The year the thistle’s bud will flower

thistlebud
Maybe it’s just me, but over the past few weeks there seems to have been an increasing sense of anger, angst, and desperation amongst British nationalists in Scotland. Their online cohorts scream with fury at the ‘seps’ and the ‘nats’ who they blame for the divisions within Scotland, without the slightest apparent awareness that howling in rage at half the population of the country and insulting them causes and deepens divisions instead of healing them. Perhaps our British nationalist friends ought to look up the definition of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Australia is burning, Trump ignites the Middle East and brings the world teetering to the edge of war, the climate emergency grows ever more serious, and the UK is about to leave the EU and seek to strike trade deals with the rest of a world that’s on fire. Meanwhile Boris Johnson is still off on a private island in the Caribbean sunning himself and getting drunk and this isn’t an issue for all those media hacks who never stop going on about Nicola Sturgeon not doing the day job or Jeremy Corbyn visiting his allotment. All the while the cracks in the edifice of the so-called union grow ever wider, to the obvious alarm of the British nationalists who pen the green ink missives to the Scottish press.

There are several reasons why there is a growing panic amongst British nationalists in Scotland. The Labour party in Scotland was once the greatest bastion of a British nationalism that could hide itself in the drag of a mythical British parliamentary road to socialism and pretend that it wasn’t nationalist at all. Now it’s a fading shadow of its former self, struggling to remain in existence, never mind struggling for relevance. That means that the only political force remaining which can articulate Britishness in Scotland is the Conservative party, a party which cannot convincingly disguise British nationalism as non-nationalism. This strips away the disguise and means that opponents of independence can no longer pretend that opposing Scottish independence means opposing nationalism per se. Opposing Scottish independence means supporting British nationalism. One of the most effective weapons in the armoury of the British state has been destroyed by the British political parties themselves.

Yet there’s another reason, a more immediate one. At the end of this month, the people of Scotland are going to lose their EU citizenship and the right to travel, work, and settle freely throughout the EU. Whatever your views about the EU, the people of Scotland voted heavily in favour of retaining our status as European citizens, yet that status is being stripped from us. If the people of Scotland are to lose our status as European citizens, democracy demands that it should be as a result of a decision made by the people of Scotland. But that’s not what is happening. The people of Scotland are losing their status as European citizens because people in another country voted to make it happen. We’re not leaving the EU, we are being dragging unwillingly out of the door while our protests are ignored. And for what? A blue passport and being trapped on an island with a reactionary right wing government that fetishises the military, past empire, and the delusions of English exceptionalism.

This is not remotely comparable to what would happen after independence to those residents of Scotland who choose to identify as British. They’ll be entitled to retain their British passports, their British citizenship, and their British identities, and at the same time they will be entitled to all the rights that come with the new Scottish citizenship too. One of these changes is a loss, the other an add-on. In terms of identity or passports, no one will be forced to lose anything after Scottish independence. The same cannot be said of Brexit. Brexit imposes a diminished status upon the unwilling at the behest of what in Scotland would be a marginal political culture. Yet because of the UK, it’s happening to us anyway.

This is why the green crayon brigade of Scotland in Chains, sorry, Scotland in Union, have been so active in their anger of late. It’s because they see the storm clouds sweep in from the ocean. It’s because they feel the pressure rising. It’s because they hear the sound of thunder approaching. Change is in the air. They are panicking because they know that the ground is shifting, the great tectonic plates of history are moving, and the red white and blue flag wavers are being left behind. They too hear the stories of friends and family, workmates and acquaintances who voted No in 2014 but who are now thinking again. They see all the old certainties fall apart as the iron grip of British rule turns to rusted dust.

At the end of this month it will no longer be possible to argue that the only way that Scotland can remain in the EU is through being a part of the UK. There will no longer be a remain argument to be had, there will only be arguments about the best way to rejoin. We’ve already seen the early bars of a new mood music coming from EU figures about how they’d welcome an independent Scotland, that will only increase and grow after the end of this month when the UK is no longer a member state. It will be far harder to build a plausible and persuasive case for the UK rejoining the EU than it will be to build a case for an independent Scotland. Realistically it will take many many years, decades most likely, before the UK will be in a political place that makes it ready to rejoin the EU. People in Scotland who support EU membership will be looking at the case for independence with new and sympathetic eyes. This year we can expect to see support for independence continue to rise. No wonder the British nationalists are howling with rage and anger. They know that preventing another independence referendum is all that they’ve got, because they also know that once that referendum takes place – as it most assuredly will – they’ve already lost.

So the next time you feel worn down and exhausted by arguments within the independence movement, remember this. The arguments within the indy movement, arguments about what is the best strategy for the Scottish Government to adopt, arguments about the quickest and most effective route to a binding independence referendum, arguments about whether or not there should be an independence only party to contest list seats in the Holyrood election of 2021, these are debates taking place within a winning side about the best and quickest way to win. They are debates about the best strategies for attaining victory. That’s not the case about the debates taking place within the Conservative or Labour parties, or amongst the swivel eyed end of the British nationalism in Scotland. Those are debates about preventing loss, about avoiding defeat, about stopping the rising tide of support for independence. The debates that are currently taking place within British nationalism in Scotland are debates about how to stop a complete and historic loss.

I know which debates I’d rather be having. The British nationalists are having arguments about avoiding total collapse. Independence arguments are arguments about life and growth. 2020 is the year that the thistle’s bud will flower.


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48 thoughts on “The year the thistle’s bud will flower

  1. Another great, uplifting article WGD. I think that much of the apparent depression and squabbling among indy supporters comes from a feeling of frustration and lack of control. With Brexit we have had to bide our time as events unfolded.No control only reacting and mediating as best we could. Many are at the end of tether but things are finally coming to a head. There will be an opportunity to regain control and put British nationalism on the back foot. However it won’t last forever and the Scottish government and the wider indy movement must be ready to act at short notice when the mist clears and the opportunity arises. Be ready.

  2. Happy New Year. The British Nationalists in my circle of friends are becoming increasingly shrill as are those I meet in pubs or other social occasions.

    It’s almost as if they have run out of arguments….

  3. And yet there are those in labour who are quite happy clappy at having destroyed themselves in the name of yoonion. They want a pat on the head and biscuit from Ruthless ruth and her DUP tribute act. They also want a vote from Scotland as well. Wee wullie can be fobbed off with a My 1st wizard kit from Tesco. All the while Flash Johnson, the man who can only ever fail & his sidekick Gargamel get ready to sell the UK for can of chicken and a Hershey bar. Proud Scot but proud to be British, they say. But what’s so great about being pish?

  4. Well, I’m Irish myself, and it staggered me that anyone in Scotland swallowed that old pony from Westminster about not being able to join the EU. There was never the slightest problem even in 2014, but after the last three years of belligerent stasis from England, Brussels will throw you a parade.

    • Sadly there are people in Scotland who have been conditioned to believe any mince that the British Nationalist media and politicians tell them. They call themselves British.

      • Cubby your comment is key to the problem. How can we expose the lying propoganda of the press. Not only UK stuff, but sadly Scottish papers like the Herald and Scotsman. It is sad we have so little influence in UK politics but that can change by continuing niggling,arguing facts and persevering. To do nothing we will lose.

        • Alistair, I have never thought of the Scotsman or Herald as Scottish papers. Just more pretendy Scottish than the “Scottish” Daily Mail and others of that ilk. They are all British Nationalist papers.

          In my opinion the greater problem is the British broadcasters. The newspapers influence is diminishing each year as the sales figures decline.

  5. “2020 is the year that the thistle’s bud will flower”

    It will only flower, Paul, if the SNP stops those salivating at the prospect of stomping all over the thistle to kill it before it has a chance to even grow to the point of flowering. And at the moment it does not a appear to be showing much needed movement in that direction.

    The SNP won a mandate of 80% of Scotland’s seats in the Parliament of the UK on a manifesto to stop brexit. They have 26 days to do it.

    • Correct me if I’m wrong, but did I not hear some SNP politicians last year promising us that “Scotland will not be taken out of Europe against its will”?

      We will soon find out.

      • I think it’s pretty obvious that what was meant by “Scotland will not be taken out of Europe against its will” was that if the UK insists on dragging Scotland out of the EU, Scotland will make its own way back in without the rest of the UK.

          • Eh no – just pointing out the blindingly obvious.

            Unless that is there’s some special arithmetic that means that 48 Scottish independence supporting MPs can outvote 365 Tories.

        • I really cannot see that your interpretation of these words ‘Scotland will not be taken out of Europe against its will’ is correct. At the end of January 2010 that is exactly what is going to happen. Forgive me, Paul, I support you in every way `i can, but I cannot support your interpretation of these words. I have faithfully listened to Ian Blackford stating this against the horrible background noises of the Tories in Westminster, I have applauded him every time (I’m a compulsive political junkie and a masochist so I watch PM questions). He has done a remarkable job in my opinion and I salute his efforts. But i never suspected that he was actually saying, ‘we will make our way back into the EU without the rest of the UK’
          He really didn’t say that. You are welcome to your opinion, which is as always brilliantly put forward.. But I too, and many others do not share that opinion. I will be heartbroken if there is an attempt to pretend that his words meant something other than what he actually said, scores of times, in Parliament. The SNP must be better than this. They cannot weasel out in this way.You cannot say something for years and then say that it means something else that we did not actually articulate.

          • I have never believed that Ian Blackford or the SNP had the power to prevent Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will, so I have always interpreted such statements to mean that if Scotland is indeed taken out of the EU against its will then there will be consequences for the UK and the British government. I saw his words as a threat, not a promise.

            Other people are of course entitled to different opinions.

          • Margaret, sorry that you will be heartbroken but I agree with WGD. The SNP got pelters from a lot of independence supporters for trying to stop Brexit – which would of course have meant that the democratic vote of the people of Scotland to remain in the EU would have been respected.

            Now we are due to leave with the UK I expect the SNP to do something to rectify the matter before the transition period is finished. This process has started with the letter to Johnson. It cannot and will not end there.

            The people of Scotland will have to decide between the UK and the EU. To me it is a no brainer – EU.- Scotland will be welcomed back with open arms.

          • “The SNP got pelters from a lot of independence supporters for trying to stop Brexit”

            The SNP has just won an indisputable mammoth mandate of 80% of Scotland’s seats at the Parliament of the UK and the biggest share of the vote that any party in the UK has won. That was a mandate to stop brexit and to hold an independence referendum.

            If Scotland is an equal partner in a voluntary, international union of equals, then let’s see it by setting a date for a referendum NOW. If not, then lets see it flexing its muscles and asserting its rights in a court of law, and I mean a proper international, impartial court of law, not that mickey mouse sorry excuse for a court that Blair foisted upon us as an attempt to put Scots law on a leash and under the control of English law. Time is running out – they have until the time the transition period finishes, being that the 31st of December or sooner if the tory crooks choose to leave without agreement.

            In the context of a voluntary, democratic, international political union of equals, forcing Scotland to give up its EU citizenship rights only of the back of the mandate of its equal partner and with explicit denial of consent from Scotland not once, not twice but four times is, in my view, unconstitutional and I expect to see action to stop this. It violates the principle that this is a union at all and it violates Scotland’s claim of right. So why aren’t our legitimate representatives not acting on it? Do they agree that it is okay for our partner to incur those violations of our rights as an equal partner? That would be worrying.

            Only when I see the backsides of the legitimate representatives of our equal partner in this union dragged into an international court of law and Scotland fails to succeed in charging them with abuse of power, opportunism by stealing Scotland’s powers without consent and by breaching the treaty of union for their own gain and by unconstitutionally triggering A50 without Scotland’s consent I will be satisfied that Scotland on its own cannot stop brexit. If Scotland on its own cannot stop brexit as an equal partner, then the UK is not a union and there is no reason for Scotland anymore to remain in it. If it is not a union, what the hell it is, who decided it is not, when, why, under what authority and on what grounds.

            The kingdom of England has no right to give up the UK’s EU membership rights on its own mandate only. I don’t give a sht how many VIP taxdodgers, American corporations, hedge funds and other foreign interests are colluding on pulling the tory strings. The only thing the kingdom of England can do on its own mandate only, within the context of a voluntary, political union of equals is to unilaterally dissolve that union, which is more than welcome to do if it so wishes. So if the Kingdom of England wants to leave the EU it will have to dissolve the UK first, then it is free to leave both unions at once if it so wish and become the next USA state. But demand its equal partner to follow it to hell as it is heading just because it wants to continue exploiting on demand as if it was its own warehouse of assets and dumping ground for nuclear waste is out of the question and I expect to see an almighty fight against this, not just a pathetic request of a section 30 order that, in the context of a voluntary political union of equals, we should never need anyway.

            The SNP has a mandate to stop brexit. If for whatever reason the only way to stop Scotland being dragged out of the EU by force is to dissolve the treaty of union because action in a proper court of law has failed, then that is exactly what I expect them to do: they have 48 MPs and 12 months – more than enough to dissolve the treaty and stop the kingdom of England dragging Scotland out of the EU against its will.

          • Sorry Maria, but you’re wrong. There is no legal mechanism which the SNP can use to block Brexit. There’s no clever interpretation of the Treaty of Union which is applicable here – Peatworrier has written about this in the past I believe. Legally Scotland is an integral part of a unitary British state.

          • “There is no legal mechanism which the SNP can use to block Brexit”

            If there is no legal mechanism by which the SNP can block brexit, then Paul, what you are telling me is that the UK is not a union and never was. I am sorry, but I am afraid I disagree with this view in the strongest possible terms, because if it is no a union, then what is it? Why SNP, labour, tories and libdems keep calling it a union? And when did it cease to become a union?

            “There’s no clever interpretation of the Treaty of Union which is applicable here”

            I do not think you need a “clever” interpretation, Paul, just the acknowledgment that the uK is a union sustained by a Treaty that must be respected in order for it to continue being a union. In my personal opinion, the only way the SNP cannot find an interpretation of the Treaty of Union that can initiate legal action is if they have already decided that the UK it is no longer a union. This treaty has been breached on pretty much every single article since day one. It is being breached every time England MPs or the speaker calls back some law from before 1707 because it implies that what should be at all effects the Parliament of the UK is still the Parliament of England – that is not what the treaty of union says.. It is breached every time English law is used to quash Scots law, as it was breached when England MPs proceeded to deny Scotland its rightful veto as an equal partner in the union but then self awarded themselves a veto to force Scotland out of the EU against its will. This goes against the claim of right too as it implies absolute rule forced over Scotland. The treaty is breached every time Scotland is made pay for things England does not have to pay, such as the poll tax or the extra charges on putting electricity on the national grid or when 6000 sq miles of Scotland’s territorial waters were stolen from Scotland and given to England. As I say, I so not think you need any clever interpretation of the treaty, the only thing you need is to stop looking the other way every time it is breached and act upon it.

            We need to look to international law as well. In the context of an international treaty as this is, there are things that are being breached too. For instance, the right of Scotland to unilaterally dissolve this treaty is being breached by the Scotland Act which claims that this power somewhat belongs to England MPs but not to Scottish MSPs, legitimately elected by the people of Scotland as their representatives. What the kingdom of England representatives are doing here is to impose their own interpretation of the union onto Scotland and for its own gain and advantage. I think you find this goes also against international law.

            There is quite a lot to pursue here, you just need the will to pursue it. I cannot hide that I am incredibly disappointed that not only the SnP appears not to want to pursue it but even more disappointed that it does not appear to believe in the rightful status of Scotland in this union is that of an equal partner, but rather some kind of possession. I am afraid this is not acceptable for me, so should I know this before and I am not sure I would have supported them with my vote or even ping my hopes on them for these last 4 years or actually even bother casting my vote at all. I can see that it may have been a complete waste of time and worse for me, a complete waste of hope and rather a source of profound disappointment.

            If the SNP does not feel that Scotland in the context of this union cannot stop brexit, then I cannot help but feeling cheated because they asked for a vote to stop brexit. While I knew the UK would not remain in the EU for long, I believed the reason for it would be because the UK would be dissolved before that point, not because the SNP had surrendered and worse, served Scotland on a plate to the vultures in the Kingdom of England and their pal, Corporate America.

            “Legally Scotland is an integral part of a unitary British state”

            I am afraid I am not quite sure what you mean exactly by “unitary British state” and even less by “legally”. In my view Scotland is part of a voluntary political union that is supported by a treaty of union. I refuse to see it as a possession or as “part” of Greater England so this idea of “unitary” is totally alien to me. The UK of Great Britain and NI is a state, but with 4 nations and 2 constituent kingdoms there is nothing unitary about it. That Scotland is part of a union was even acknowledged by Major and Thatcher. Thatcher accepted that Scotland could voluntarily leave the union. If she was not wrong then, when during the last 16 years did this general view changed?

            I must admit I am not sure what you mean by legally either. A dispute between the kingdoms of Scotland and England due to breach of an international treaty of union is no longer a domestic matter that can be tested in a domestic court like the Supreme Court that cannot in any way or form be considered impartial when its existence will rely on those 2 parties being in a union, It should therefore be an international matter and the legality of it can only be fairly tested in an impartial, international court.

            If what you are saying is the only possible interpretation of the situation, Paul, then we have been lied right, left and centre by every, and I mean every single political party in this Isles. It means that even Thatcher and Major lied too when they say that Scotland could exercise its right to self determination by leaving the UK. It means that Cameron lied when he acknowledged that Scotland had the right to self determination and if it chose independence the UK would be finished. It means that tories, labour and libdems are lying to us every time they call this construct a union, never mind “precious”. Sadly, it will also mean that we have been taken for a ride by the SNP too and that is the part that hurts the most.

            If your interpretation of the situation is the only valid one, Paul, the only way that Scotland can leave this union is by dissolving the treaty of union. You cannot tell me now that this is not possible either because even Salmond on TV acknowledged in an interview with Campbell that that was the SNP policy before he implemented the referendum route. If I have to be honest, if Scotland has now to beg for a referendum from England MPs as the route to independence, I fail to understand how somebody as smart as Mr Salmond or Sturgeon chose to give up the more direct route and instead adopted what seems a policy to shoot themselves on the foot and make the process even more difficult. I can somewhat understand Mr Salmond, as he had never witnessed before a majority of SNP MPs so he may have thought at the time that it was not possible. But Ms Sturgeon did witness this when we gave her a tremendous majority of 56 MPs and over 50% of the vote.

            If your interpretation is the right one, Paul, then I feel the SNP has been taking us for a ride since 2015 when we gave them a mandate of 56 Mps which I fear will not happen again. If the UK is not a union and Scotland is a possession of this “unitary state”, then a referendum will never be granted by our colonial masters now that they need every drop of our oil, every ml of our gas, every watt of our electricity, every bit of wealth that Scotland has to cover up the economic disaster they will plunge the UK into for the sake of a handful of taxdodgers and foreign geopolitical interests. So the only way to leave this political construct, whatever it is, is to dissolve the treaty, meaning that the SNP has flushed down the toilet already 4 precious years years during which it has already had on their hands the chance to do this by means of a majority of SNP MPs. I fear that they may choose to flush down the toilet the 48 they got by having them engaging in exhausting but worthless debates in Westminster that are not going to change a thing while England MPs talk over them, constantly undermine them or disrespect them. It was okay for a couple of years to make a point, but frankly now it has become really painful to watch and I have my doubts it serves a purpose any longer.

            I can now only ask myself what will be the next source of disappointment. Are we going to be told by the SNP leadership next that they believe the UK is a one nation state too?

            I am sorry Paul if all this sounds incredibly negative. But this is exactly how I feel at the moment. I feel cheated, disappointed and totally deflated. I feel like I have put my hopes in the wrong basket. I feel like crying actually.

          • The UK is not a union and it never was. I’ve blogged about this quite often. It’s a unitary state which calls itself a union in order to make Brit-Scots feel better about Scotland’s subordination.

          • Thank you for your reply, Paul.

            If you are right then it is clear that we are being taken for a ride because this referendum is never going to happen before brexit. We all know that upon brexit the English establishment will pounce over Holyrood to steal any bit of power it fancies to lock us in this deal with USA and to change any law that currently aligns us to the EU – getting back to the EU quickly will be difficult if not impossible.

            This just leaves dissolving the treaty and declaring independence as the only way Scotland can ever leave this trap. And if this is the case, it raises the question as to why the SNP ever changed its policy. And if the SNP is no longer prepared to do it, then we will have to wait for somebody that is.

            I will give the SNP the benefit of the doubt until the end of the transition period. If brexit has not been stopped, an independence referendum date has not been fixed or the treaty has not been dissolved, it is over for me for the foreseeable future. I will not bother voting until somebody that is prepared to dissolve that treaty comes along. I rather don’t vote that feel my vote is worthless.

  6. The so-called united kingdom survives – just! – on lies and endless negativity. The future is bright for an independent Scotland.

  7. Yep, who would be a British nationalist? Arguing that the current reality is as good as you can possibly hope to get, so shut up and take it. While knowing in your heart that things are very likely about to get significantly worse.

    • British Nationalists are so conditioned you just have to look at the mess they were willing to accept as a way of life in N. Ireland

  8. A guid new year Paul.Keep up the splended work. Many,many readers rely on your woreds of wisdom and information.
    The Gillies

  9. Pingback: The year the thistle’s bud will flower – Ewen's Blog

  10. I write this with a broken heart as I now have no confidence in the SNP desire to bring about independence in my lifetime (a 69yr old lifelong campaigner for independence). I sadly believe that the SNP are now like Labour and are comfortable in power and taking our votes for granted. For instance we do not need permission for a referendum yet no one in the SNP are willing to say this. I hope to be proved wrong and will continue to support and believe in an independent Scotland but with a heavy heart
    Scotland aye

  11. Four Saltires Paul well done great piece. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  12. I can see from recent posts on all the Scottish sites that the sovereign people of Scotland are determined that independence comes in our life time and not in the some distant vague future, the snp are doing a good job the best they can, but they should be more aware that the people in the Indy movement are ahead of them and we are having to wait for them to catch up, this is where the frustration lies in the independence movement.
    The road of working together to ensure the outcome we want, is to recognise that we have the right to choose whom governs us as sovereign people, it is our choice, now and in the future, this is a privilege that so few people have around the globe, and yet at this moment in time, of the people in Scotland I could count on my fingers those that actually recognise what this means in reality. When we work together and use this valuable tool we have been gifted, we help the snp and we help ourselves to achieve an independent Scotland a lot quicker.
    Use everything and every brain cell to make this happen in our life time and sooner rather than later.
    We can fly flags or banners on our marches saying we no longer wish to be governed from England, and flags and banners could say we want to end the treaty of the union,
    Let the media know that we have moved forward in our thinking and at the same time we let the snp know how serious the grass roots movement for independence is, There is a possibility that we may get more attention for the sovereign voice of Scotland,
    Just a thought.

    • The Yes movement is going to have to wait for the people of Scotland to catch up with us.
      That is also what the SNP are waiting for.
      You can take a horse to water……..
      As with Nicola,I don’t want to have to go through the bitter disappointment of 2014 again.

    • Agreed that there have been some acidic conversations filling the void, but it would be foolish to presume SNP are NOT acutely aware of rising public angst.
      eg – Read an earlier exchange over the limited time to stop Brexit which grew arms and legs of frustration. Brexit is but the latest symptom of the Westminster democratic disease, Scotland can rejoin if and when it so elects after independence is accomplished, so why does it become a red line when it is irrelevant to the objective, no matter whether pro or anti EU?
      There are plenty of If/Buts surfacing, straight out of the “Divide and Conquer” Handbook… That is not a criticism of the posters rather than an indictment of the false narratives with which we are swamped on a daily basis.
      SNP are not about to reveal their hand, even at the risk of inviting criticism in the silence. If the smoke and mirrors are unnerving us, the other side are getting equally twitchy, but now is not the time to break ranks but hold our nerve.
      The opposition is busily stoking negativity and unrest on public and social media which will ramp up in the coming weeks and months, on all fronts.
      Unity and resolve is our strength, we allow them to break that at our peril…

      • You nailed it Bob….beware the procurers of division and descent. Hold fast. The SNP have the only chance of delivering a referendum and independence. Nicola Sturgeon is the greatest asset we have. The world is watching and supporting Scotland and is fascinated by this very clever and capable woman. Let’s just let the SNP get on with the job.

        • The SNP are only human, mistakes will have been made along the way, but what concerns me now is those pulling in various directions failing to recognise there will be NO aspect which will not have been comprehensively scrutinised and game-planned. The Indy movement and SNP have a formidable team seen and unseen, what we need is to get behind the team even if through gritted teeth, tearing lumps out of them when the match is just started is precisely what the Opposition want.
          And be in no doubt the Opposition have formidable reach and deep pockets, and given what is at stake will stop at nothing to prevent it. Whether threats behind closed doors ever make it into memoirs years hence I will never know, my children might. Unfortunately for those shysters there is another game in town which you alluded to in the closing comment, “the world is watching”.

          Such an aspect is little understood within Scotland, or indeed the goldfish bowl of MSM, but I can cite one example of the goldfish bowl leaking – The last Edinburgh AUOB March was as always minimised locally and nationally by Pacifier Quay, yet was carried globally through a cadre of foreign foreign correspondents who realised the story was being suffocated by the usual “sources”, with if I recall correctly one from Chile… It would not surprise me that those numbers accelerate for the 11th January AUOB march in Glasgow as there is a “story” there, so what do Pacifier Quay and MSM do? Admit it’s more than 5,000 because Glenn Campbells’s Antisemitic Fifer Detector told them so?
          SMSM have screwed themselves by trying to control the propaganda, are the really going to challenged a contrary take from “El Mercurio” from Santiago syndicated across Europe?
          SG and SNP have earned considerable respect and plaudits across Europe and farther afield, come 1st February 2020, Scotland will not be standing alone….

  13. John Johns. You have a heavy heart. We all do, when we see the Tories once again ruling over us. There are still too many Scots ( Brit nats included) who still prefer this option rather than independence.
    In local government terms if some of the smaller authorities were to be taken over by greater Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee or Edinburgh would demand local control of their affairs. Labour and Torres would claim they are better to decide what the local people want. Of course at the National level they ignore Scotland deferring to London.
    Until we can persuade those persons that Scotland is our nation and whether we go to war or not or have nuclear weapons or not or have Citizenship of the EU or not etc is our right and is our choice and should not be imposed by England the existing impasse will continue I am afraid. For others and other blogs demanding action, more action and even more action but without a sensible action plan is fodder to britnats.
    I believe we have over 50% of the electorate wishing Independence. I think it will increase slowly (too slowly). I just wish the underminers look in the mirror. We only have 1 more chance left in my view. Undermining the SNP ( with all its faults) on the core issue is siding with the tories and Brit nats. Talk of 3rd parties run from Bath, England is part of the undermining. SNP or Green (2nd vote?) in 2021 seems to be the best option.

  14. They will never be able to Brexit. Impossible. Just years of constant squabbles. Draw out until the unionists are voted out. Scotland will vote for Independence for better governance. It will have to be agreed and worked out. End off. If Scotland get better off and more prosperous do does the rest of Britain.

    Any unionist politician who does not support Independence for Scotland does not last very long. They will catch on. Self preservation.

  15. The Westminster unionists politicians do not have a clue what they are doing. Just making a complete and utter shambles. The Tories are complete and utterly incompetent. Now led by a complete and utter incompetent, Never have so man6 bern promoted above their capabilities.

    It will all end in tears again. Typical. Deja Vu. They could not make a bigger mess. Disgraceful.

  16. A Happy New Year to all independence supporters.

    Let’s get 2020 off to a cracking start in Glasgow next Saturday. From Kelvingove park to Glasgow Green – let’s do it.

  17. The SNP (Governance) is nothing like Labour. Nothing at all. Completely different in every way. They is no comparison to the better SNP management of the economy. Scotland is a better place.

    50 years of Labour. No improvement.

    Devolution 5+ years of SNP management Scotland is a different place. Vast improvements.

    Even better Independent. When people vote for it. The best time to have an IndyRef is when it can be won. When people vote for it. Soon. The demographics changing.

  18. For all you thistles out there … (from A. Daffodil).

    46. (of 60.)

    The flowers in Jon Bull’s garden

    Jon Bull had a garden and it was his pride and joy. In this garden, he did not grow any vegetables. He much preferred cultivating flowers that gave off sweet fragrances on the air. The main type of flower that Jon Bull was interested in were roses, and these were by far the most prolific flowers in his garden and he tended them with care. Jon Bull always ensured that they had sufficient water from his red, white and blue watering can. He gave them the best plant food. He nurtured his roses so well, that very soon they became the best-looking flowers in the whole garden.

    The roses’ roots were deeply secured and this enabled them also to seize the best nutrients from the ground – often at the expense of the other flowers in the garden. If they had feelings, they would surely have felt very happy, if not indeed a little smug about their position in Jon Bull’s garden. They were the centre of attention in that garden and that was that. Every other flower was to be looked down upon through the roses’ petals.

    *****

    Now next to the roses, a smaller group of daffodils grew in Jon Bull’s garden. These were a strange sort of flower. For although they grew in Jon Bull’s garden, they had not been fully domesticated by him – they still tended to grow wild, and slightly apart, although, believe me, Jon Bull had attempted to turn them into more ‘garden’ than ‘wild’ flowers. As a form of spite perhaps, Jon Bull had therefore not thought it appropriate (perhaps ‘worthwhile’ would be a better word) to spend too much time and attention in cultivating the daffodils. In any case, as previously mentioned, the roses took up most of his time and attention, and some semi-savage, undomesticated daffodils were not really important enough to be treated in the same way as they were. The daffodils only bloomed for a short time anyway and it was not worth the effort to cultivate them as prodigiously as the roses – at least, that’s how Jon Bull thought. It would also, he thought, lead to him neglecting his prized roses – something he could not and would not ever contemplate.

    So the daffodils would bloom at the appropriate time, with, if we are to continue the feeling metaphor, a certain amount of sadness. Not for them the care given to the roses, and they would soon wither away. True, Jon Bull occasionally gave them some water from his red, white and blue watering can, but the amount was not really that significant. Yet, somehow or other, year in year out, the daffodils would still be there. And in early March, their resplendent trumpets were almost a match for the all-powerful roses.

    *****

    Now adjoining the flowers in Jon Bull’s garden were the thistles. By rights, Jon Bull thought of these plants as weeds, and an annoyance and menace to him, and indeed to his whole garden. In that capacity, they proved even more of a distraction and a more dangerous one in fact, to his roses. Jon Bull had often tried to remove the thistles from his garden but had never succeeded. He first thought that removing the thistles by hand would be an easy enough task. But he soon found himself covered in painful prickles. As a result, he had to go home pretty quickly and to think on another idea of removing the thistles.

    On other occasions, eschewing the use of his hands, Jon Bull had taken up his best patent Wastemonster™ spade in order to dig up the thistles by the root. But it was hard, strenuous work – the thistles’ roots were deeply embedded – and it was often the case that Jon Bull had to give the task up, with sweat pouring from his red, fleshy face and his large stomach wobbling.

    The thistles then would have resisted for another day. Indeed, they were able to proliferate further, as when their flowers had disappeared, their light, feathery seeds could be taken up by the wind and be dispersed all over. When these seeds came to land, they would germinate, and new, sturdy thistle plants would start growing – causing further consternation and anxiety to Jon Bull.

    Another solution presented itself to Jon Bull in an effort to subdue the thistles – weed killer. He convinced himself that a good dose of Cullodenine™ would destroy the thistles once and for all. All his attention in dealing with them had been distracting him from attending to his beloved roses. Cullodenine™ would see an end to those troublesome thistles. However, although a lot of the thistles were killed as a result of the application of the Cullodenine™, in the long run, the weed killer actually proved quite ineffective. Enough of the thistle seeds had managed to escape the carnage, and had been seized by the wind to begin new journeys in the air oceans before falling to earth and germinating a new generation of thistles.

    In due course, these new thistles established sturdy roots and stems which became resilient against anything Jon Bull could throw at them; be they his Wastemonister™ spade or a new, seemingly stronger weed killer, such Beeteeyuk™ which its salesman Darling had mistakenly convinced Jon Bull would be the most effective weed killer yet against those troublesome thistles.

    As for the thistles themselves, they had started to cluster together, knowing that their own common unity of purpose would repel both Jon Bull and any efforts to get rid of them. They also grew stronger prickles in mutual self-defence. Although they were constantly menaced by Jon Bull and his cohorts, the thistles also knew that when they were not under attack from them, they were at one and the same time being neglected in favour of the roses.

    The thistles were then agreed as one: in order to survive as a group and to avoid both the neglect and the dangers posed by Jon Bull, they had to arrange for their seeds to be dispersed as far away as possible from him and his garden. It was common sense really, and the thistles knew it. All it needed was to persuade enough of their fellow thistles of the logicality of this position, and the thistle population would be safe and secure from the depredations of Jon Bull, his cohorts, his weed killers and his Wastemonster™ spade.

    Will a sufficient number of thistles take on board this simple and effective advice, and see for themselves the free and safe future that lies ahead of them, once their seeds start germinating in places beyond the power of Jon Bull and the control he currently holds over the flowers in his garden?

    Watch this space …
    _____

    Parables for the New Politics
    2012-2020

  19. The latest actions by Mr trump will no doubt be applauded by the Britnats and their top Man Bojo !
    Nicola just kick your shoes off and put your feet up and watch the The Gammons have another go at gifting us independence , Another war That scots will not be. wanting to join ! How many gifts we keep getting ? The soverign wish of the Scottish MAJORITY not just 50 % of us will then be able to speak alongside OUR ONLY Scottish pro indy Party and be heard with respect in the world community

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