Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet

I want an independence referendum as soon as possible, but even more than that I want to win it when it comes. There’s little point in bouncing the Scottish Government into a referendum when the circumstances needed to win it are not in place. Although I was, like many, disappointed at the seeming lack of urgency about pressing for another referendum from the Scottish Government after its resounding victory in last December’s Westminster General Election, with the benefit of hindsight I am relieved that we didn’t go all out for one. That’s the problem with politics, you can so easily be overtaken by unexpected or unforeseen events. This is exactly what has happened with the coronavirus outbreak. It’s a classic ‘black swan’ event that no one saw coming.

It’s time for some realism. We can’t have an independence referendum this year, and we can’t feasibly have one until this health crisis has passed and things have returned to some semblance of normality. This crisis looks set to last for several months, and it’s only once it has passed that plans will be able to be laid for another referendum. We were already on a very short timetable, so it’s now no longer realistic for there to be a referendum this year.

There are also good tactical and strategic reasons for delaying the referendum. As we all know, and have discussed at great length, our movement is a mass movement, a grassroots movement. We depend upon that grassroots strength in order to overcome the overwhelming anti-independence bias from the British nationalism which dominates the airwaves and the press. The independence movement relies above all on face to face contacts in order to spread the message of independence. It’s through face to face contacts, one on one interactions, that we are able to persuade people that it’s only through independence that Scotland can have governments which are responsible to and answerable to the people of Scotland, and the only way in which Scotland can fulfil its true potential.

The independence movement is extremely good at this kind of personal interaction. It’s how we managed to bring the idea of Scottish independence into the mainstream of Scottish politics, and indeed to make it the single most important topic in Scottish politics around which all other political considerations revolve – much to the chagrin of our British nationalist opponents. Yet it’s precisely these kinds of face to face interactions which are most impacted by efforts to contain the coronavirus and to ensure that contagion doesn’t spread.

During an epidemic when there are restrictions on gatherings and venues have been closed we cannot effectively deploy that grassroots strength. You can’t mobilise tens of thousands of independence campaigners to get out and start campaigning at a time when the general public is being strongly advised to reduce social contacts and interactions to a minimum. We cannot organise events and expect people to turn up.

To attempt to do so, to hold meetings, debates, rallies, or to go door to door canvassing, would be grossly irresponsible when people are being advised to minimise their social contacts or to self-isolate in order to reduce the risk of passing on infection. Campaigning in the style which is best for the independence movement risks the health of those campaigning, and it risks the health of those we’re trying to persuade.

In other places around the world, there are already closures of schools, cinemas, concert venues, bars, restaurants, and cinemas. Those restrictions may yet come here. The only way in which it’s even remotely conceivable to have a political campaign during such circumstances is to rely upon the mass media as a means of communication. That’s the only medium left through which mass messages can be got out to the public, yet as we all know no one is ever persuaded to support independence because of what they see on the BBC or what they read in the Daily Mail.

Holding a referendum while restrictions on gatherings are in place would mean effectively surrendering the terms of the debate and the topics which are prominent on the campaign entirely to proponents of British nationalism, because, as we already know, the traditional mass media is a territory which is controlled by our opponents. We would be fighting the campaign with both hands tied behind our backs. The agenda would be entirely set by a British nationalist media which would be screaming from the rooftops about the irresponsibility of holding the campaign in the first place, and which would cite the fact that local and mayoral elections in England have already – sensibly – been postponed.

The prospect of one second longer of Boris Johnson’s malignity does not gladden the heart of anyone who wants what is best for Scotland. The longer we spend under Tory rule the more that those who have the least resources will be damaged and hurt. People will suffer because of the cruel and heartless Conservative policies which demonise the poor, the disabled, and the chronically ill. But equally we owe it to those who are worse off than ourselves to ensure that when we do go for this referendum that we have the best possible chance of winning it. Because if we lose then we condemn everyone to the iniquities of English xenophobic Brexit nationalism dressed up as patriotic Britishness for decades to come. It would be foolish in the extreme to demand a referendum precisely at a time when we are unable to effectively deploy the tactics which work best for us.

There had been a plan bring a debate a Plan B at the SNP party conference, which if adopted would force Boris Johnson’s hand over his refusal to cooperate with a referendum. However the conference has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak. It’s right and proper to postpone the conference. The last thing we need right now is for a mass outbreak of the illness among those who are most committed to campaigning for independence. Although there are still possible routes to holding a public vote on independence without Boris Johnson’s consent, it’s neither wise nor advisable to go ahead with them while we are in the middle of this health crisis.

This crisis will only highlight all the reasons why Scotland desperately needs the full powers of an independent state. Right now we are all hostage to the good sense of a British Government which is notable only for its lack of good sense, for its cruelty, for its callous indifference to suffering, and for its mendacity, lies and deceit. For all that it sticks in our throat to delay the referendum, when we do hold our referendum – as we most assuredly will – the inadequacy and unaccountability of this British Government will figure front and foremost in the mass grassroots face to face campaign that the independence movement will then be able to fight.

As Aristotle said, patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

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98 thoughts on “Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet

  1. Am I alone in thinking that as Nicola is leading “Piggy”, he will scrap devolution completely as his ego couldn’t take the strain?

    • He is trying to avoid his own lynching, he’s not about to invite the Macfeegles to join in the melee…

    • No. My reply to the article was going to be “And as part of emergency measures they will shut down Holyrood – game over”. Even with his blustering, idiotic ineptness there are still people in Scotland suggesting that Nicola Sturgeon is only doing anything she does to spite the UK. These people are never going to change and from what I can see there are growing numbers of them. I fear we have missed our chance.

  2. Pingback: Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet – Ewen's Blog

  3. “Right now we are all hostage to the good sense of a British Government which is notable only for its lack of good sense, for its cruelty, for its callous indifference to suffering, and for its mendacity, lies and deceit”
    Bravo, well said…. We wait…

  4. Pingback: Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet | speymouth

  5. Aye, a sair fecht fir shoor tha noo…

    Somehow, I fear, he will twist and turn, come out smelling of even more shit, yet be the ‘hero’ of corona…

    I’m used to being isolated, so being on my own is not an issue, but, there are many who rely on everyday contact with other humans. And, I can’t even get to see my nearly 94 year old auntie in her temporary care home, her birthday is on the 25th March, so looks like it’ll be a card through the post, if this is even permitted before too long. And as for the greed of the stockpilers…for gawd’s sake, they need to get a grip, and not that of bog roll. Honestly. Cut the crap and turn off the broadcasting.

    Keep us sane Paul! And thank you.

  6. Pingback: Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet – New Scotland

  7. With only one reply to the previous thread I don’t apologise for going straight off topic.

    “The Glasgow North West Foodbank said that they will not be able to support the people they do if their supplies are cut off.

    In a statement, the group said: “Items have already been limited online.

    “Dried pasta, toilet roll, long-life milk. These are key staples to our foodbank that have been cut off.

    “The foodbank places many orders for the people every week.

    “With panic buying, we could face no longer being able to do this and it does put the food bank into difficulty.”

    The National should do a spread about foodbanks, and anyone who has any influence with them should push it for all you’re worth.

        • Reporting Scotland this evening did a fairly extensive item on the issue of food banks and their need for supplies when people were panic buying. By extensive I mean more than a 20sec ‘foodbanks need food. Interviews and graphics were involved.

          • Thanks , and Petra. There seems to have been a couple of articles about it today, Record and P&J, plus some locals it seems. So it’s starting to get noticed,

    • Someone from the Drumchapel foodbank was on the news tonight saying that if things go on as they are they’ll have to shut down. High time that all supermarkets dropped off goods to these foodbanks on a daily basis. Spread the news, yes, and additionally contact your local (greedy) supermarkets asking them to buck themselves up.

    • I’ve not heard officially yet, but I imagine so. Already several events that were due to come up have been cancelled. I was supposed to be in Arran on Friday doing a talk about Gaelic, but that’s off. I was also due to give a lecture to some American students next week, but that’s been cancelled too.

    • I see nothing wrong with going into next year’s GE with a cast iron commitment to negotiate for Independence with the promise of a confirmatory referendum to seal the deal.

  8. As one who was previously frustrated at the delay, I now see the logic in waiting.
    It’s right that we deal with the crisis in hand in our own way looking out for our friends and neighbours.
    It’s quite clear that the Westminster Regime have no chance of covering themselves in glory with their appalling “handling” of the situation and ultimately that is going to play out very publicly in our favour once the crisis has abated.
    That will probably win more undecided and sceptics over to the cause of Independence than a dozen marches.
    Stay safe everyone.

    • Nicola has sent out an email to SNP members encouraging them to support and care for the elderly and infirm in their community. Whilst the folks in the YES movement generally will not be able to campaign during the current crisis by turning the attention to care in the community they will send a signal about how different Scotland can be away from the horrors of xenophobia of England and Westminster in particular. Should not be lost on NO voting elderly and their families,

  9. The SNP demonstrably did not make a compelling enough case for independence in 2014, even though the case was overwhelming, and it hasn’t yet learned the lessons of why it lost. It took five years for them to set up Progress Scotland, an organisation which can, at best, be described as yet another damp squib.

    The case for independence has hardly changed in five years and neither have the opinion polls. This alone is a damning indictment of the SNP. We have endured the most extreme right-wing governments since WW2 and the most incompetent Labour opposition, yet the SNP has been unable to significantly increase support for independence.

    The case for independence isn’t just compelling, it’s overwhelming, but the SNP is still not making it.

    Why, for example, haven’t they pointed out that nearly two thirds of oil and gas jobs for the past fifty years have been in England, predominantly London and the Southeast?

    Why don’t they point out that the majority of oil, gas and renewables infrastructure is imported instead of being built here? Norway and Newfoundland, amongst others, are able to maximise local benefits from their natural resources but Scotland cannot.

    Why don’t the SNP point out the massive brain drain Scotland suffers because of the over-centralisation of the UK economy on London? Our public finances pay to educate significant numbers of people, then London and the Southeast get the benefit of their skills, spending and taxes.

    Why don’t the SNP point out the massive accounting fiddles going on in GERS like apportioning pension and benefits costs based on average UK costs per claimant, something that grossly understates these costs for London and grossly overstates them for Scotland and other parts of the UK?

    Why don’t the SNP point out that significant numbers of people retire to Scotland from London and the Southeast? They didn’t pay their taxes here but, under GERS, Scotland carries the costs of their pensions, healthcare, social care and other later life costs.

    I could give pleny more examples and show how being part of this dysfunctional union has, directly and indirectly, cost Scotland’s economy and society many trillions of pounds in the past fifty years.

    These aren’t new issues. They were just as relevant in 2014, yet the SNP has failed to bring them to the fore then and now.

    The SNP are either utterly incompetent and incapable of making a compelling case for independence, despite an abundance of evidence, or are complicit with British nationalists and are the primary impediment preventing Scotland from achieving independence. I used to think it was the former but am now tending towards the latter. My patience with them is rapidly running out. The leadership and inner circle that controls the party behind closed doors either needs to be completely cleared out or we need to form a new party that will lead us to freedom from Westminster rule.

    • The SNP are over a 100000 strong. On you go. Join the Impatient Party. Some have suggested Tommy Sheridan, Alex Salmond. Yip. That will persuade the undecided. I mean what could possibly go wrong? C’mon the impatient’s, stop talking and act, No? Did’nt think so.

      • Impatient? I was a deputy leader of Business for Scotland in the run up to Indyref and was horrified that the SNP did not make the points I raise above (and countless more). They still haven’t made these points. The opinion polls, unsurprisingly, have hardly moved since 2014. How much more patience do I need?

        • The SNP will be sending out their independence prospectus, to all homes in Scotland, when a date is announced for Indyref2. The opinion polls are also now showing majority support for independence.

          You say that you were a deputy leader of Independence for Scotland in the run up to Indyref1 and that, ”you were horrified that the SNP did not make the points that you raise above.” Why then did you, with all the answers, not send out an informative leaflet to every household in Scotland in 2014 through crowdfunding if need be? More to the point, you’ve now had 6 years to do so.

          • Why should I self fund or crowdfund lealeting? I thought the SNP were supposed to be leading the case for independence? That’s why I joined the party.

            The SNP should be seeking out and taking on board the best ideas from their membership and using them to build a more compelling case for independence however they didn’t do that in 2014 and they’re still not doing it now. That is, at best, a complete dereliction of duty. At worst, it demonstrates that they are more if an impediment to independence than a route to achieving it.

            I spent a career negotiating contracts with governments and multinational companies, some worth well over a billion, so I know a fair bit about business, the economy, negotiations, contract drafting etc. Along with others in my constituency, we offered our services to SNP HQ for free to help them build a better, more persuasive case for independence. We were rebuffed. They didn’t want our help. There’s an inner circle in the SNP that controls policy. The party constantly request money from members but they don’t want our ideas. They prevent debates at party conferences that go against the agenda determined by the inner circle. A small number of indivdual members are allowed to attend party conferences as observers but only delegates are allowed to vote and delegates are chosen by the party, not the members. The overwhelming majority of members thus have no influence on party policy. I lost faith in the party and cancelled my membership in 2015.

            I have no confidence whatsoever that the case for independence from the SNP will be any more compelling in Indyref2 than it was in Indyref1. I therefore have no confidence that the current leadership and inner circle are capable of winning Indyref2. It was, after all, Nicola Sturgeon who was responsible for the unsuccessful Indyref1 campaign. The SNP leadership and inner circle needs cleared out. Consistently, over the past eight years, those currently in charge have demonstrably failed to build a compelling case for independence despite overwhelming evidence that the union bleeds Scotland’s economy and society dry. They’ve had their chance and have failed. It’s time for new leadership of the SNP. Our loyalty should be to the cause of Scottish independence, not to individuals who have consistently and demonstrably failed to make a compelling case for it.

          • Aw right we get the point that you don’t like them, lol, and it would seem that includes not only Nicola Sturgeon (”it was, after all, Nicola Sturgeon who was responsible for the unsuccessful Indyref1 campaign” … you’re talking nonsense), but Alex Salmond too.

            …”Along with others in my constituency, we offered our services to SNP HQ for free to help them build a better, more persuasive case for independence. We were rebuffed. They didn’t want our help.”..

            And so you just gave up, FGS. What a wally. Thank God, Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp (et al), founder and Chief Executive of Business for Scotland, didn’t follow suit.


            And carried on to run an amazingly informative site, set up the Ambassador programme and produced the Scotland the Brief book, etc, with 15,000 copies being sold within the first 2 months of release. I’m taking it that you don’t have anything to do with that site now, had nothing to do with the AP or the Brief? Gave up on that too?


    • ”The SNP demonstrably did not make a compelling enough case for independence in 2014.”

      They produced, for one, the 670 page White Paper and I reckon that we didn’t lose due to what the SNP did or didn’t do but through Unionist scaremongering and last minute (broken) promises, that ultimately duped the more economically cautious amongst us.

      ”Why don’t they point out?” You can give as many examples as you like Colin but the key issue here is that the MSM either edit speeches (edit out facts) or don’t broadcast them at all. Meanwhile support for independence is rising and with the Brexit and Coronavirus fiasco will rise further still, imo. I also wonder how many people actually bother to check out the ScotGov and SNP sites in search of information?

      Paul rightly points out that we’ll just have to be patient and that, ”the only way in which it’s even remotely conceivable to have a political campaign during such circumstances is to rely upon the mass media as a means of communication. That’s the only medium left through which mass messages can be got out to the public, yet as we all know no one is ever persuaded to support independence because of what they see on the BBC or what they read in the Daily Mail.”

      What we should all be doing now, instead of complaining about Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, is to use this ‘isolationist’ time to get as many relevant facts out there in an attempt to change mindsets. And to be honest ”my patience is rapidly running out” with people who have absolutely no evidence whatsoever to accuse people like Nicola Sturgeon, and many if not all SNP politicians, of being complicit with British nationalists. They need to be cleared out? Form a new party that will lead us to Independence? And who’s to say how many amongst them will be ”complicit with British Nationalists? Just wondering how making such statements is in fact going to help us to get our independence… NOT?

      • The 670 page White Paper demonstrably did not make a compelling case for independence. It didn’t explain how the union bleeds Scotland’s economy and society dry. It didn’t say how the powers of independence could be used to create hundreds of thousands of jobs, thus transforming Scotland’s public finances and society. It wasn’t a case of the MSM not broadcasting stuff. It was a failure of the SNP to make a compelling case. Those responsible for that failure still haven’t learned the lessons and still aren’t making a good enough case for independence. Had they done so, support for independence would be sitting at well over 60%, Johnson would find it impossible to prevent Indyref2 and the outcome would be a slam-dunk.

        • ..”Those responsible for that failure still haven’t learned the lessons and still aren’t making a good enough case for independence.”

          You’ve regaled us with your excellent credentials, so why not set up your own site and do something ”constructive” for the independence cause? This battle that we have on our hands necessitates that we ALL get off of our butts and do something. It can’t be left to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP alone, Colin.

          • I am a stakeholder member of Business for Scotland. I feed ideas to them and through many other pro-indy groups. I also engage with friends, relatives and others I meet and have pursuaded significant numbers of people to support independence. I find this a far more effective way of building support for independence than blindly trusting the SNP to further the cause. I’ve been actively promoting independence since early 2014 and haven’t stopped since.

    • The points in favour of independence have been made often enough and in enough different media that no-one can feasibly make the excuse that they had no access to that information.
      But a big problem has always been that the people who need to hear those points are deliberately not listening to them.

      The No camp have spent a lot of effort mentally programming their supporters on who’s broadcasting the messages for independence and stressing that these people are horrible people who should be totally ignored. I’ve seen it time and time again. Otherwise intelligent and rational people who react with something approaching mild disgust at any suggestion that they research the ‘other side of the story’.
      You can reiterate the points all you want, but you’ll still have trouble getting through to the folks who (metaphorically) just stick both fingers in their ears and go “LA LA LA LA!”
      Right now, the only way to convince those people is to let them see with their own eyes how badly things are falling apart. Although some of them are hardcore Westminster cheerleaders who will probably never be convinced anyway.

      I’m no fan of the SNP either. But since they’ve elbowed their way to the front ranks of the independence campaign, then, tactically-speaking, I’ll support them until independence happens (assuming it does within my lifetime!) after which I can vote for someone else. I don’t have to agree with them on every point they make, but I certainly agree with them on that one.

      If people don’t like how the SNP are handling things, then why sit around heckling them when they could step up and fill in the gaps themselves?
      Reclaim the campaign. Get the grassroots movement going again. Remind all the wavering ‘No’s out there that this isn’t just the SNP’s show, that there are a lot of ordinary folks in the same boat as them behind this too.

      Like Paul says above, right now we have bigger worries to deal with. Hard to run a campaign from quarantine!

  10. The issue of the moment is Covid-19, it’s already reached into the parts any other issue hasn’t. It must be the number one issue, as it looks likely to affect people’s livelihooods. We rely on our little business which has had hard times already, like us, and being closely tied mostly to tourism as a supplier we’re potentially redacted.

    HOWEVER, this is a major opportunity for Independence, to be totally cynical. The National can lead by taking covid-19 into the community – as in foodbanks I posted about earlier, for instance. We can become – sensibly and hygenically – community minded, and again, cynically, with a small YES badge discretely pinned somewhere not too visible. But no sales pitches for Indy (unless asked).

    I’ve already had a previously firm NO voter compiain about Buffoon Boris – and say she’d vote for Sturgeon if she shows herself to be strong and right things (specific to he job). And she can’t stand Sturgeon.

    • Why do people keep saying they vote for a person. They should be voting for their country’s independence.

      Political leaders come and go.

  11. I am an independence supporter since my teens. I joined the SNP some time before Nicola was born. I have of necessity learned patience and how to cope with, dare I say it, some commentators here who are new to the cause of independence. Not a complaint, just saying as they say. 2 things I want to say – (1) Nicola is the best SNP leader we have ever had and I base that on having heard them all since the 1960’s. (2) I there anyone out there who really, really believes that Nicola doesn’t want independence less fervently than I do? May I politely request less whingeing? Thank you.

  12. @ jim Coll, I’m also a longterm SNP member, and presently I have my misgivings. For sure Nicola Sturgeon runs the domestic shop well – bedroom tax, baby boxes etc., but as a leader towards independence, no. As a senior manager/executive, no. Just look at the mess of the Alex Salmond case. An effective manager would have known of the coven and sorted it before it ever reached a courtroom, unless…

  13. Velofello. Please explain using your obvious managerial and exclusive inside knowledge. How? Facts please. Here-say and conjecture not admissible.

  14. Anyone who’s serious about independence urgently needs to find a way of ditching Sturgeon. She’s a poison at the heart of our movement and will completely destroy it given half a chance.

    Let’s find someone to replace her who’s truly inspirational with charisma, enthusiasm and a sense of purpose before it’s too late.

    • There is a ”poison at the heart of our movement and will completely destroy it given half a chance” and it’s not Nicola Sturgeon.

      • If the limit of your ambition is to be the most politically correct devolved non-nation administration in the world then Sturgeon is your woman.

        It’s no coincidence that she’s set the limit for mass gatherings at 500; that means there won’t be another SNP conference to hold her to account for the foreseeable future. Of course a limit of 500 poses no problems for each of the other so-called “Scottish” parties – their conferences will be allowed to proceed as normal.

        • To put it mildly, alanm yir aff yer heid!!

          I’m in Canada,,,,ALL sensible government is limiting gatherings to 500.
          That won’t even last much longer. It will be down to nil shortly.

          Our schools, libraries and more are closed until further notice.

          People returning from outside the country are required to self isolate.

          That’s what smart leaders are doing, Nicola is at the top of that list.

          Stay well, stay wary everyone, please.

  15. I would only disagree over one comment of yours, Paul, by turning it around. It is precisely by delaying long-overdue action that renders one vulnerable to disruption by extraneous “events”. Whereas by “getting it done” you escape that fate. Thus we are now Brexited but not independent, and one is established for better or worse (or just plain worse) whereas the other is stymied.

    And maybe we’re not done even yet. I have long dreaded the political ramifications of the possible demise of our current monarch, for example, not least in terms of the ever-predictable extended wall-to-wall BritNat media coverage. The more time, the greater the likelihood of unwanted intrusion, whether by agencies accidental or deliberate.

    Still, no use bemoaning lost opportunities. We are where we are, and of necessity will have to marshal resources. However, it is imperative that we continue use and extend whatever resources and opportunities we can to remain firmly in the public eye. Whoever takes control of the narrative in this new era will win through. Are we and the SNP ready for this…?

  16. I still say that we use the unionists’ own words against them. IF we are an “equal partner in a Union of Nations” then our sovereignty is already acknowledged and we simply tell England that we are going to renegotiate our relationship with them. IF not then we are a colony and follow the other colonies into the commonwealth using similar mechanisms. A referendum to ratify the results of the negotiation driven by a widely drawn commission would then suffice to seal the deal.

  17. It would seem that, ”Nicola Sturgeon IS therefore every British Nationalist’s worst nightmare”, right enough, hence so many people online doing their utmost to get rid of her. More so trying to convince us to do so too, lol.

    ”Nicola Sturgeon – relatively young, intelligent, charismatic, female, diligent, hard-working, selfless, loyal, honest, conscientious – represents everything that her equivalent in Westminster isn’t. And her very existence is proof positive that Scotland has all the attributes to become a newly independent nation – should it wish to. She is a charismatic, talented leader with a guid conceit of herself, knocking it out of the park in the midst of an existential threat. Her presence renders every anti-independence argument redundant. She is therefore every British Nationalist’s worst nightmare.”

    • I agree Petra and thanks for posting this.

      She makes the rest look like fumbling – bumbling – no brain buffoons

      Scotland is so lucky to have her in place at this time.

      • ”Scotland is so lucky to have her in place at this time.”

        And don’t they know it Molly, hence them trying to bring her down. You know if I was a genuine independence supporter and kept up to date with the Unionist’s attitude towards Nicola Sturgeon, such as her being considered to be ”the most dangerous woman in the UK” … the ”greatest threat to the Union”, I’d be asking myself why some, in particular, key influential so-called independence individuals seem to be hell bent on helping the Unionists to achieve their number one aim.

  18. OT Just had a wee look. The UK currently has had around 1500 cases and 55 deaths. I checked the time graphs for Italy on Worldometer (you can access them by clicking on the name Italy).

    When Italy had a total of 1500 cases (actually you need to split between 29 Feb. and 1 Mar. to get this) there was 35 deaths.

    Certainly not anything to justify the shots that have been taken at Italy nor any sense of optimism that the UK will fair better.

    Of course the screeching hand brake turn of the past few days may now produce better results in the future.

    The cases will ‘fall’ due to the UK stopping testing for presenters so from now on we are running blind and can only compare death rates against other countries.

  19. One thing’s already clear. If you didn’t realise it before now, the present circumstances are showing up neo-liberalism as the false idol it always was. Governmental intervention is fast becoming a necessity right across the board, just as in a shooting war. The parallel is true. Besides precious lives, reputations will be made and broken by this.

  20. @ Hamish100: I have no inside knowledge of whatever takes place within the SNP management. I do read and consider events and personalities and so form views.And I repeat I’ve been an SNP member for 30 years.

    I posed this question on another site – ” If you had your buttocks patted over your fully clothed body, would you be willing to testify to send the culprit to prison?”.

    • ”I do read and consider events and personalities.” Just wondering what sites exactly have been shaping your, and others, views vellofello? For example, do you have any proof that Holyrood, and not Westminster (or whatever), is behind the current AS court case revelations?

      • I repeat, I have no insider knowledge. I’m also not inclined to gossip nor indulge in conspiracy theorising. Events concerning the SNP concern me as it does not help the Indy movement.

        • No insider knowledge, not inclined to gossip nor indulge in conspiracy theorising” and yet you say, ”just look at the mess of the Alex Salmond case. An effective manager would have known of the coven and sorted it before it ever reached a courtroom, unless…”

          To my mind that just covers the lot … with no insider knowledge that statement is sheer unadulterated gossip based on a conspiracy theory.

          • Petra

            You are crossing the line. Read your comments. Bullying – I think you owe Velofello an apology.

          • Eh, I’ll wait for Paul to tell me when I’ve crossed the line on here Cubby, not you, and as far as I can see I haven’t bullied anyone at all. If Paul considers that I have I’ll apologise. May also be time for you to reflect on some of your own posts previously?

    • Velofello

      As no one else is keen to address your question I will. My answer is NO.

      And I would not send someone to prison for removing my shoe and trying to kiss my foot. Poor taste – yes – considering my feet, but an assault no way. The accuser obviously got cold feet – may well turn out be good judgement on her part.

      Some people do not want to address the difficult facts being presented by the AS trial. It’s understandable but ultimately unavoidable.

      • Thing is Cubby we don’t actually know what the ”difficult” facts are yet. That should become clearer as time goes on and in particular if and when AS takes the stand.

        • Petra, we know that the majority of the accusers were and the majority still are SNP people – I use the general term people for obvious reasons. That is a difficult fact.

          We know that the same people used a what’s app to discuss this matter. That is a difficult fact.

          We know that A Salmond won his judicial review case as the process was found be unlawful, a civil servant was found be to be encouranging a complainant and the Scotgov threw in the towel to prevent disclosure of further info as Liz Lloyd, Nicola Sturgeons chief of staff was about to testify. That is a difficult fact.

          Someone with access to the testimonies of the initial complainants leaked the facts to the Daily Record and Liz Lloyd is a pal of Clegg. That is a very difficult fact.

          More difficult facts will become clearer. That is a difficult fact.

          • Without breaking down your post and answering it in detail Cubby, due to legal reasons, all I will say is that another difficult fact that we may have to face is that they are all telling the truth.

            As Grousebeater has just pointed out on his site, ”I share the feeling, but there’s no doubting we have a former first minster with a reckless compulsion.”

          • Petra, both you and grousebeater say that but the defence is just starting. So I don’t think the two of you would be very good jurors.

            The truth includes one accuser after an alleged sexual assault and attempted rape going downstairs back to her work, sending an email saying there will be sore heads tomorrow and filling out an overtime form. Someone has just attempted to rape you and you are filling in your overtime form. Now that is a difficult fact.

          • I was acting as the devil’s advocate, Cubby, and also considering the fact, keeping an open mind, that individuals who are ‘leading’ with this story online right now may also have been duped by their ”insider contacts.” Unionist moles and all of that kind of stuff.

            Meanwhile this is what I posted on the indyref2 site recently.

            ”I don’t know who’s lying or not, who’s the victim/s or not, and of course can’t get into that for legal reasons. Time will hopefully tell, but what I find strange about all of this is that AS grew up in Linlithgow and attended Linlithgow Academy, the Edinburgh College of Commerce, St Andrew’s University and then worked for the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Royal Bank of Scotland and latterly had been a politician for around 40 years sitting in Holyrood and Westminster and of course meeting many women worldwide and yet no one had ever complained about him: Other than Anna Soubry that is when the MSM went dokey because he said (to her), ”Behave yourself, woman’.

            Now in the lead up to Indyref1 just about every MSM outlet was constantly coming up with novel ideas as to how to demonise the man. Their focus was on digging dirt on him but the best that they could come up with was that he was a ”slick snake oil salesman.” He was seen to be a threat to the Union and detested by no doubt thousands of their followers in Scotland, who wouldn’t have been in the position of him being their boss and feeling powerless, and yet no one came forward even then. Just saying.”

          • I agree. All the accusers are SNP or SNP gov officials and over a certain time period. I base my opinions on evidence and facts as far as is possible and try to apply a logical analysis to them in reaching any conclusions. The direction it is taking me is far from palatable but it serves no purpose to deny your own findings. More evidence/facts may change that direction or it may confirm it.

            Based on some of the testimonies to date the information and timescales do provide some pointers to the identity of some of the accusers.

            If the accusers are telling the truth as judged by the jury then fine. If not then I expect the SNP to take prompt action. If it is worse and a conspiracy then I expect SNP members to take action.

          • Petra, went and had a look and found the comment by Grousebeater ( it was in the BTL comments) you omitted to detail what the ” I share the feeling” referrred to. It was of course a poster saying the trial was like the Salem witch trials.

            I think that puts a different perspective/ balance to his comments. So I will retract my comment about grouse beater not being a good juror. If you read this my apologises grousebeater.

          • I didn’t deliberately miss that out. I thought that Grousebeater stating, ”but there’s no doubting we have a former first minster with a reckless compulsion” spoke for itself.

          • Sorry but I disagree. It was part of his comment the other part referrred to a witch trial. As Salmond is still defending himself I am not sure how valid both parts are anyway.

            As WGD does not seem very happy for discussions on the trial I will say no more on his site until after the trial is completed assuming he is fine with comments then.

          • If I inadvertently omitted to mention the prior comment, which to my mind has no real relevance to Grousebeater’s, I’ll leave this here and people can decide for themselves. And last post on this subject from me.

            Smoking Hot (@N2Declare) says:
            March 16, 2020 at 2:27 pm
            Factually informative GB … appreciated. Although l must say l felt l’d been taken back in time and was reading transcripts from the Salem Witch Trials, Massachusetts in 1692.

            Grouse Beater says:
            March 16, 2020 at 4:43 pm
            I share the feeling, but there’s no doubting we have a former first minster with a reckless compulsion.


          • Having read about the A.Salmond case so far, quite frankly it seems over confident to imagine that the SNP have not been infiltrated at top level, and if so, independence is top of the agenda, in other words, it just will not be allowed to happen. It’s subtle, it’s secretive, it’s very clever, if so.

            Scotland has an election next year, anyone thinking the plotting against the SNP, from without ie, within, is not already happening should maybe err on the side of caution. Who can be trusted exactly?

            Scotland, the genuine SNP politicians and, who knows about Nicola Sturgeon, is being played. Scotland has no means to counter any British nationalist security services dirty work at any level.

            The FM is not daft, so not sure what is really going on but some tactics seem a wee bit too tame where maybe there could be a much more demanding and forceful stance from Scotland’s major lead party at this critical time.

            Just a few thoughts, maybe we need to keep our wits about us, and to keep our heads while…

            Let’s keep an eye on those running the show, make sure to be able to see and know who is actually genuine, who is not. It would be so easy to take our eye off the ball, while being played by some very sinister factions which could be working very nicely behind the scenes!

  21. O/T

    This is what’s going on in Scotland right now. Brightwork is one a a number of agencies that employ people in the whisky industry (and elsewhere) on zero hour contracts. They’ve just sent out their guidelines to employees in relation to dealing with Covid19. The following is the section that deals with sick pay. Keep in mind that their employees are informed on a Friday night, by text, if they are required to work on the following Monday and then have to check a board on a daily basis (at the end of the day) to see if their services are required for the following day. In other words that cancels out, ”any assignments that we have already confirmed and booked with you.”

    All in all this means that whatever way you want to look at it they are getting sweet Fanny Adams. It goes on to say that if you are suffering from financial hardship contact your bl**dy bank.Things had better, WILL in fact, change when we get our independence. The treatment of people on zero hour contracts, especially in OUR lucrative whisky industry, is nothing short of a National disgrace.

    ”1. If you are self-isolating but not showing symptoms: you have deemed yourself as unavailable for work, and you are not therefore entitled to receive payment. You can take holidays during this time if you wish.

    2. If you are self-isolating and showing symptoms or if you have called in sick: the normal SSP procedure will be followed (with the exception that you can self-certify for up to 14 days) and you will be paid SSP for any assignments that we have already confirmed and booked with you.

    3. If the site/location where you have been carrying out your assignments, is closed for a period due to an outbreak or suspected outbreak of COVID-19, then this is deemed as the client having no labour requirements/no shifts available and therefore you are not entitled to payment.

    4. We strongly encourage anyone with concerns about potential financial difficulties or hardship due to any of the above, to contact your banks, building societies, etc to discuss your situation. The government has asked all UK-operational financial institutions to look at their services and ways to assist with easing the burden that the coronavirus pandemic is placing on the public. Many banks and other institutions now have assistance packages and services in place to assist.”

  22. Patience is fine and, at age 75, I’ve already had to have a fair amount of it, so waiting till the time is right is obviously what we have to do.

    Of course, we can be certain that the Tory government will also wait until we are ready before taking any action to make it more difficult to hold a referendum. That would only be fair, wouldn’t it, and the UK government are known for their fairness. Surely they would consider it definitely not cricket to use corona virus as an excuse to screw us. Wouldn’t they?

  23. Petra, that is scandalous.

    Personally, I hope the coronavirus metes out poetic justice to the Brit creeps who are behind any such policy.

    • It is ABSOLUTELY scandalous Arthur and I would reckon that few Scots are aware of what’s going on. Over and above the ”nae sick pay” many of these workers are being treated like sh*t, frightened to complain about, for example, health and safety issues such as working in a freezing environment and being bullied. If they do they often find that when they go to that board at night to check it out their name isn’t on it for work for the next day or in fact ever again. Nepotism is also rife with relatives of the powers that be walking in and immediately being given permanent posts, whilst some of these men and women have been on ZHC for ten years and more.

      Then if they get no work at all the job seeker allowance system is a real nightmare for them to the point that many don’t want to sign on at all. Worse still sign on for JSA, have to wait days to get it and then you’re offered a days work (and hoping to get more) and your claim is dropped and so it goes on. Between one thing and another it’s no wonder that the unemployment figures are totally skewed.

      The whole situation, especially the use of that bl**dy board, just reminds me of men queuing up for a days work in the 1930’s. Demoralising and totally depressing, with men (and women) working all day wondering if they’ll get a shift the next day and if not constantly left anxious as to how they are going to pay their bills and feed their kids, and hey this is all going on in OUR whisky industry folks.

  24. It is time the SNP put independence in its manifesto for all Scot parliament elections and General Elections from now on.

  25. yip, hindsight is a great thing. but. (there’s always a but) we didnt need corona to see the country wasn’t ready to go for another vote. not based on the conversations I am having. and because of the nature of the work I do, i’m having plenty while folks are waiting for or discussing their bill.
    I don’t believe there’s anything more the SGov and the Partys can do other than hold the fort while events runs there course. not to mention the trial ffs. some really do need to wind their necks in re the timing.
    I do get the sense people are coming round. they are certainly more likely to start a conversation on politics than they have been in recent months and years. while Brexit has been a trigger, its the most unlikely of things that have motivated some of the folks I know to look again. and they certainly wont be convinced by much of what I have seen from some of the bigger players in the movement.
    I strongly advise people to avoid using this outbreak as an excuse to go full bore on the UK Gov to those you know who wont be familiar with the frameworks in the UK. not at this moment anyhoo. I know what my mates will say. it will fall squarely in to the grievance bracket.
    events. accept it or lose.

  26. With the widespread release of the Imperial College report into Covid, it seems clear that the Scientists are distancing themselves from the fallout likely to accrue from the political decisions made by Boris/Cummings etc. A release forced upon the Govt by pressure from open letters by many Scientists and (God help me) public pressure by Piers Morgan. (Hey, he never shut up so credit where it’s due – even for that a—hole). Most important – the schools should have been shut by now. The Imperial College report makes the consequences of that decision quite clear. It’s deadly to leave them open.

    I did find myself a bit astonished that Nicola toed the party line here. She had to have known what was discussed at those Cobra meetings and what was coming down the road for all of us. Yet she didn’t deviate from “official” policy and still isn’t. (OK I get she forced the UK Gov on meetings over 500). But still – as an Independence supporter it seems to me here is a Heaven-sent chance to break the chains.

    This won’t be popular but really – think about this.

    As Scotland’s elected leader, do what is best for Scotland since Westminster has so obviously fumbled badly (for all UK).

    Not following WHO advice?
    Not testing front-line NHS Staff?
    Inadequate NHS equipment and support?
    Inadequate control of Borders (remain open)?
    No testing of anyone complaining of symptoms?
    No tracking of contagion clusters – where is it?


    Why didn’t our politicians break from the mendacious Westminster policy and go their own way? What is Boris gonna do – sue us?

    Nicola went off-message on Brexit and tried her hardest to stop it. But the greatest threat we have ever faced (Covid and mass causalities as a result of Westminster policy) and she follows the (insane) UK line without a murmur? WTF?

    If ever there was a time to pick a fight with London it’s right now. Let’s revisit.
    Follow WHO advice.
    Test front-line NHS Staff.
    Provide adequate NHS equipment and support.
    Control of International Borders (close them, air land and sea)
    Testing of anyone complaining of symptoms.
    Tracking of contagion clusters.
    Close the freaking schools and Uni and move to online classrooms.
    Enforce social distancing.
    Start rationing (since the greedy just loot supermarkets before the rest get a payday/benefit payment.)


    Macron in France tonight was inspiring. Compare and contrast with our run-and-hide Westminster rulers.

    Summats wrong here.

    I will always resent being treated like a mushroom.

    Colin Dawson is copping a lot of stick. But you cannot airbrush away the truth of what he says; SNP have not made a compelling case for Indy, they continue to distance themselves from AUOB/Yes movement, and they are far to cosy with toeing Westminster’s line (when it suits them). Even though the cost to us all will be savage. If they don’t stand up for a decisive split with Westminster now – they never will.

  27. The SNP have set out the arguments for Independence for years. Found the McCrone Report. It has been published many times. They have delivered millions of leaflets with the facts. The majority now know the facts because of their actions.

    Devolution 2000 brought better government. The SNP winning outright victories. In a system designed to favour unionists (parties). Imposed without a mandate.

    It is the elderly who are resistant to Independence. Despite living under Thatcher, The demographics are changing. The best time to have an Independence Ref is when it can be won. Within the next five years is supported by the majority.

    With Devolution 2000 Scotland is going it’s own way in any case. Scotland has come a long way in 20 years. Support for the SNP/Independence rising. Patience is a virtue.

    If an IndyRef has been organised for October it would have had to be cancelled.

    Any wanton accusations will be dealt with in the future.

  28. The argument for shutting schools. Young people under 20 are unlikely to get the virus. Under 10 even more unlikely. If the schools are shut the nurses, doctors and staff needed for healthcare will not be able to get to work. The elderly most likely to be affected will be looking after grandchildren. Some schools are shutting in some areas.

    It could be people allowed voluntarily to keep children off school.

  29. Here’s an experiment. Given that the MSM during indyref1 constantly cited that the border would be closed by Scotland, and when that failed to gain traction, that England would close the border to Scotland. So, Scotland should close its border on our side now to everything bar commercial vehicles on pure health and safety grounds. We get to see if the Tories, Labour and Lib-Dems spite-filled border rants hold water.

    It is, after all, what friendly EU countries are doing and totally in line with WHO recommendations, which virtually every country in the world is following except for our reckless Westminster Tory nitwit government.

  30. The Government in the UK is making a total mess of the pandemic and people are saying don’t criticise the government. This is exactly when you need to criticise them – save lives.

  31. To everyone who has a better plan that the people with access to all the information.
    Consider this the EU is about to close all external borders. Many internal ones already closed.
    How long would it be before LBJ & crew use the accusation that the Scottish government is putting the public at risk, by deviating from UK policy on health care to impose martial law and shut down Holyrood.
    Am I being alarmist. Possibly. Possibly Not.
    The situation could quickly become what only a short time go allowed the police and other authorities to ignore and do nothing about
    “it’s a domestic”.
    Do I think BBC (Boris’s Blethering Crew) will try to use this situation to their advantage. Yes I think they will try, they can’t help themselves it’s in their blood. Luckily for us they’re not quite as sleekit as they think they are. For example how long before some MMP (minor mouth piece) suggests relaxing death duties/taxes for a year or two, just to alleviate hardship of course. And Westminster picks it up and runs with it. How many of us will automatically think aha that’s a good idea definitely going to be a great help to food bank users and the rest of us.
    I don’t want you to stop posting, crivens now is the time we need to talk to and support each other.
    Some more use of achems razor (rubbish spell check) would be good.
    Maybe the above are possible OR maybe I’m just having a senior moment. OR maybe I’ll just get on the bike, ride down to the waste monster and see how many of the towrags I can cough, sneeze or just breathe on.

    • Spot on Pogmothon. This is only going to get much worse in Scotland and if Scotland was to veer too far from the bunglers at Westminster a great hoo-ha would be made about it. SNPBaad killed more people than necessary and so on for political brownie points. The key to all of this is to focus on getting through this together in conjunction with ensuring that support for independence will rise. To get the h*ll out of this. Those English people who decided to leave their draconian homeland behind, whilst acquiring the SNP freebies, and still supporting the Union will now be realising the extent of the reach of the inept and lethal Westminster’s policies and hopefully many more of them will be beginning to see the light now.

  32. Here’s a (slightly hopeful) thought. NYC mayor Bill de Blasio talking on CNN rjust now about the growing need to provide people with a living even when everything is shut down, so what we’re in effect seeing is the possibility of an emergency-enforced move to a basic citizen’s income…

  33. People should take note. Especially those who voted NO in 2014, or for Brexit, or for parties opposed to independence in the past few years.

    This kind of situation is why you need a functioning social security/benefits agency, health services, rights legislation and international cooperation. It’s also why you need a government which hasn’t tried to destroy one, sell of the other, undermine the third and utterly ignore the last.

    Probably worth thinking about.

  34. I tuned to BBC1 Scotland at 14.05 hours to hear the FM’s latest update and advice, and discussions with Health, Education, Finance and SS Secretaries generated by MSP’s on issues from School Closures, care for the elderly, businesses closing down, action for fuel poor, citizens, the threat of evictions, and so on.
    Well, just as we were at last getting some low level information, and there seemed to be cross party unity on tackling this ‘war’ on this terrible plague, Kerr suddenly announced that ‘this was all the time they had’, and closed down the most important broadcast this cheap little outlet should have been transmitting, but assuring us that BBC Radio Scotland and the BBC Scotland Channel were continuing coverage.
    Well, no they weren’t. Janice Forsyth was ‘reviewing’ something or other, and BBC Scotland was broadcasting some mindless fodder, which I abruptly switched off.
    BBC Scotland, self isolating?
    700 odd journalists and news staff, and that’s all they had time for?

    It is clear that they are awaiting instruction from London and Johnson’s UK / England Teams.

    I am on Day 3 of my self imposed lockdown. My Everlovin’ has had her surgery postponed indefinitely, but we have no complaints.
    But why am I paying a licence fee to a corporation who does not ‘inform or educate’?

    They are pointless news blockers.
    It wouldn’t do to watch Holyrood in action all afternoon, would it?
    Showing the Scottish Government getting on with the ‘day job’? That would never do.
    I noted that Supermom Davidson got a seat behind Carlaw so that she gets maximum exposure, doodling on her blotter by the looks of it.

    I have more confidence in Scotland’s Strategy and response than the WM ‘sombrero flattening’, that’s for sure.
    Can somebody with the IT nous set up a Food bank crowdfunding site?
    The least we can do until the English Chancellor gets his act together.

    BBC Scotland; never fails to disappoint.

    • I was questioning my hearing when I changed to the BBC Scotland Channel and then BBC Radio Scotland, thanks Jack maybe I should know better.

  35. # Jack

    I am with you in your condemnation of Pacific Quay, but you picked up Andrew Kerr wrongly. What he said was that they were continuing on Radio Scotland and on-line!

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