and there is no way this can be democratic or actually legitimate in the context of a voluntary political union. Can you imagine if every time any Hospital wanted to decide if they would sack or not their Medical Director for gross misconduct but they needed to request and wait first his/her “agreement to honour the result” and leave their post? It is absurd and completely hands in the rights of the hospital onto the post of Medical Director. Well, the same surely applies here.

            In addition to the above, Scotland itself is represented in that Parliament. Does this mean that Scotland has to ask agreement from itself to “honour the result”? Again, how absurd is this? If Scotland has to ask anybody agreement that must certainly be the Scottish parliament because that parliament is the only one that can be considered impartial and will not be affected by the outcome of that referendum. Holyrood will remain extant no matter the outcome of the result. Westminster however may well cease to exist as the UK parliament/government if Scotland votes yes to independence.

            Thirdly, 90% of the seats in Westminster are being hold by our equal partner, the Kingdom of England. The entire cabinet and PM are actually England MPs so our partner controls 100% of the UK government. In the context of a voluntary, bipartite political union of equals, how on earth can be legitimate for our partner to actually be the one who decides if the result of our referendum can be respected or not? With what right exactly? What is it to the Kingdom of England what Scotland decides within its own boundaries? We are talking about Scotland exercising its legitimate right of self determination and deciding if it will exercise its own right as an equal partner in a voluntary union to unilaterally dissolve the union in line with international law. Saying that the Kingdom of England, that currently controls the UK structures, needs to agree to honour the result equals to say that it is only up to the kingdom of England if Scotland can or cannot exercise its right to self determination and its legitimate right to terminate the union. Come on, Cubby, even Margaret Thatcher said that if Scotland decided to exercise its right to leave the Union no England politician or political party would stand in its way. So where exactly does this section 30 order that somehow is giving England MPs the power to stop Scotland’s lawful rights to self determination and dissolution of the union come from? Unionist lawyers? Well, there is a surprise…

            Am I the only one that sees just how monumentally absurd this whole section 30 order thing is?

          • Maria again I concur with a lot of what you say. But there are some errors in your post plus you allocate a position to me at times I do not hold.

            1. I do not say that the Kingdom of England or Westminster HAS to agree to honour the result. Just that a precedent has been set and it is a wise tactic to attempt to follow this route. Unfortunately no one said back in 2014 do not go down this route. If this route is a dead end then I do not say that is the matter finished with. This will be when we see what the SNP are made of.

            2. I do not say that Westminster or the Kingdom of England has a veto over our rights of self determination and claim of right.

            3. The entire cabinet are not English MPs as you say. The Sec of State for Scotland is Scottish and is in the cabinet. Just a point of detail.

            4. Westminster as the parliament of the UK of GB and N.I WILL cease to exist not may as the UK of GB and N.I will no longer exist. Another point of detail.

            In summary, the key point is that I do not believe the sect 30 endows anyone with a veto over our rights as a nation. The request is a sensible decision based on the previous decision by Salmond/Sturgeon to go down this route in 2014.

  15. David MacWilliams, the Irish economist, coined the term for this. It’s called ‘britsplaining’.

    It is the phenomenon where Irish and Scottish people have their politics, news and real national interests graciously ‘explained’ to them in patient and plausible-sounding tones by ill-informed figures from the political and media establishment in England.

  16. The mistake the SNP could make is to, like labour did, feed off indy sentiment the way labour fed off anti tory sentiment. Labour got fat & lazy off the fear of tory rule. Chancers came along seeing it as a nice wee earner. Voters eventually got scunnered with them. Many stayed at home. Many came over to us. Some went over to the tories. It happened to labour in England. That stupid idea that voters with no were to go, will always hold their noses and vote for you. Peat worrier had an article on that, called the dangers of unsupervised triangulation. Voters always have a choice. Not voting is a choice. Labour felt the backhand of that sentiment this time round. The SNP felt it in 2017. It really needs to up its game. It needs to have a plan in place for when Johnson says no, and he will, mark my words. The SNP has to do it’s fair share this time round. We did not vote for them to get comfortable. I still have faith, but its hanging by a thread. I’ll be honest with you. If I had the means, I’d immigrate.

    • ”Labour got fat & lazy off the fear of tory rule.”

      Are we really at the point of comparing the Scottish Labour party crew to the SNP, David? Comparing Nicola Sturgeon to the vast array of Labour leader losers that have passed through Holyrood? Comparing what they did for us versus what she and Alex have done for Scotland in 12 short years? Comparing the Labour troughers who sat on their bahookies in London and did nought for us, as the SNP MPs are regarded as the most hardworking of all politicians at Westminster?

      We had the Labour Party controlling Scotland for over 70 years, barring a few years, and running us into the ground, hiding the McCrone Report and handing 7000 sq mls of Scottish seas, including 7 oil fields, over to Westminster. The list of their backstabbing of the Scots is endless. Far too long to outline on here.

      And how anyone can think that most SNP MSPs at Holyrood or SNP MPs at Westminster are in a ”comfortable” position is beyond me. And just to add that if they wanted to get ”fat” they wouldn’t have donated all pay rises to charity.

  17. Nicola’s groupies? A groupie, lol? If you’re referring to me it’s well seeing that you don’t know me at all. For the record, I’d just like to make it clear that I don’t agree with some of the SNP’s policies, as I don’t agree with, detest, 90% of the Holyrood BritNats, but do you know what I’ll start criticising Nicola Sturgeon on these issues, via the appropriate route, AFTER we get our Independence.

    Meanwhile I reckon that she’s made the right call every step of the way in relation to Brexit and Independence and for that she’ll continue to get my heartfelt thanks, respect and more so my support. Not my idolation or adoration.

    I’m not one bit interested in what SNP so and so is saying right now either. None of them, whoever they are, are calling the shots. Sad to see that so many people are being duped, have lost the (basic) plot and that is that we won’t see our country become Independent in the very near future if a majority of sovereign Scots don’t support Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. Then again many people posting on some of the so-called pro-Independence sites know that already. Don’t you.

    • Of course I will continue to vote SNP as will WGD, I’m sure. I have been voting SNP for over forty years now and I think would probably find myself on the same page as you when you refer to certain issues of disagreement with the SNP. Of course also, when I look back on those early days of devolution, the Lib/Lab coalition, then the SNP government has obviously been so much better for Scotland than those self-servers.

      I think, however, you miss the point that complacency sets in with any leadership when there are those who refuse to accept that ongoing criticism is necessary to remind our representatives that they do rely on our votes. Many like me observed what happened to Labour over the years and the same impatience was displayed towards people lwho had serious misgivings about New Labour. Tony Blair seemed, even before becoming leader, to be an entryist but still today, despite the fact that Blair and Brown with their fatal triangulation poisoned the Labour party, you can still hear loyalists declare that he was an excellent leader.

      Before someone’s sensitivity is offended, can I say that I am not suggesting for a moment that Nicola Sturgeon is like Blair? However, you are misunderstanding where the present criticism comes from and that is anxiety. People are becoming nervous that the glacial pace of gradualism will allow the dream to die quietly as votes wither. It does no harm for the leadership to be aware of that. Blair thought that he could do without the votes of those he deemed the “underclass” and concentrated on winning over middle-class voters. It led to the present collapse of the Labour party as it lost what used to be its natural support.

      It does not help the debate when some people feel the need to rush to tell people to bury any criticism which is honestly felt. Petra, you have been a doughty supporter of independence and I find your links very useful leading me to information I might not otherwise obtain but you should expect those of us who have some disquiet to voice it, since that too, comes from what made us independence supporters in the first place.

      Criticism might make you nervous but I have to say ultra-loyalism makes me nervous. We can’t put off everything until after independence, if we don’t get independence first. It’s the getting of it which is causing disagreement. The debate can’t just be about shutting up or else there is no debate. We can still listen to one another. We are after all, natural allies who just disagree from time to time, and that is healthy.

      • ”I think, however, you miss the point that complacency sets in with any leadership.”

        I don’t think that I’ve missed the point JG. I just don’t agree with you that Nicola Sturgeon has become complacent at all. Any evidence to support such an opinion? And you know there’s such a thing as occasional ”criticism” and out and out ”savaging.” The latter seems to be increasingly the norm now, especially on some sites.

        ”The present criticism comes from …. anxiety.”

        As I see it most of this anxiety is being generated on some sites and / or via a couple of SNP politicians whose opinions are at odds with NS’s. Not due to anything that Nicola Sturgeon has said-done / hasn’t said-done.

        I’m not asking people to shut up either JG. Just to consider the damage that the CONSTANT barrage of criticism is doing to Nicola Sturgeon as a person, she’s only human after all, and our ultimate objective of ridding Scotland of the Westminster shackles. I mean to say, do you see the BritNats tearing their leaders to shreds? Leaders that couldn’t hold a candle to Nicola Sturgeon. No, they’re all standing together. United. Maybe time for us to take some lessons from them?

        • The trouble is, this argument has been framed as being about Nicola Sturgeon, which isn’t even my point of view. I have some reservations about Nicola Sturgeon’s politics which I haven’t even aired on any public forum because I don’t think they are relevant to independence. I accept anyone who genuinely wants independence even though their political point of view might not concur with mine in many ways.

          I don’t see Nicola Sturgeon in the same way as many independence supporters do but is it as a consequence of being leader that everything is focussed on her for good or ill? Even the era of Blair or Thatcher is seen to be exclusively of their making. (This was not even true of medieval monarchs though it is how it is presented in the historical narrative.) Leadership in the modern political era is more complicated than that and is more to do with a clique achieving dominance, all with shared interests and ambitions. Blair and Thatcher just became nominated leaders of their own highly-moivated clique – in Blair’s case as the one-most-more likely-to, in Thatcher’s case, the one nobody feared – at first.

          With Blair and Thatcher you could see that they were being promoted by their group but even once PM, their power still had to be constantly negotiated with competing rivals who also used their power around the leader to marginalise those within the party who were not “one of us” and so consolidated their power even more in the party. However, Thatcher, just as a medieval monarch might, lost her balance among those competing interests and misjudged her moment. She lost control very publicly as power shifted before she was even aware.

          This is a lengthy way of trying to explain why I cannot see this argument, as it is framed, swirling around Nicola Sturgeon. Like a medieval monarch, it is more complicated than that and it is more to do with who is around the leader, who she trusts, those she sees as not-one-of-us and those to whom she is closely aligned in outlook and interests. It is not about Nicola Sturgeon herself and she does not even have the protection of the superstitious awe of divine right.

          So when people rush to defend Nicola Sturgeon it isn’t really about her. My concern is where the nebulous centre of the party is and where it is going – the combined and not-always-evident leadership of the party. At the moment there appears to be a malaise at that centre which may or not conceal a growing momentum. Let’s not muddy these waters even further than making it all about Nicola Sturgeon. After all, eventually the future will be with us and then we might know.

  18. No one watches Sky. Gets about a million+ viewers. People are better not watching the MSM. It is just eternal rubbish. Controlled by Westminster. Get rid of Sky. There are plenty of alternatives. Overpriced rubbish and sensational exaggeration. Losing viewers faster than a sieve loses water. No wonder. It is a complete joke.

    Thatcher illegally gave the right wing Press over to tax evader criminal Murdoch In return for illegal support. They became multimillionaire tax evaders. They had to get rid of Thatcher for closer ties with Europe. After Thatcher destroyed the world economy and destroyed the banking system. Bailed out with other people’s money.

    The bankers funded the Tory Party and destroyed the world economy. EU membership brought more prosperity. Deja Vu. The Tories are going to destroy the world economy again. So they can tax evade and make £Millions illegally. Helping out tax dodgers.

  19. People in Scotland voted Labour to keep the Tories out. The worst of two evils. Now there is an alternative. People take it. Better governance.

  20. Bah bah bah
    All roads lead to Glasgow

    If Scotland needs to explain to the uk why it’s fucked then it is also our duty in vague terms at least to tell the planet how we might be best served.
    Glasgow 2020

  21. Dominic Cummings is calling for people, “weirdos and misfits with odd skills”, who want to work at Downing Street to contact him. Maybe he should have added you’ll also get a snort or two on the house. Wee bonus. This is it folks. Support Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to get us out of this, ASAP. And if you actually do have a gripe bring it up later. After we get our Independence.

  22. For Petra , Legerwood and all the others saying support Nicola she will get us there , what the hell do you think we have been doing , the SNP just won 80% of the vote at the GE , we have given Nicola and her army of politicians a rousing endorsement to get on with independence , and what have they done , you have Wishart and Mc Askill making comments about delaying the vote and taking a more gradualist approach , you may not care what Wishart and others say Petra but the groundswell of support may have other ideas

    You and others comments about a blogger undermining and sabotaging Nicola and the SNP make it clear you are talking about Stuart Campbell , but when you do you can also add Peter A Bell , Craig Murray , Grousebeater and a whole host of others including Paul Kavanagh but there again they are ALL wrong and you are right .

    Every one of these bloggers including Stuart Campbell are educating more people than the SNP and Nicola , they also have worked tirelessly to further independence . IMO they collectively are attempting to fire a rocket under Nicola and the SNP to educate them that the people will NOT be taken for granted ,we have given them numerous mandates and support , make it happen do something

    I respected your posts over on WOS and I accept that you have a burning desire for independence but the incessant attempts to demean anyone who disagrees with Nicola’s way forward is deflecting from the urgency required , remember bozo is determined to write and implement a NEW CONSTITUTION

    • What you should be aware of is that we need to convert nos and undecided voters to yes.
      I think a lot of posters are unaware or dont care that the wrong messages will push this group away rather than convert them.

      Rather than carp on this website, what are you doing to help with this?
      Are you out chapping doors or on street stalls getting the message out?

      If more people did this it would help bring about independence quicker.

    • Twathater, I am sorry that you wish to support a person living in Bath, of all places, and writing a blog pertaining to politics in Scotland. I also don’t reside in Scotland, my home is now Australia and as such never comment about the political situation of the country of my birth, not my place to do so. I still read WOS but I am concerned by the way in which the blog is heading. It has been taken over by, in my mind, very suspect advocates of independence and anti SNP comments. I will leave it at that and wish you and yours a very warm and prosperous new year.

    • Twathater I don’t underestimate, for one minute, the work that the troops on the ground and some bloggers like Paul have been / are doing to further the Independence cause but at the end of the day not one of us is in the privileged and highly responsible position of actually getting us out of this hellhole. That role is held by Nicola Sturgeon, the most dangerous woman in Britain as per the BritNats, hence the constant attacks to undermine her, imo. Neither is she called Wishart nor McAskill but is seemingly paying for them mouthing their opinions.She’s told us and Westminster, repeatedly, that she wants to hold Indyref2 this year which comes across to me as being someone who actually agrees with us, not with Wishart and McAskill.

      You say that bloggers comments are geared ”to fire a rocket under Nicola and the SNP to educate them that the people will NOT be taken for granted ,we have given them numerous mandates and support , make it happen do something.”

      What I’m trying to figure out is why some people figure that Nicola Sturgeon requires to have a rocket fired under her at all. It’s not her fault that Brexit became a long drawn out and convoluted process. She said that she’d make clear her intentions when Brexit was clarified and that’s what’s she’s done. Many people have complained that she should have sat back and not got involved with the Brexit process at all even although 62% of Scots wanted to remain in the EU (and not all of them supported Independence). No thought given either to the fact that the Scots let her (and Alex) down in 2014 and it could have happened again hence her having to cover all contingencies.

      I don’t think that NS requires to be ”educated” either when it comes to knowing and appreciating the support that she gets from us. She’s not sitting in a bubble at Bute House. She’s well aware of the fact and has voiced her appreciation at, as an example the many meetings that she holds around the country, during which she outlines, clearly, that she doesn’t take us for granted at all. Far from it.

      The bottom line is that WE are all committed Independence supporters, but we need more support to get us over the line. How do we expect to do that if (undecided) people are visiting pro-Independence sites and reading that Nicola Sturgeon is a ”liar” and worse still? We have a highly intelligent, honest, articulate and compassionate leader working her butt off for us. Compare and contrast with all others. She’ll also be well aware of what Bozo is planning to do, more so than people like you or I. As I see it it’s united we stand or divided we fall .. time. Our choice.

    • If my memory serves me right the site owner of WOS said Nicola Sturgeon would not request the Sect 30 before the end of the year. The guy is not god. He is a blogger from Bath.

      Bloggers are not god or infallible just the same as politicians.

      Mc Askill and Wishart are wrong to say what they said.

      Celtic football club is a British Nationalist club.

      Things are never how you might wish them to be.

  23. The best time to have IndyRef is when it can be won. So be it. Or otherwise what is the point. The demographics are changing. More people are coming on board. There is a surge of members again To donate, help and campaign. Improving all the time. Some people should just have a little patience,

    Scotland has improved so much in just 20 years. A different place. It is going it’s own way in any case. A couple years or less to Independence. Is not a lot to ask.On the road to Independence in any case. People have to vote for it.

    Some people are so negative. Many are not right just disillusioned. That is their choice. Many people have their own personal opinion. They are not the majority. United you stand. Divided you fall. Doing the opposition work for them.

    The UK is totally divided under the Tory Gov. They will not last long. People are totally disillusion. A complete and utter shambles. Watch it play out. Deja Vu.

    Scotland is in a different place with a Gov standing up for Scotland. Only good can come out of it. Different from the Thatcher days. They had to get rid of her to create closer ties with the EU.

    Johnston will go the same way. A complete and utter fool. Voting for him was clutching at straws. A couple of years down the line that will be obvious. A different demographics. On the road to Independence.

    If Corbyn cared about anyone he would have stood down. No principles. Typical Labour. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Not a principle among them. Or any other unionist Party. From crisis to crisis since 1928 and before. The swings and troughs. Swingers and troughers. Not a principle between them. Wasting public monies. Lying and making life difficult for people.

    • “The best time to have IndyRef is when it can be won” and if that best time is going to be well after I’m dead whay should i continue to knock my pan out working for it? Despite the nonsense about older people losing us the referendum the last time, from my experience, the majority of those doing the groundwork are older people. What’s the point if it’s something we will never see thanks to the “gradualist approach”. We might as well leave it to those who will benefit.

  24. Ian Blackford called Johnston a liar to his face. Recorded in Hansard and all over the internet, The walk out. There is rebuttal. That is very different from before with unionist Parties collusion to dupe people.

    The SNP members standing up for Scotland, Facts and figures openly published. Look up the internet for confirmation. In the UK/Scottish Gov accounts. Not hidden away or not given as before.

    The info is all freely available. Not people left in ignorance or lack of knowledge. Westminster can be challenged. University research on the websites. Facts and figures recorded. All the information readily available on the internet.

    Iraq, Dunblane and Lockerbie kept secret for 100 years. Under the Official Secrets Act. What are they hiding. The McCrone Report discovered and published for publicity and account. Now mainstream.

  25. An ignorant and offensive output from the meeja to be sure.

    Is the message both ignorant and misrepresentative? About nine times out of ten when it comes to Scottish politics. Are the people disseminating such narratives ignorant? Some will be, almost certainly. Are the people creating the narratives ignorant of the facts? Almost certainly not.

    You control the narrative and the mainstream methods of reaching the public, then you control how said public views the world. Most folk don’t go to party sites or government web pages. Most couldn’t find them even if they wanted to. The bulk of the vaguely interested read the output of mainstream meeja. They view their vox pops through the choob and they stick to their own through social meeja. Their world view is reinforced by what they consume and how it is reinforced socially.

    They don’t believe a differing view, or that a better way is even remotely possible, because they WON’T believe a differing view. It’d basically rip their world out from under them and expose them to the possibility that they’ve been complicit in appalling legislation against their own. Against other human beings. It’d mean admitting to something fairly dark and callous within themselves.

    THAT is something they’ll never do willingly.

    They want to believe they’ve done the right thing. They are desperate to believe they’ve caused no harm. They want to believe that voting for Conservative or Labour governments in the big howf, (for that system of government), is somehow okay and that everyone else is wrong because… badgers and REASONS!!!

    You’d need a heart of stone not to feel for them and the shit storm that’s on their doorstep about now.

  26. This article feels like a “ cri de coeur “ to our elected leaders and speaks to my own feelings and thoughts. I sometimes feel like one of those weary, tired and dispirited independence campaigners you describe so succinctly, Paul.

    Inspirational leaders issue a call to us, invite us to see ourselves differently and to offer visions and ideas and imagination and hope and honesty about the challenges Independence will bring. I have been asked a couple of times recently by previous no voters ( and now wavering ) : ok, we get Independence, then what?

    People in Scotland have a burning desire to talk, understand and be understood. Our voices and lived experiences and struggles and stories are nowhere to be heard, with the exception, thank f**k, of WGD and other pro Indy websites.

    Now is the time for our elected leaders to issue a rallying call to help unleash the passions simmering away since 2014, to help pull us all together and demonstrate their commitment and passion for Independence.

    Heartfelt thanks and gratitude to you Paul for your continuing wit and wisdom and inspiration for our common cause. It was the late great Alasdair Gray who said:
    “ People in Scotland have a queer idea of the arts. They think you can be an artist in your spare time, though nobody expects you to be a spare-time dustman, engineer, lawyer of brain surgeon.”

  27. For the record I fully support Nicola and appreciate all she has done. But I do reserve the right to day ms piece from time to time. The slowly slowly catchy monkey approach has worked wonders up till now. However there will come a time when the gloves have to come off. With BJ in control of WM that time may be upon us very soon. This guy does not play by the normal rules. Rules that the SNP have tried so hard to follow. We are in a different game now facing a transformed enemy. Incoming curve ball expected anytime soon.

  28. I am in agreement with nearly all the comments being posted here, the fed up, the impatient, the older supporters, the new supporters, and the outside our country supporters, the not so sure where we are going supporters, the snp supporters, the various Indy sites supporters, the “I will move to Scotland supporters “ if Scotland achieves independence, and the wide and varied opinions that every ones writes on all these sites.
    However I do not support our Scotland and its people being torn apart by in fighting over our struggle for independence, we need to get wise to the deliberate wedges that are subtlety put in place on Scottish sites, we need to be wise to being diverted from our goal, we need to be wise there are people that watch and listen that are there in place ready to ensure we may fall before we reach the finishing line.
    So my comments were not ment to divide but instead to support all the Scottish sites, that have provided us with so much knowledge over the years, to continue supporting the groups that are working as individuals and alone.
    But we, the Scottish people who are wandering around in the dark with our hands outstretched looking for something or someone to hold on too and lead us to the light, ought to realise that each one of us is that leader and that light, We are sovereign, and as a collective sovereign people have a very good voice that can heard in all nations and countries, and it is only when we wake up to that legality can we help all the Indy people including the snp if they need us. It is now time for the sovereign people of Scotland to work together.

    • I agree with everything you say James, never forget the power of media, They had the Celtic fans ready to hang Fergus McCann while he was saving their club.

    • Spot on James.

      ”We need to get wise to the deliberate wedges that are subtlety put in place on Scottish sites, we need to be wise to being diverted from our goal, we need to be wise there are people that watch and listen that are there in place ready to ensure we may fall before we reach the finishing line.”

      ..”It is now time for the sovereign people of Scotland to work together.”

  29. After reading some of the comments above I decided to read WGDs post for a second time. I do not read the post as saying Nicola Sturgeon is a liar or Nicola Sturgeon does not want independence or Nicola Sturgeon is a fraud as some other so called independence bloggers regularly write.

    If I am wrong perhaps WGD can correct me.

    If I am correct then perhaps other posters above may want to retract their comments stating this post is saying the same as other bloggers.

    • I am certainly not saying that Nicola Sturgeon is a liar, a fraud, or that she doesn’t want independence.

      All I am saying is that there is clearly a growing mood of frustration in the wider movement, and the SNP leadership would be wise to pay heed to it.

  30. Cubby,

    I expect the wee ginger dug is on the side of Nichola Sturgeon, Johana Cherry and Mhairi Black.

    That would be enough for me.


    • To accomplish what precisely, rescue defeat from the jaws of victory? Hand the media the “infantile” tagline they would prefer to broadcast without challenge instead of “thorn in the government’s side” ?
      There may come a time when such an action becomes necessary, but it is most certainly not now.

  31. [redacted by WGD for the sake of a quiet life] I will say that I believe that Stuart Campbell has done more to further independence for Scotland than a whole host of individuals

      • Fair comment as ever. But I would like that post by twathater removed as it is an unwarranted personal attack which I refute and contains incorrect statements.

        Twathater was of course the person who posted the reference to other bloggers and connected you with their views in the first instance. Not me.

    • That was once upon a time, twathater. Sad to say that it doesn’t apply anymore, imo. Still watching and waiting, hoping for a U-turn.

      • Petra – I just posted that I don’t want this blog used as a forum to conduct fights between people who have different views about Stu Campbell. That applies to you too. Please stop.

  32. Jeez, is this infighting not exactly what opponents of independence have been trying to foment for years? Are we really going to succumb to it just as the battle is about to commence?
    Grow up, calm down, we have work to do…

    • Exactly. Everyone posting here and getting all worked up and harrumphy needs to calm down. I do not want to see anyone using this blog as a forum for attacking other posters. Falling out with one another only benefits our opponents. None of this is productive.

  33. Its all got a bit peoples Jordan front/Jordan peoples front.

    We are nearly there, if we all convert 2 or 3 undecided or nos we will have overwhelming yes vote in the referendum. Just think imagine we could get 70% yes.

    Rather than sit in our armchairs criticising SNP, take the initiative, touch base with your local
    Yes group and offer your time to assist in achieving our goal.

  34. The SNP just has to avoid complacency and indy triangulation. If they don’t then an alternative indy party will arise eventually. Learn from Scottish Labour’s mistakes. They successfully triangulated on an anti-tory stance until a viable alternative appeared. History can and will repeat if you become complacent.

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