The confusion and incoherence of British nationalism

The British nationalist metrocommentariat have clearly been spooked by the recent run of opinion polls showing majority support for independence beyond the normal margin of error in opinion polling. There has been a wee spate of articles warning of the ‘threat to the union’, all of which have one significant and interesting feature in common. None of them have the foggiest idea of what to do about it. There’s more woe woe and thrice woe than there is amongst certain independence supporters bewailing the apparent lack of a plan from the Scottish Government to challenge the refusal of a Section 30 order.

Writing in the Guardian on Wednesday, Rafael Behr indulged in the usual Londoncentric opinionating about Scottish affairs, claiming that Nicola Sturgeon’s strategy for dismantling the UK has been to blur the line between party and state and entrench SNP control of devolved institutions – an echo of the one party state scare story so beloved of the British nationalist parties. You think that it wouldn’t have to be explained to them that you don’t get to complain about a one party state because you’re useless at winning elections, but there you go.  There was the hackneyed trope about the divisiveness of the referendum, splitting families and “polluting friendships”. It was very clear that Rafael’s sources of information about what has actually been going on in Scotland are British nationalists parties and their pals in the press. For a man who claims that something needs to be done to stop the surge of pro-independence sentiment in Scotland, he’s not been listening much to independence supporters, or nationalists as he insisted on calling us. There was of course no recognition at all that he was himself espousing a nationalist point of view, for British nationalism is the nationalism that doesn’t want to speak its name in case it gets found out. It’s the nationalism which is distinguished by its refusal to admit that it’s a form of nationalism.

Meanwhile the rest of the media is acting as though it’s 2014 all over again. In the absence of a credible plan to save the UK, there’s always a scare story to threaten and belittle Scotland into submission. On Wednesday Laura Kuenssberg repeated as fact the Tory party attack lines about how an independent Scotland would not have been able to raise money on its own account in order to tackle the crisis. There was not even a pretence of presenting an alternative point of view. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, they all seemed to manage, but Scotland would have been left there in the toilet paper aisle in Tesco’s without any money to wipe its own arse.

On Thursday, Sky News chose Ronald McDonald as its go to expert on the effects of the epidemic on the Scottish economy. That would be the same Ronald McDonald who is Scotland in Union’s favourite go to guy for dire warnings of the economic armageddon that would befall an independent Scotland. He’s the man who warned in 2014 that an independent Scotland would be an economic basket case if it continued to use the pound, and then when policy was changed he argued that an independent Scotland would be an economic basket case if it didn’t keep using the pound. This is because Scotland is the only country in the entire world which is unable to have any sort of currency which won’t lead it to penury.

Of course the two main parties do have their own plans for what to do about the restless natives in the North British province. Labour has been conjouring up the federalism fairy again, a being which has died and been resurrected more often than Christopher Lee in the Dracula movies. The problem is that there is zero interest in England for a properly federal UK, and in any case even full fat federalism won’t solve the problem of Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will because that’s what England voted for.

Meanwhile the Tories have a plan for treating the ails of the union which consists of making things even worse. Support for independence is growing because Scotland feels marginalised and ignored, so the Tories propose to marginalise and ignore Scotland even more and to reduce the ability of the Scottish Parliament to do anything about it. It’s a bit like deciding that the best way to treat a nasty case of pneumonia is to hit the patient with a hammer. It does bugger all to deal with the root cause of the pneumonia, and now the patient is raging with you.

The problem that British nationalists have not been able to solve is that for there to be a solution to the “Scottish question” which resolves matters in Westminster’s favour, that solution has to be one which is politically acceptable in both Scotland and England. Labour’s solution might be acceptable in Scotland, up to a point, but England has no appetite for it. The Conservatives’ solution might be acceptable in England, up to a point, but it’s anathema to a large majority in Scotland.

Failing an actual plan, all that the British nationalists have got left is trying to stall. That’s what a refusal to agree to a Section 30 order represents. It’s not a plan. It’s certainly not an answer to the questions facing the UK and the problematic relationships between the various nations which make it up. It’s simply a delaying tactic born out of panic and an inability to come up with a solution. It’s the vain hope that if they keep saying no then eventually those troublesome Scots will just give up and shut up. Despite the fears of sections of the independence movement, that’s not going to happen.  Do you plan on giving up and shutting up and going away when we’re winning majority support?  No.  And neither do I.

Eventually something will have to give, and the unionism of the Conservatives in England is fragile and hollow – much to the terror of their colleagues in Scotland. Half of Conservative voters in England would prefer an England divested of its troublesome Celtic appendages. A British Government which continues to refuse the democratic will of the people of Scotland will only stoke up resentment in Scotland and deliver widespread popular legitimacy to alternative routes to independence – whether that’s a referendum without a Section 30 order, or a plebiscite election, or some other democratic strategy such as boycotting Westminster and establishing a national convention.

The panic and scaremongering in the British nationalist media is a symptom of the confusion and incoherence at the very heart of British nationalism. It’s a nationalism that claims not to be nationalist. It’s a nationalism which claims to unite the different nations of the UK but which asserts the supremacy of the largest. It’s a nationalism which claims to be a union but which wants to act as though it’s a unitary state. It’s a nationalism which can’t clearly distinguish itself from English nationalism. British nationalism will fail to find a solution to the problems facing the British state because it doesn’t know what it is itself. Its confusion and incoherence will deliver Scottish independence.

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76 thoughts on “The confusion and incoherence of British nationalism

  1. Just curious, can someone tell me whether or not Alex Salmond had to ask for David Cameron for a S30 in 2012 in order to have the 2014 Indyref, or is this a new imposition on the Scottish Government by Westminster since then? Many thanks.

    • Salmond said he was having the referendum. Wendy Alexander, Labour said bring it on. Cameron came calling and offered an agreed negotiated approach – this resulted in the Edinburgh Agreement which Cameron then broke with the Vow before the referendum happened. So there is no Gold standard – only a Britnat standard of a broken agreement.

      This sect 30 Gold standard is nonsense in my opinion but many independence supporters suck it up as a Gold standard precedent. All it tells you is that you cannot trust the Britnats to honour an agreement. If they did not honour the agreement in 2014 why does anyone think they will honour any future agreement if they think they will lose – never mind getting any of them to agree to a sect 30 in the first place when polls are above 50%.

      • “”Salmond said he was having the referendum. Wendy Alexander, Labour said bring it on. Cameron came calling and offered an agreed negotiated approach – this resulted in the Edinburgh Agreement…””

        You appear to have mixed up two referendum Bill’s.

        Wendy Alexander was the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland in 2007 – 08.

        The SNP were in Government and their manifesto for the 2007 election contained a promise to hold an independence referendum. They were, however, a minority government.

        She did say ‘bring it on’ meaning bring forward a referendum Bill but Gordon Brown, then PM, did not support her.

        By the time Mr Salmond published the referendum bill in 2010 she was gone and Iain Gray was Labour leader.

        Although the referendum Bill was published in 2010 it was not put to a vote because Mr Salmond knew he did not have the votes to get it through the Scottish Parliament.

        After the landslide victory in 2011 he did have the votes and the rest as they say was history.

        • Always happy for someone to correct me when I get something wrong but I never actually said Alexander was the leader when she said that. So you are correcting me about something I did not say. Alexander continually said bring it on over a period of time. So I am not mixing up two referendum bills as you suggest. She said it plenty of times in the lead up to the referendum.

          Anyway that is hardly the main part of the question I was answering for Douglas. It was only to illustrate that Labour were pushing/ goading Salmond to get on with it as distinct from their current position.

          British Labour in Scotland’s Gray man is I believe retiring from the Parliament at the 2021 election. He won’t be missed just like Alexander/ Lamont/ Murphy/ Dugdale/ MacConnell/McLeish are not missed and Leonard won’t be missed when he will surely join them as an ex leader after 2021. Step up Jackie Baillie.

          • I was not correcting you I was merely giving a fuller picture, including some idea of chronology and context, of the situation.

            Ms Alexander may have repeated her ‘bring it on’ remark but it was her first utterance of the remark during her time as leader that had the biggest impact and caused the greatest consternation in Labour’s ranks.

            Once she had stood down as party leader particularly under the circumstances that triggered her departure then anything she said had much less weight on her own party and any other party.

  2. Great piece as always.
    What they also keep banging on about is the need to present the benefits of the union. Any actual examples?
    Nada, zilch, zero erc etc

    • Roger,

      What about the wonderful Act of Union £2 coin eh? Going last time I looked for £4.97 on eBay.

      Fair enough, not much else though..

  3. I caught that interview with Ronald McDonald on Sky Paul…..and as per right of reply being offered to any Scottish Government representative.

    • Hi Tam the Bam,
      Can you tell me exactly how you reply to wee Ginger Dug It says reply above the line and there is no clear line? thanks in advance

      • No problem John…..simply ‘click’ in the space saying REPLY at which point 2 more spaces (below) will ask you to enter your e-mail address and username.Simples!

  4. I have certainly noticed a marked increase in crap from the media lately. They are concerned with us at 54%, Ulster at 51% for reunification, Wales 35% along with England. The State called the UK is crumbling because an ever increasing number of people in it have given up on it.

    I think it has gone past the point of no return for many of us. The Covid19 recession and the looming Brexit one will all add to the dissatisfaction.

    They can have the media do two minute video’s on how we have all pulled together. No doubt planned by monsewer Cummings.

    All this gloom will I think show up WM as useless and help the cause of Yes.

  5. Cummings is apparently deadly serious about “Singapore of the North”.
    If there was any chance that they’d ask the EU for an extension to the transition period, they’d be dropping hints to get the gammons psychologically prepared. Feedback from the post Brexit trade deal talks with the EU indicate that a deal ain’t gonna happen.
    Whether it’s trading with the EU on WTO terms or signing a one sided trade deal with the US (with distilleries in Kentucky producing “Scotch whiskey”) the devolved administrations will be a drag chute for “dynamic, world beating, London and the SE”. It’s entirely possible that Johnson and Cummings are at least content to let us Celtic naysayers go.

  6. Pingback: The confusion and incoherence of British nationalism | speymouth

  7. Johnston and Co are more likely to go sooner rather than later. The Tory/unionists collapsing into their unavoidable abyss of mess and shambles. Another day. Another mess. Deja Vu. Especially around the EU matters. They had to get rid of Thatcher for closer ties with the EU to improve the economy.

    Behr misinterpretation there for all to see. Ignorant, arrogant and misguided. The usual misplaced journalism. Most of them do not know how the Barnett Formula works or about the McCrone Report. Or much else for that matter. Can’t distinguish between devolved and reserved matter. They just do not under stand it. Pathetic researched basic journalism.

    Twitter might point it out. A ridiculous conclusion. Twitter having to be used to correct misinformation. Guardian has a low readership in print. More on the Internet. Click bait. Gets more advertising revenues in? £Billion in reserves. Appealing for more funding. On the take,

  8. It’s rather a trial with the Labourite metro commentariat, they don’t have the easy visceral anti-Scottishness of their Tory contemporaries, but their sources (as Paul rightly observes) are oddly self-restricted, so Scotland necessarily remains a fathomless enigma to them. (Something that a wee chat with one or two somewhat like-minded pro-indy people like Paul or – say – Dennis Canavan might easily help resolve, but never mind.)

    And inevitably their considerations, as in ’14, always seem to morph away from Scottish issues into the paramount significance for England’s standing in the world. Never mind the objective factors influencing Scotland’s increasing need to escape this suffocating “UK” chokehold. It’s not beyond the wit of any sentient being with an open mind to analyse these factors, and further to conclude that there is no realistic prospect of the English Establishment (or electorate) doing anything about it, so perhaps they just can’t bring themselves to confront their own political allegiances and that inconvenient reality. A veritable triumph of the purblind.

    Even more predictable is the common reaction BTL. The default position of rabid BritNattery is to continually tell us just how shite we would be at running our own affairs instead of letting them kindly do it for us. Frenemies like this we don’t need. How they believe that naked Anglo supremacy like this will either win us over, or cause us to buckle under to their bullying, beats me. But it’s all they have, since they also see no need to accommodate themselves to our legitimate concerns.

    The irreconcileable differences are just too great, so the split is inevitable, it’s just a question of when, of how long it will take everyone involved to realise that the game is truly up, and manage the transition with good grace on both sides.

  9. Somewhat O/T, but the ONS just stated that they estimate that there’s 14,000 active cases in England. In today’s Press conference, the FM updated the estimate for active cases in Scotland “as of last week” to 1,000. This ratio ties in with other metrics such as new, +ve tests (adjusted to account for the Scottish figure being Pillar I & II) and hospital confirmed fatalities.
    Big problem klaxon. The justification for refusing an “air bridge” between Scotland and Spain was that Spanish, active cases were twelve times that of Scotland.

  10. Last time it was those pesky Scottish banks which we were told would all have collapsed in a heap without the support of UK taxpayers to bail them out. Chances are we’ll soon be receiving dire warnings that an independent Scotland could never survive a virus pandemic and its economic consequences without the London Treasury on hand to pick up the tab.

    • Right when we all know the english conservative government tryed sabotaging our nations ppe supply by telling firms to piroitise England only then when that failed tryed to get over sea firms to stop selling to Scotland. They threatened to cut our money if we stayed in lockdown longer than them which they implemented on the city Leicester even though the conservative government had themselves locked Leicester down (i think that was to send a message more than anything) which is basically stabbing the people of England in the back if they have to implement more lockdowns the English conservative government are the real burden on the English time the southerners saw that fact but from living in england for 26 years i know its totally impossible its why ive given up on our southern neighbours they are idoits there own governments prove that beyond doubt we are better of without England as this epidemic has proved.

    • And the RBS is only scottish in name it gives better mortgages to people outside scotland ive yet to see what advantage Scotland gets from RBS, of course it even said it would move to London if scotland became independent.
      Its allegiance lies with westminster not with scotland

  11. “Boycott Westminster and establish a National Convention”

    I’m all for that!

    Look at the surge in SNP Membership when the SNP walked out of the commons last year.
    It’s something that gets non political people to sit up and take notice.

  12. England the one party state accuses Scotland their colony of proportional representation of being the thing that England themselves are

    From time in memorium we hear from the English political parties *without a majority we can’t govern* that is a plea for a one party state and they use the media to hysterically inform us of that, and if they can’t achieve that status they bribe another party to join with them to create such a one party state by either offering that other political party money position or titles, and as if that’s not enough they employ the ace card of using the Monarchy to extoll the people of England into believing that no government can operate without it being a one party state, they just don’t call it that in England, they call it an overall majority

    What is it they constantly punt at us *we can’t get a budget through unless we have a majority*
    Scotland does it every year as do most other countries around the world so why does England find it such an impossible task, are they just stupid people, are they incapable of co-operation or is the motive absolute power for powers sake, well it’s probably all of those things isn’t it

    Then we move on to the election of the person who will exercise all the powers of that one party state, the Prime minister, because once that person is elected not by the parliament but by the overall majority of the now ruling party conferring upon him or her all the powers of the now deposed Monarchy they use to sell the idea of democracy

    Then they move on to dictate the law over three other countries who did not vote for them in the first place, the UK is not now or ever has been a democracy when one country converts the meaning of the word democracy into meaning whichever country is the most populated wins, you might as well select champions and have a fight, even that would be more democratic than the UK stitch up

    This is by no stretch of anyones imagination democracy, it’s one party state dictatorship, it’s just a political party replacing a Monarchy, and you know what, England deserves it because they voted for it

    Dja wanna be in my gang is what it amounts to

    • Yet they bicthed when the snp broke the dhondt system and got a majority government they cryed that Scotland had become a one party state under the dictating snp.

      So Scotland votes for a majority snp government thats bad
      England votes a majority conservative government that the best thing ever.

      what utter levels of hypocrisy its sickening.

  13. I’m afraid too many of our next door neighbours still think thus:

    “I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. I contend that every acre added to our territory means the birth of more of the English race who otherwise would not be brought into existence.”

    Cecil Rhodes.

    As to Mr Behr and a host of others of his ilk, I’m at a loss to understand why so many journalists, politicians and others who have absolutely no connection with Scotland either through birth or residence or true knowledge and understanding of Scotland except through the prism of ‘British’ exceptionalism, feel that they have a right to pontificate on Scotland, her future, her aspirations, her rights and why do so many Scots let them get away with it?

    • Wrote to MR Behr, c/o The Guardian earlier today to suggest that he needed to read articles such as this one of Paul’s otherwise he will remain stuck in 2014 as far as his knowledge of current Scottish politics is concerned.

    • Maybe we are not stupid ? perhaps we are not too small a country to succeed and maybe there really is oil and gas , renewables , clever industrious people perhaps the inventiveness of our ancestors is true ?

  14. I’m all for the Union. It it worked as it should, I would support it. But the true spirit of the Union has never existed and never will. And I can’t support something that is basically fantasy politics.

    There is a massive discontent and contradiction between the spirit of Unionism and what the British/English nationalists aspire to. They claim there is no border between England and Scotland. Yet the spirit of Unionism insists that there must be a border. Because if there is no border, what is the Union supposed to unite? In the end, they just want greater England, with the name Scotland being at best sentimental and are worst totally meaningless.

    The other problem is that English people in general aren’t unionists, just in the same way they are not interested in Federalism.. Few would use the term ever in their lives, and many who do would refer to it the wrong context.

    But we cannot blame them for that. England is the dominant country (in terms of population, size and economy). Why would they be interest in addressing something that doesn’t affect them, except to remove their perceived dominance?

    • This whole island makes England look big
      The problem is that part of it is Wales and Scotland
      England are content to call it britain and then treat everything british as if its english

      BUT make no mistake , they will not shrink to their real size without a fight

  15. The Behr piece was like reading the same 2014 articles over and over again.
    “Let me tell you about Scotland.
    Actually I don’t know anything about Scotland.
    I know lots about London though.
    Let me tell you what London thinks about Scotland.”

  16. And once again the old refrain – Too Wee, Too Poor and Too Stupid.

    Yup – the English invented the union to save Scotland. For 300 years they have paid Scotland’s way in the world and Scotland has never had to pay a penny for it. Well it couldn’t. Not really. The Penny belongs to Westminster. It was never Scotland’s in the first place.

    And the “proud Scots but” Brigade have their wee heart swell with unionist pride. Pride in being Shite, Proud of being bailed out. Proud of the dependency. Proud of their subsidy. See them wave their wee union flegs when their wee Queen comes up to wave at them, you can almost see the tears of the wretched. In the church of the Union there is a painting in the nave. John Bull with a beatific smile, Union Flag in one hand a giro cheque in another. Next to him are smaller figures; the people of Scotland. So small, glaiket and poor, arms outstretched in supplication.

    Now thats not true of course. No one would ever set up a political & economic union to pay a nation of scroungers to pretend they’re British. But given the shite the British press punt out on behalf of English parties in Westminster, you’d think it was true.

    At the end of the day, its getting harder every day to believe that Britain ever existed and Britishness was anything more than a 300 year old bad joke.

    Maybe Britishness is actually like Tikka Masala – 100% fake.

  17. Ot I think help is required for those in another blog. We talk about Independence- they concentrate on people’s appendages. And they want to front up a political party.

    • They insist constantly that the FM doesn’t want Independence but only offer as evidence of this their abilities in psychic mind reading, if this were truly the case then why on earth wouldn’t the Tories Labour and the Liberal Dumbocrats be using this tactic to insist that the SNP are lying so please vote for us, but they don’t, in fact they’re in such a panic they’ve already declared that they will be fighting the Holyrood elections on a ticket of *No more referendums*

      It’s funny how all the opposition parties and the UK government believe Nicola Sturgeon will be going for Independence

      You’d think the folk who fall for this dialogue of psychic drivel might’ve noticed that inconsistency

  18. I often wonder if these periodic Londoncentric attacks on Nicola are a smokescreen and they see her as a father Gapon type character.

    Everytime the polls suggest Independence is for the offing the Unionist press condemn Nicola for her divisiveness and yet she hasn’t uttered a word that independence is remotely in the offing under her watch. Bizarre.

    • Mbiyd…you are right, its weird watching NS on twitter giving her updates each day and the britnat media day after day week after week asking her silly questions continually trying to catch her out , trying to trick her into saying something so that in tomorrows news they can use it to show that she just tries to do the opposite to what BJ does.
      Because its all internet communication slightly delayed these britnat media people often ask the same questions as each other its pathetic disgraceful insulting no other nation would put up with it but scotland has the media of another country
      There is no scottish media on tv or radio

      • I watched BBC Scotland news last night they already had viewers set up to complain about how they couldn’t travel to Spain because of the restrictions imposed by Nicola.

        I felt sorry for those wanting to travel to Serbia…

        The media speak for England. I think Paul in previous articles spoke about the relative independence of Catalonian and European media compared to the limited Anglo centric nature of the UKs media and I suspect we have all watched the DVD highlighting BBC bias.

        • I find it strange how it is being portrayed that way, there’s nothing stopping people going to Spain, they just have to quarantine when they come back. The media know that but it doesn’t suit their narrative.

  19. The BBC can’t get the FM off the Telly as long as she sticks to health, but in doing that competently her numbers go up and as her numbers rise support for Independence rises with her
    The party’s ready and geared up for Independence and the country now expects it to happen the closer we move to the final Brexit, only today my elderly Tory voting neighbour, a lady in her late 80s stopped to tell me that if she lives she’ll be voting for the SNP and Independence, I could barely contain myself, if the blinds can be lifted from her eyes there’ll be others

    It’s up to Westminster now to make the final mistake in their push to take the FM and Scotland down, that aught to do it

    • Thats why they censored the auob marches why they give the yoons like carcrash a free ride yet rudely interrupt any snp mp or msp all the time then cut them of its why in indyref1 the no side got all the air time to get their anti Scottish slander out yet the yes side couldnt get ours out through the msm because they did everything to make sure it wasnt heard they pull the same crap at fmqs with the sound so people cant quite hear our frist minister answering the yoons.

  20. What the Guardian etc. think about Scotland is predictable. What the BBC, Sky etc. think about Scotland is predictable. They view Scotland in the same studiously uninformed light that they viewed “the troubles” in Ireland – an irritating distraction by coarse, uneducated people who don’t know how lucky they are to be allowed to live. They despise the Scots and I despise them in turn.

    I only ever read what they write and listen to what they say, to ascertain what their angle of attack happens to be on that day. Happily they have less and less influence as each day passes. The internet has been their worst nightmare come true. Don’t you just love it that the rags are at the stage where they are begging people to buy their lies when you get to the bottom of their inciteful as opposed to insightful pieces.

    Except for entertainment value, we need to stop taking account of the British media. We need to break away from the understandable human tendency to look in hope, in hope that one day they will be honest. They have never been and never will be honest. If they were honest they wouldn’t be published.

    Scottish people are increasingly seeing through them. They are choosing to ignore them. We need to ignore them – except to lampoon them. Their demise is going to be instrumental in achieving our goal.

  21. … except to lampoon them

    Yes, something we have as yet neglected more than we should, IMO, but whose power should never be underestimated.

    If you are in politics, once people start laughing at you (as opposed to with you), you’re effectively finished.

  22. …. well for me, Paul … this just feels like a Pressure Cooker that’s been ignored on the hob and is ready to BLOW …. those of us who support INDYREF2 know we have the right to petition our fellow Countrymen/women as to their wishes …

    and I’ll abide by the (legitimate) decision thereby …

    but the NAW side say “NAW and never again …. whatever” ….. all has been peaceable so far ( the thugs in George Square 2014 & a few weeks ago excepted) …. but frustration is bound to spill over eventually ….

    in some fashion I’m beginning to think this is the plan of the “Establishment” ….

    any thoughts ?

    • @ ScotsCanuck

      We all know that the Brits are partial to violence, so it would be unsurprising if they were trying to invite it. They might even be stupid enough. But Scotland is a civilised, highly educated and relatively politically aware society in which the majority of people support a return to self government. The Brits would have to initiate the violence and that would not go unnoticed. As such it would be a counterproductive move. I doubt that even the Brits would be that stupid but maybe they are.

      This pandemic that we are in has galvanised a large majority of Scots behind the Scottish Government. The population are following and appreciating the cautious, safety driven, step by step approach to it. Safety is the by word amongst Scots right now and for time to come. Efforts by the Brits to undermine that feeling of safety by inciting violence would be liable to bring a big GTF response that would neuter it in short time. The Scottish Government would harness the backing of the populace in dealing, step by careful step with the new virus that threatened public safety. It’s what Nicola Sturgeon does – government by consent.

      That’s how I see it.

  23. Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp:- ‘7,715 Independence supporter mega-poll – 57% of SNP voters open to tactical voting on list.’

    ..”What could go wrong for the list party idea?

    1). Convincing the wider voting (independence) public to vote tactically takes a lot of campaigning experience, money and organisation, things that are, so far, just not evident in the people planning on standing list candidates. One has a few high-profile bloggers and some experienced SNP local campaigners which is an advantage.

    2). Experience in candidate vetting is a major weak point. The SNP looks untouchable. However, even at this early stage, untried and untested candidates would be the weak point of the independence campaign. Every list candidate’s tweets and late-night Facebook rants will be found and published. Every anti-Israel post will be named anti-semitic (regardless of whether it is or not) and every name calling episode (Tories are…..) will undermine the candidates and be thrown in the SNP’s face.

    3). If three parties stand then the math just doesn’t work. Frankly, it works best if people tactically vote Green.

    4). If the SNP’s poll figures get any higher, then people will see that so many of the unionist targets won’t get back anyway and the idea will lose its potency.”..


    I wonder if he’ll be heading to Faslane? Positively frightening.

    ‘Cummings to drop in on Britain’s most secret defence installations.’

    ..”He is said to not have wanted a “fanfare” and requested to talk to middle-ranking officers such as majors and colonels.

    He has previously been targeted by the Labour opposition, which queried his security clearance after citing a whistleblower who had come forward over Cummings’ time spent in Russia in his 20’s.

    In January, Cummings was photographed wearing a yellow-band pass showing that he had achieved a mid-level form of security clearance instead of the developed vetting or DV classification given to most top aides once they are subjected to background checks.

    However, photographs taken in recent months, show his pass now sports a green band, suggesting he has finally been granted DV clearance allowing him to view top-secret files without supervision.”..

    • Think I’ll hold me nose and vote Green for the list. There’s nothing in their toxic, identity politics leanings that can’t be undone at a later stage. Besides, the SNP are thoroughly infected with the identity politics bug themselves.
      Perhaps I,would think differently if we weren’t so close to the prize, but an Indy party landslide in 2021 followed by a plebiscite election in 2022 puts us over the finishing line.

  24. ‘Another Scotland in Union secret propaganda group member appears on Kaye Adams to claim death level same in Scotland as in England!’


    ‘Many English-born Scots moving to Yes, to SNP, and dumping the Tories.’

  25. The BritNat “journalists” cannot write a balanced piece on the hopes for self determination by the Scottish people.
    It is akin to asking a man who’s wife has just filed for divorce to explain the background to the break up.
    The BritNat media focus on America. They ignore Europe. The Far East is Hong Kong. South America and Australia are only covered if a disaster happens there.
    London is the centre of their Universe. The Greenwich meridian ensures London is the centre of a maps. The media have acted as the propaganda wing of the Empire for that long their perspective is lost.

    they are incapable of seeing the positive case for self determination. The MSM view glass can only reveal a negative destructive campaign.

    As with Science you can write a theory from you perspective as the observer. It doesn’t mean it is correct. Until they grasp that basic concept expect much more of the same.

  26. Vote SNP/SNP for good governance and Independence. It is now over the line, crossed the tipping point.

    People should not cut off their nose to spite their face.

    Vote the unionists out. Carry on for victory. Do not split the vote at this conjuncture.

    Just a couple of years more. In or out of the EU Scotland needs Independence more to make it’s arrangements for it’s needs and responsibilities.

    • Ken.
      SNP2 the last time wasted 910,000 indy votes. The party got 4 list MSP’s in the Borders. I will not be wasting my list vote next May.

      • Nor will I…unless a significant change of language takes place between now and the election. Real change not “pretendy keep the troops happy stuff”

        I could never vote Green so I hope for a real alternative come 2021.

          • Because if you don’t vote then the media narrative is “Scotland doesn’t want independence” because it reduces the total number of votes received by pro indy parties.

            List votes are not “wasted”. The purpose of the regional list is to ensure that the number of MSPs a party wins is broadly proportional to the number of votes cast for a party in the constituency vote. You cannot possibly know the result of the constituency vote before the votes are counted, so you can’t know beforehand whether your list vote will elect an SNP MSP or not. If you don’t use your list vote for the SNP or a pro-indy party, you risk allowing a British nationalist party gaining an MSP they might not otherwise have got. Gaming the D’Hondt system is a mug’s game. See James Kelly’s article in The National for an explanation.

            If gaming the system is a mug’s game, throwing in the towel and not voting at all because the SNP is not sufficiently ideologically purist for you is simply self-defeating. In any event, gaming the list vote does not increase the total amount of votes received for pro-indy parties, and at worst it can damage the chances of the SNP or the Greens (the only two pro indy parties with any realistic prospect of winning seats).

  27. World first. Glasgow medical discovery. ‘Scotland land of invention and discovery’.

    Gene related to alcoholism. DNA connection runs in families can skip a generation. Liver disease. Dying younger.

    This will affect people world wide. Potential to blood test at birth to identify those at risk of alcoholic poisoning. ‘Enough is never enough.’

    Identify and put in prevention measures. A world class development.

    Early death could be prevented. Proper total abstinence rehab and counselling put in place to save lives and the high costs to society.

    A ground breaking discovery worldwide. The damage this will prevent is in £Trillions. A warning prevention from birth. A simple blood test. This is world beating, amazing discovery. To help the world economy. Absolutely amazing. The Scottish Education system and funding an outstanding achievement. Prevention is better cure.

  28. The opposition count votes not MPs or MSPs when it suits them so while the introduction of another Yes party is not in itself a bad idea, to do it before Independence is achieved might lessen the amount of votes for the main party of Independence and those are the votes the British Nationalists will count when they say support for the SNP has dropped proving Scotland doesn’t really want Independence
    At the same time they might say the SNP has lost X amount of seats or reps so don’t speak for Scotland, so what to do ?

    It’s 100% guaranteed a post Independence Scotland must have alternative political parties for differing political views or we’d be in danger of stagnation and open to the one party state accusations punted by the actual one party state of England supporting Nationalists, again so what to do ?

    Do we have one big hammer to bang the nail in or do we have three or four smaller hammers,
    What to do ?

    I’ve never been much on the numbers game of this sort of thing, my area has always been involved in human behaviour and attitudes so I know that by and large people like stability, it makes them feel more secure, that’s why Theresa May’s people came up with the *strong and stable* slogan to sell to England, which worked there but not here in Scotland, mostly because there’s nothing the Tories can do to sell themselves in Scotland anymore, that horse has definitely left the stable (pardon the pun) and Labour well they’re just gone altogether now and that’s to do with a complete lack of trust in who they work for because to our cost in Scotland we’ve found that they actually work for the Tories as their B party
    Which brings me back to any new party in Scotland and might it also be accused of being the SNP B party even if it’s not

    It seems no matter what decisions around this are taken by voters if such a party comes forth that the opposition will use it to campaign on the grounds of Scotland splitting because they’ve lost confidence in the SNP, but will the voters think that, will the voters gamble, it remains to be seen, I do know folk enjoy a flutter on a horse, not so much on politicians

    • We were all 100% behind the both votes SNP. It was not the members who destroyed the unity, it was HQ going on walkabout when they should have been focusing on Independence..too late now for debate. The damage is done now. THEY could recover it.

      • Would you describe the increasing support for the SNP and Independence since the turn of the year as a sign of “damage”? I’d suggest that it views such as yours that describe the SNP HQ as going on walkabout that is damaging the unity of the Independence movement.

        The numbers do not lie and it is patently clear that support for Independence is UP and that su[pport for the SNP is UP. The so called damage you talk of is I’m afraid all in the imagination of a vocal minority and not anywhere near mainstream.

        When it comes to an Independence vote it’s numbers that count and so far HQ is doing a very good job of getting the support we need if we are to win. That is not going on “walkabout” but is getting on with the day job. Winning Independence involves an awful lot more than talking about it, you need to show to the sceptics that you are capable of handling the responsibilities that come with it.

        HQ is doing an excellent job in delivering that message, with less griping, the message could be even more successful. We should never undermine the message that the SNP can deliver Independence. That’s the job of Westminster, the MSM and their Unionist followers and not supporters of Independence.

        • I agree with you Alex. It will be a pity if the alignment of those who think it’s ok to be short sighted and unprincipled in pursuit of independence with those who oppose independence, slows down its achievement. Realistically we have to be sanguine about it. The alternative is that we get involved in arguments about it that are helpful to the Brits in our midst and that wouldn’t do.

          On the plus side, some of the public, seeing deliberately misguided elements in the Yes movement showing impatience at the rate of progress may themselves become impatient to get independence done. That wouldn’t be a bad outcome at a time when majority support for independence is the new normal.

  29. They have not damaged anyone. Quite the reverse they are keeping people alive.

    The SNP funded by their members have not gone walkabout anywhere, They are at the HQ controlling a pandemic, keeping people safe and defending the economy. In every way they can because they care,

    Absolutely brilliantly. First class and first rate. No matter what the ignorant, arrogant dissenters say. Cutting off their nose to spite their face. Unbelievable. Some of them would start a row in an empty room. Their own white noise. Vacant coupons,

  30. Johnston and his unelected cronies are illegally handing out unscrutinised Gov contracts to their associates. They are stealing £MillionBillions of public money. The reason they are in politics. They do not care. It is absolutely disgraceful.

  31. Raphael Behr’s point about the blurring of Party & State seems to be correct. George Kerevan in Conter makes much the same point and we will all find out since it is something the parliamentary Inquiry into the Salmond Affair is looking into that very question as part of it.

    So don’t be too quick to dismiss that one just because you don’t like the messenger.

  32. “Eventually something will have to give, and the unionism of the Conservatives in England is fragile and hollow – much to the terror of their colleagues in Scotland. Half of Conservative voters in England would prefer an England divested of its troublesome Celtic appendages.”

    I agree with this. The thought of being stabbed in the back by their own colleagues in England would have been unthinkable to the Scottish Tories in 2014. But that fear must now be very real, especially after Boris Johnson threw the Democratic Unionist Party under the Brexit bus by agreeing to a customs and regulatory border in the Irish Sea last October. Only months earlier, he had actually stood at the DUP’s annual conference and openly declared that he would never do such a thing…… He clearly wasn’t that bothered about the effects on the Union there, and neither was Dominic Cummings. Cummings is basically an angry, rebellious, power-hungry English aristocrat whose family has an estate in Durham, and I strongly suspect that he was behind Johnson’s betrayal of the DUP.

    Brutal House of Commons arithmetic now comes into play as well. In a Tory majority of 78 (now that Julian Lewis has been expelled for outsmarting Cummings and Johnson by snatching the Intelligence and Security Committee chairmanship from under Failing Grayling’s nose, with the help of all 4 opposition party MPs on the committee), the Scottish Tories’ 6 MPs are not that important. Johnson could easily survive without them…… Johnson simply does not have much to lose in the Commons by losing Scotland, in fact it he would gain almost total control of the Commons as the loss of the 59 Scottish seats would tip the balance firmly towards the Tories, as Labour would really struggle to make up the difference in numbers. These facts must be in Jackson Carlaw’s mind, as they further increase the risk of a Johnson betrayal over a Section 30 Order.

    It is surely only a matter of time before the idea of jettisoning Scotland from the Union, due to this cold, hard electoral math and the growing English nationalist sentiment among English Tory supporters, begins to gain traction among English Tory MPs. At some point, someone may run for the Tory party leadership promising to grant a Section 30 order feeling that it may make them popular among Tory party members and MPs. At that point, if it hasn’t already happened, the fuse on the Union’s break-up will be lit.

    Perhaps this is why the Scottish Tory MPs and MSPs are being so publicly supine and compliant towards Johnson and his Brexit agenda, they hate what he is doing but are now so scared of being betrayed by him that they dare not rock the boat by showing any opposition? Jackson Carlaw must be dreading next year’s Scottish Parliament Election campaign, especially the TV debates, because he will have to stand there and try to defend Boris Johnson, especially his bungled handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, despite surely knowing that he is going to get torn apart by Sturgeon, whose record on that topic speaks for itself. If he doesn’t, Cummings may well suggest to Johnson that:

    “Look Boris, we don’t need Scotland to control England, in fact we ‘d have more power without them. The members want rid of them, we can use that to get that power. So, give them their referendum and we can at last get shot of Scotland?”

    And there would be nothing that the Scottish Tories could do. Their MPs would simply be outvoted in the Commons, they would likely lose the resulting referendum, and be forced to either move down South or accept defeat and lose their UK citizenship.

    And, I say all of this as a former Unionist, who actually campaigned for the Scottish Tories in the Dumfries and Galloway and Galloway and West Dumfries constituencies in 2015 and 2016. I have since been enraged by the forced loss of my EU citizenship, and beyond disgusted by the lying, cheating, and corruption on display as the Tories turn themselves into a Hard-Right, English Nationalist party. I now firmly believe that we must escape from the threat of being used as collateral damage in future Tory Party civil wars (the direct cause of Brexit) by returning to Europe as an Independent Country. We have no other choice.

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