The biggest risk to indy is our own impatience

Support for independence within Scotland has never been stronger. Support for the so-called Union has never been weaker. Yes is now regularly in a majority in opinion polls, and the SNP looks set to achieve a majority in the Scottish Parliament next year. Yet despite this there’s a significant body of pro-indy opinion, especially online, which is determined to split the pro-independence vote into a myriad of minor parties, each of which claims that it’s their brand spanking new party which is the one which is most deserving of list votes from independence supporters. The news that Yes is at 54% in the polls is received with moans, complaints, and despair – from independence supporters who complain that there has not been sufficient progress to our goal.

This week has seen the launch of a second new pro-independence party to contest for seats in the regional list vote in next year’s Scottish elections. The Alliance for Independence now joins the Independence for Scotland Party as a contender for pro-indy voters who have become frustrated at what they see as a lack of progress from the SNP in getting us to a referendum. There are credible reports that there could be yet other new pro-indy parties which will launch before the Holyrood elections next year. I am told that there is at least one other proposal for a new party which hopes to launch later this year. That would take us to three, and there may be more. The fact that there are multiple pro-indy parties on the list means that the plan mooted by certain independence supporters to maximise the number of pro-indy list MSPs has already failed.

The strategy for a new party which could theoretically hoover up the list votes of disenchanted independence supporters could only ever have worked under a very narrow and strictly defined set of conditions. Those conditions have not been met. Firstly, and most importantly, for the plan to work there could only be one new pro-indy party on the list which would then be in a position to benefit from the votes of all those independence supporters who are frustrated with the SNP. Yet we already have two such parties, and could yet see more popping up before the elections are due in May next year.

Which of these new parties are independence supporters supposed to lend their votes to? With multiple new pro-indy parties all that’s going to happen is that the votes of independence supporters who are frustrated at what they see as a lack of progress are going to be split between these different new parties, ensuring that none of them reach the threshold necessary to get an MSP elected and allowing a British nationalist candidate to come in through the middle. That’s a British nationalist MSP who would not otherwise have been elected.

The second important condition that has not been met is that any new party – and it could only be one new party for the reasons already given – would have to be led by a figure of national importance. Only someone with the stature of Alex Salmond would have any chance at all of launching a new party from a standing start and taking it to the position of electability. Yet he has shown no indication that he’s interested in doing so.

Alex Salmond is deeply unhappy with certain individuals within the SNP, but he has spent his life working for the party and he knows that the SNP is about a whole lot more than just him or Nicola Sturgeon. He’s not going to betray all those people within the SNP that have never lost faith in him just in order to stick the knife into the current leadership. Were he to do so he’d be placing his own personal grievances above the good of the party and what’s good for the independence movement as a whole. That’s precisely what Nicola Sturgeon’s critics have accused her of doing, yet some of them apparently want Alex Salmond to do exactly the same thing. That’s hardly the route to the moral high ground, and Alex knows that too.

For Alex Salmond to turn on the SNP would be an exercise in ego that many of his supporters would never forgive him for. It would spark off media reports of ‘war’ within the independence movement, and we’d be seen as being divided amongst ourselves. The British nationalist press in Scotland would have a field day. That’s not the way to attract the undecided voters and soft noes and yesses that we need in order to win our independence. Alex Salmond is a great political strategist, and he understands the message that a divided independence movement would send out. That’s why I don’t believe it’s a step he’d be willing to take. He is more principled than that.

Those who most loudly call for a new party for the list do so because they assert that the British Government will never agree to a Section 30 order. Which raises the question why they think a different pro-indy party would be any more successful. Boris Johnson is just as likely to say no to the ISP or the Alliance for Independence as he is to the SNP. However this assumes that the British Government is a monolithic bloc which is utterly opposed to the exercise of Scottish democracy for now and forever. That is not true. The Tories want you to believe that they’ll never concede to Scottish independence, and by taking them at their word you are both giving in to them and conceding that a British Government does indeed have the right to veto Scottish self-determination.

We have now seen two opinion polls which show that a majority of Conservative supporters in England would prefer English independence. They want to see the back of Scotland – along with Wales and Northern Ireland – because they regard us as a drain on their resources and a roadblock on the way to their mythical bunting bedecked sunny uplands of Brexit. That means that there is a large and significant bloc of opinion within the Conservatives in England which is not in love with the preciousssss union. It means that opposition to Scottish independence within the English Conservatives is hollow and fragile.

The Conservative party is not led by formibile political giants, but rather by cheap and shallow opportunists. Faced with a Scottish Government newly elected with a strong majority on a mandate for another referendum, a Scottish Government which is determined to use every legal and lawful means at its disposal to be a thorn in his Brexit side, Boris Johnson is quite likely to consider a gamble on another independence referendum. Either the independence movement loses, in which case Johnson can pose as the Saviour of the Union, or we win, in which case Johnson knows that he has secured his position as the champion of England. From his perspective it’s a win win. That’s why a concerted and determined push for another referendum from Scotland has a very good chance in succeeding.

However it can only succeed if the Scottish Government has the moral and political capital to imply that independence can be pursued by other means than a Section 30 order. Despite the complaints of parts of the independence movement, it doesn’t have that political and moral capital just now and it won’t do until after it wins a large majority at the next Scottish elections. The likes of you and I are not the people who need to be persuaded of the legitimacy of an alternative strategy to a Section 30 order. It’s the likes of my dad – an 83 year old lifelong Labour voter. It’s the likes of someone who is currently undecided about independence. It’s the likes of a soft yes supporter who is concerned that independence must be obtained constitutionally and lawfully. It’s not people like me who would crawl over broken glass to vote yes in a consultative referendum organised without a Section 30 order.

There is genuine despair in Scottish politics. It’s on the part of British nationalists who have no idea how to prevent the rising tide of support for independence and the growing disenchantment with the British state. Their despair is existential, the despair among independence supporters is frustration that things have not moved sufficiently quickly for their liking. That’s what we need to watch out for, because right now the biggest threat to independence is not anything that the British nationalists or the British state is doing – it’s what is going on within the independence movement itself. We risk being undone by our own impatience.

Right now we are all trusting Nicola Sturgeon with our lives as Scotland faces a global epidemic. We can trust her with our political future as well.

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230 thoughts on “The biggest risk to indy is our own impatience

    • Thank God you’re on our side, Paul. I, for one, don’t know what we’d do without you, especially right now.

    • Looks to me you might have missed this?

      Westminster is getting its indyref retaliation in first.

      Referendum Criteria Act 2020.
      1st reading 8th January 2020

      Indyref#2 must get over a 60% hurdle to be accepted, needing 55% on the voters roll to turn out to vote.

      Unionists, the sick, folk out of the country, the dead, could choose to boycot and the proposition could fall.

      Deja Vu all over again – Devo#79 !

    • I have read and listened to the arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’ so far, and just now I have a completely open mind and the debate will continue probably right up to next May and then I will assess the benefits and risks and decide.
      Last time I voted SNP 1 Greens 2 and like many I feel disappointed with the Greens.

      I will keep reading and listening till next May because a lot could happen between now and then and I can’t see the point people digging their heels in one way or another just now.

  1. Thats all very well but you dont need me to tell you that if a ref is not delivered after two years of being handed yet another election victory, the movement will quite rightly call for the heads of the current leadership.

    Time isnt running out for the movement or for the indy dream but it sure as shoot is for Sturgeon and Murrell.

    Its their last chance to deliver.

    One last thing, you talk about lending votes. Remember most of the movement have been ‘lending’ their vote to the SNP for over a decade now. The want a return for their ‘faith’.

    • “One last thing, you talk about lending votes. Remember most of the movement have been ‘lending’ their vote to the SNP for over a decade now. The want a return for their ‘faith’”.

      Indeed, there are some which will vote Labour, Tory or Lib Dem AFTER independence… ONCE they have become independent Scottish political parties (dare I say National parties), and that’s probably as it should be. Thing is, what’s the “cunning plan” the new parties have that will work?

      Scotland is one of the founding states of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and has a shared constitution with the the other founding state England. That constitution does not allow a referendum on constitutional change to be rerun within seven years. Please don’t tell me UDI and international law and all those hysterics… and that my friend is just your “starter for ten”; to quote that other challenge?

      • ” That constitution does not allow a referendum on constitutional change to be rerun within seven years. ”

        Really? Where is that stated?

        I know the Good Friday Agreement stipulates 7 years for referendums on re-uniting Ireland, but I was not aware of any such for Scotland – surely the UK government would have been quoting this left right and centre instead of relying on dodgy references to “once in a generation”?

        • Exactly there.

          All Acts passed by Westminster are constitutional.

          TGFA holds no superiority over hospital parking charge legislation. Both are equally constitutional.

          There can be various laws throughout the UK, there can be only one constitution.

          Re dodgy references; it is clear that both sides are keeping their powder dry.

      • There is no constitution, there are new laws, but laws in Scotland before the treaty remain with Scotland, the laws in England before the treaty
        remain with England, therefore the SCOTTISH people are sovereign, the ENGLISH parliament is sovereign.

        • “There is no constitution”… sorry but there is. It is not a ‘written one’, yet it covers volumes and volumes of laws, case laws, procedures and precedents etc. It is why we have constitutional law.

          Scottish Courts can set a precedent in England, and vice versa. This is because, although separate, in both jurisdictions they are competent courts.

          There is a case passing through the Scottish courts at the moment on whether or not Holyrood can legislate for a referendum without a s30 order. The outcome will be binding in English law too.

          I predicted these hysterics.

      • @ Shagpile.

        I dont know you well enough to call you a friend yet… can we just be acquaintances until we know each other better?

        UDI? Did i mention UDI? I think you may have me confused with a whole other body.

        My point is if we do continued to support just the SNP forsaking all others then the price of that ‘faith’ has to be paid by the leadership.

        And if my maths isnt too rusty, next year will mark the 7th anniversary of indy ref 1.

        Personally, i have always saw the merit in evening the odds by having more than just the one established pro indy party. For years i advocated using our second vote for the Greens in order to install an opposition in Holyrood at least open to the idea of indy but alas, the Greens simply do not have that broad appeal. That and the fact that the nouveau SNP voters will always do just exactly as they are instructed put paid to that grand plan. Its no great surprise really when the majority of that nouveau independentistas came from the labour voting block.

        I still see the merit in the idea of installing a pro indy opposition to the SNP but alas, every blogger and commentator seems hell bent in shuffling for favour in the court of the Murrells or else are busy competing for dominance among the new pretenders.

        Its all now a class A clusterfukc of confusion and obfuscation inflamed by petty opinion, primed by massive ego and ignited by the general ignorance that even the muddied waters of what passes these days for political debate cant hope to extinguish.

        I fear we are fukked.

    • Sturgeon and Murrell? You mean Nicola Sturgeon the First Minister of Scotland. When you read posts like this it makes you realise why it’s no wonder Westminster treats Scotland like sh*t.

    • These days, I quickly discount any posting that contains the word “Murrell”. It’s an easy “tell”.

      • And i quickly discount any fan boy or girl post as they are blinded by faith and sickly sycophantic.
        A lack of critical questioning is also a ‘tell’.

  2. Thank you Paul for once again saying exactly what needed to be said.

    What are so many indy supporters thinking of just now? When we are looking set to achieve what many of us have dreamt of for years, they seem to be trying their best to scupper it.

    Nicola has been playing a blinder and continues to do so, but needs all the support the movement can give, whether SNP voters or not.

    • Could not agree more, Ann. I get quite impatient and angry with supposed Indy supporters rattling the cage over often petty grievances and, from my observations, few of those come from people like myself who have been working for Independence for many decades. Many appear to have their own agenda for the cage rattling. Eyes on the prize! Independence! At this stage … NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.

    • Scotland historically has been its own worst enemy. I sometimes fear that division and treason are somehow built into Scottish collective identity. How can you be a „proud Scot“ if your nation specialises in glorious defeat and ultimate submission?

      Let’s break the pattern. I think Paul‘s advice and analysis are, as so often, wise.

      • The Large partener in the Union does not want the Independence movement to succeed. The best tried and tested method to disrupt the Independence movement is to sow division.

  3. “Right now we are all trusting Nicola Sturgeon with our lives as Scotland faces a global epidemic. We can trust her with our political future as well.”
    That’s just the problem Paul. I no longer trust her when it comes to independence. Especially not after her comments last weekend. If independence isn’t the priority then what’s the point?

        • Fighting on behalf of the 62% of Scots who voted to remain in the EU, James.

          And let’s not forget that Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP didn’t ask for Brexit or the coronavisus crisis, but have had to deal with these all consuming issues. Dealing with them in such a way, no doubt, as to see support for Independence rising.

          • Yes – but NS lost that fight. And she lost it the moment the SNP MPs in Westminster were instructed to vote for the GE in December 2019. Let’s not forget – the SNP and the LibDems were the only ones in the opposition who wanted the snap election ASAP. Labour had to go with them only because it was both of the parties that wanted it. And Sturgeon only wanted the snap election because it was before the Salmon trials.
            Now imagine a different scenario. The SNP stood with Labour in Westminster and there was no GE in 2019. Coronavirus crisis started in March and the next possible dates for GE would’ve been in September 2020. We’d still be in the EU now. Johnson’d be on his way out after the way he handled the coronavirus. If Labour wanted the SNP’s support, there’d be conditions attached.
            Plausible scenario, but it it was blown by rushing into the snap election in December. And who even remembers the Salmond trial now? So – she played a very bad game there.

  4. Well said as always Paul, and so true. I get so pissed off when I see the anti- SNP/PRESIDENT STURGEON/HOLYROOD comments on some posts from fellow Indy supporters. Just like our Alex Salmon, Nicola Sturgeon is not only an excellent lawyer, but a 1st class politician and stratagist. And we Joe Public don’t ken what cards r being played by Holyrood & d SNP & d GREENS behind closed doors, while publicly working hard to save Scottish lives. We do need tae trust in dem knowing what they’re doing, they’ve seen us through display pandemic pretty feckin well so far ✊👊✌💙💚💛❤💙

  5. There clearly needs to be a firm spirit of solidarity within the Indy movement, something that needs to transcend narrow party lines. The electoral system for Holyrood is so contrived that the better the SNP does on the constituency vote, the more the value of its list vote is diluted. But the system works against any single _party_ gaining a large majority of seats, not any single _movement_ or ideology, e.g. Scottish independence.

    So the logical way around this ‘fix’ is to have a single Indy party, logically the established SNP, stand in all constituencies, with a separate single pro-indy party standing on the list in each region. There may be more than one, the important point being that they agree not to compete with one another in any given region. Only then can we beat the rigged system we’re stuck with.

    For a full explanation see here :

    It takes a little effort to properly get yer heid around it all, but I think it’s worth the effort. With WM poised for a power grab against the devolved administrations post-Brexit there is no time at all to waste!

    • As JSM says, the system isn’t ‘fixed’, unless you have a problem with the fact we get MSPs in roughly the proportion the parties are voted for. That outcome is normal across Europe. If you want an example of a ‘fixed’ system, it is the unusual one used for Westminster elections, where the Conservatives have an 80 seat majority on c.40% of the vote.

      If you don’t like the SNP and want another party to vote for, fair enough. But I honestly don’t think the system is the issue.

      • The problem I seem to be seeing in comments, both here and elsewhere, is a failure to distinguish between a party and the broader cause. I have nothing against the SNP, but for that final push, while there’s still a chance, they need the assistance of a second pro-Indy party to gain list seats, since if the SNP do anything like as well as expected in the constituences, any votes for them on the list will be near worthless. Please spend a few minutes looking at the figures and argument in the link I gave. Surely Scottish independence is bigger and broader than any one political party? Don’t be confused by those who are painting this as a split within the movement, just when solidarity and co-operation is most needed.

    • So you are guaranteeing that the SNP will win Ayr, D&G and Border constituency seats. The list vote for SNP is absolutely essential in the South region as it has been in every Holyrood election since the Parliament came into being.

      • The arithmetic may indeed be different in a few areas, but what does it matter which particular pro-Indy party gains the list seats, why are you so fixated on the SNP per se, as opposed to the goal of independence? The important point is just one pro-indy party needs to stand on each regional list. If the SNP expect a poor fptp vote, then let them stand, but let another party take their place in regions where they expect a good showing in the constitiuances.

    • Yes, I think people are assuming that every list party will stand in every region. How many will be able to afford that and have enough feet on the ground to do that? We need to be doing things now to promote independence rather than chewing over what might or might not happen in the next Holyrood election. Personally I’m just hoping to make it through the winter.

    • thats all very well but the issue is here is vote share. The system is designed to ensure no one party can dominate the list. Not even the SNP with its current list vote can do it. So the simple truth is that unless this single Independence party can match the SNP list vote for list vote, all you are going to do is take the list seats the SNP currently have. The result is a weak pro independence minority coalition with the unionist parties still holding their current list seats. To gain a pro independence majority will require that this single List party to have a list vote of its own. For example if the SNP had a 100k on the list and there is say 8 list seats, depending on the raw list vote share of the three unionist parties, the SNP might take 3 or perhaps 4 – it won’t take all 8. Each seat up for grabs sees the raw list total divided by the number of seats won plus 1. So if your Indy party got all 100k on the list, then all it can take on the day is 3 perhaps 4, so even if you match it vote for vote, the D’Hondt system kicks in and maybe you win another 2 but you certainly would not win the whole list. So I hope you can see that if the Indy party is just relying on the SNPs list vote, you are not going to clean house.

      Your plan also require that all the other smaller parties stand down. The Greens and the SSP. If you can’t get them to stand down, then the “list” plan goes kaboom as the SNP raw list vote is split three ways and unionists end up taking more seats than last time. The nightmare scenario is that you end up with a Tory/Labour/Lib Dem coalition instead.

      The problem with this list plan is that support for indy is at 54%. To carry the constituency seats the SNP would need to capture all of that that on the day and perhaps carry more, say 60% plus. But we are not there yet. We need more votes and that means changing peoples minds. A pro Indy party would need to start chasing labours votes and floating voters who are undecided. You can’t just rely on the SNP list, you need the other party to bring something to the table as well, just like the unionist parties will do. Other wise all you are doing is robbing Peter to pay Paul.

      • Good points, thanks for the clarification. I confess that the system is hard for anyone to really get their heid around, so well done yersel. It seems to be intended to mislead and confuse voters while appearing to give fairer representation.

        • It certainly misleads and confuses voters to this day – 20 years on but it is primarily because people are too lazy to look at the official descriptions of how it works. Some people still think the second vote is your second choice.

          Reading some of the posts on independence websites it is clear to me that many who post on this site and others are confused as well.

  6. Unionists are not in despair. They know that Sturgeon has no real interest in achieving independence, but that even if she did they can simply keep saying “No” and she has no strategy to do anything about it. The fantasy that a few extra points on opinion polls will magically make indyref2 happen is for the credulously stupid and the cynically dishonest.

    You can write as many blogposts about how the Tories are bad and independence is inevitable as you like, and all the same people will still be reading them 20 years from now and convincing themselves that it’ll happen any minute, and it’ll be just as tragically delusional as it is now, but maybe it’ll still be enough to keep the donations coming in.

    The multiplicity of new list parties or prospective list parties is unfortunate, but makes no difference to anything – they have no more hope of succeeding than RISE or Solidarity did last time, but if a figure of real profile launches a party then they’ll do nothing to damage it either.

    If all you care about is the SNP being in charge of a devolved parliament slowly being stripped of its powers by Westminster, that’s absolutely fine. It’s a perfectly legitimate position to take. But be honest and say that’s what it is, because there’s no way on God’s green Earth that they’re taking us to independence under the current leadership, and if you think they are then you’re a bloody idiot.

      • I am afraid you are wrong on this one, Paul.

        Voting SNP/SNP resulted in a return of just 4 MSPs on the list, despite receiving around 950,000 votes. The Tories secured 24 MSPs with around 500,000 votes.

        SNP 1 and 2 merely allows the likes of Fraser, Tompkins, Wells etc a seat in the Scottish Parliament.

        Wings Over Scotland has analyzed this perfectly, you have not.

        Nicola Sturgeon’s strategy of hoping that Johnston grants a referendum out of the kindness of his heart, is doomed to fail. Johnston will still say ‘No’ in 2021. No PM can remain in office if they preside over the break-up of the UK.

        2021 will deliver yet another mandate for the SNP to do nothing with.

        ‘Vote for us in 2021 and we will ensure Scotland’ s future is in Scotland’s hands. No, we really mean it this time, we promise.’

        The boy that cried wolf, springs to mind.

        • Yeah he analysed it correctly in 2016 when it was RISE and their supporters who were arguing about gaming the list vote. The arguments haven’t changed just because he’s now developed a personal animus against the SNP.

          The strategy I am arguing for here is categorically NOT hoping that Johnson grants a referendum out of the kindness of his heart. If you think that’s what I said I suggest you read the piece again. The strategy is to maneouvre him into a referendum because the consequences of not agreeing to one will be worse for him. The SNP cannot achieve that just now because – despite what sections of the independence movement want to believe – they do not currently have the moral or political capital to do so.

          • We will agree to disagree. I still love you, though.

            keep up the good work and stay safe.

          • If ALL SNP voters and even all naturally Green voters had listened to the SNP 1 & 2 argument in 2016, the SNP would have had a majority, of ONE. A heart attack or enforced resignation away from pro-indy losing control.

            We indeed did have one enforced resignation. And rest assured if the majority had been only one, the despicable SMSM would have bust a gut to try to force more resignations.

            Luckily for us in the indy movement, enough ‘rebel’ SNP 1 voters voted Green 2 to return enough Green MSPs to ensure a cushion for pro-indy which was, just about, enough to allay that.

      • So what have you preached in the past… don’t attack each other… or words to that effect.

        Bravo, someone gives an opinion, just like your blog, but because he doesn’t agree with you you resort to verbal abuse.

        Shame on you, I thought you were better than that, obviously I was wrong.

        • The individual is a British nationalist troll who has attempted to infest this site on several previous occasions using various user names. I don’t debate with British nationalist trolls.

      • It’s part of a pattern I spotted: there’s a few accounts on social media and blogs that keep feeding the same 2-3 arguments into the discussion (1. no SNP interest in independence, 2. ‘No Plan B’, 3. Trans rights) because they know it causes divisive discussion.

        It’s the same pattern as Cambridge Analytica in the runup to Brexit.

        (Note, just like CA, not every account bringing up these arguments is a deliberate shit-stirrer, but the point about the fake accounts is to keep this shit alive)

    • Excellent analysis.

      I suspect, if Sturgeon had led the ancient Hebrews she wouldn’t have got to the promised land because she wouldn’t have crossed the red sea without the legal authority of the administrative power to do so and in any event would be too worried that she might get her feet wet.

      • As I pointed out above to someone else – you’re agreeing with a British nationalist troll.

        If your view of independence is in agreement with one of Scotland in Union’s frothers, it might just be that it’s you who’s doing this independence thing wrong.

  7. You can understand the fustrated anger at Westminsters English conservative government just willy nilly doing whatever they please ignoring us and going ahead with there brexit while there own citizens are dying from covid and not taking any responsibility for any of it we in Scotland didnt want brexit but the English conservative government didnt care we rejected the conservatives and still it didnt matter what we said at ballot that has to stop hence the impatientness of many in the independence movement.

  8. What I can’t work out is who is going to campaign for these other parties, what are they going to say to people, what will be in their manifesto, when there are several different parties?
    There are those who are actively against the SNP, who said they would not want Scotland to be independent if the SNP are the government or main party, that’s what Wings said. How would you sell that?
    There are those on twitter who only complain about the SNP and some of the policies they have, how would that be sold?
    Prof John Robertson said he was starting a new party with the acronym, SNAFFU, I like that.

    • “There are those who are actively against the SNP, who said they would not want Scotland to be independent if the SNP are the government or main party”

      Then those people don’t want independence. First thing is independence, then vote for the party you want in government. Only with independence do you have a chance of getting the party you vote for.

    • And what I can’t work out is why Mr Campbell has mentioned new (list) parties with not a dicky-bird about his own. Is that going ahead now or was it just a suggestion that he (or more so someone else) knew full well would lead to this divisory fiasco? The next move will be a shift from a new list party to a new party fighting for constituency votes.

      James Kelly (and Paul) is spot on when he points out that, ”Mr Thompson (Alliance for Independence) is just adding to the collection of very small parties who will be scrapping over the small number of people who want to vote “tactically”. The more of those parties there are, the more distant are the hopes that any of them will win even one seat.”

      And then again we have no idea who most of the people involved in the ”pop-up-parties” are at all. Will we find that as they pop their heads above the parapet the MSM will be digging dirt on them and preparing to tear them to shreds, in effect creating havoc in the lead up to the election / Indyref2.

      To be honest I don’t know why we don’t just stick with the SNP and Greens and following Independence have our say on issues such as the GRA.

      • The MSM WON’T be digging dirt up on the Pop up independence parties. The MSM will want a lot of these parties to pop up, dividing the Independence List vote

  9. If the SNP/SG was to show some fight, action not words, the internal arguments would disappear in a second.

    • I 100% agree with that, all the internal arguments, are though lack of action from the SNP, and sheer frustration from the people/voters.

      • Most of the internal arguments are due to certain individuals doing their utmost to turn everyone against Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP. Lack of action right now is due to the coronavirus crisis. If Nicola Sturgeon attempted to put Indyref2 in the mix, currently, support for Independence would if not plummet at least drop significantly, imo

  10. Fully agree that the No camp are in the depths of despair.
    The Telegraph and the Scotsman both defaced their front pages this morning with a sphincter clenching photy of Jackson Carlaw in a mask holding a pint of lager. Carlaw is now, officially the new “Saviour of the Union” ™. We’re home at a canter folks.
    Not being an expert on all things Carlaw, has he taken to dying his hair straw yellow?
    When the latest 54% poll was being debated on the John Beattie show the other day, the “two Blairs” were slated to appear. In the event, Blair MacDougal failed to trap at the last moment and his place was taken by some economist bloke from the No campaign. The economist bloke was utterly despondent about the prospect of a second Indy Ref. When the theory that the recent uptick in support for Indy could be attributed to Nicola’s performance in the Covid, daily briefings in contrast to the omnishambles in London, his reply was; “… that’s not a very high bar to clear.”

  11. I agree totally, but if someone doesn’t get a grip of all these splinter groups/parties we will loose.

    We are now subjected to daily whole page adds In the press from some organisation that identifies itself as UK Government Scotland whoever they are?

  12. I find the actors using the former FMs name as an implied suggestion that he either intends to lead and or supports the actions of alternative parties despicable and dishonest, these people are using the former FMs current position and silence as their own personal activist strategy, while they (nod wink wink) in their deception of anxious voters hastily looking for instant Independence, or are they?

    I have seen no evidence whatsoever presented by anyone of any authority on these matters proving that this list strategy works except by the actors who demand that votes be transferred to them from the original party of Independence thereby reducing the power of that party in order to empower a *maybe if we’re lucky and the people trust us party*

    The Internet is choc full of folk pretending to be Independence supporters right now all resigning on a daily basis from the SNP because *I hate Nicola Sturgeon because sumdy said* might I suggest these folk who insist they know stuff the rest of us don’t know but can’t tell because, might not be as pro Independence as you think they are, or they may have an entire other agenda altogether, or they just enjoy ripping the P**h out of people because they’re just that sort of bad, or they’re being paid ££££ to do it

    I have no reason whatsoever to doubt or disbelieve Nicola Sturgeon over the matter of Independence and I don’t look to examine every word she says looking for *proof* that a word here or there proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that she’s an MI5 agent of the nasties or the secret love child of Boris Johnson, it’s all cr*p made up by those who have another purpose to discredit her

    They accuse the FM of being comfortable in her position, are these people insane? the FM has been working in the SNP for 35 years if she’d just wanted an easy job for life she could have joined Labour for God sake, funnily enough a party from where most of her detractors seem to have originated, maybe there’s a lesson in that

    What are the numbers for every other political leader in the British Isles, So Aye right we’ll just dump the best one then eh, because we’re just that daft

  13. Pingback: The biggest risk to indy is our own impatience | speymouth

  14. The SNP got 149,281 more overall votes and a higher percentage in 2016 (55.8%) than in 2011 (50.5%), but lost 6 seats and it’s majority. Hard to ignore.

  15. A wonderful take on the subject Paul and the others comments.
    Try the ‘Life of Brian’ review.
    The People’s front of *******
    The Popular front of *******
    The ****** front
    The ****** rear
    And still the Romans ruled.
    If these proposed List parties contest only limited areas it may well work.

    The big problem is that we have a large number of incomers with the englandland take.
    Yesterday two Osprey chicks were named , Vera and Tom.
    I used to listen to the Radio Scotland outdoors programme on a Saturday morning on my way to work, used to enjoy hearing about things happening in Scotland. Why did I give it up?, more and more ‘Experts’ running things had either the cringe or a very southern uk accent. I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t have them but I’m pretty certain that we have local heroes.
    The old electricity board, SSEB, internally was ‘Social Security for english’, fill in the rest.
    Come on All Under ONE Banner, for indy, then we can sort out our Nation.
    Thanks Paul.

  16. If the ISP have a website, I canna fund it. The AfI have a Facebook page but I dinna dae Facebook (isn’t it for the auld yins anyway?). My guess is that neither of these entities are committed enough to end up as serious contenders. Perhaps someone “serious” will come along and monopolise the “offer” or sign up to the AfI banner with enough clout to make it a genuine “alliance”.
    Earlier this year Craig Murray on his blog (can’t remember the specific post) stated that regarding Holyrood 2021, he’d be “standing one way or another”. Big fan of Craig but can’t help thinking his talents would be wasted as a list MSP. On Foreign policy Craig would be a major tour de force in Westminster (and an anti-Atlanticist one to boot) and that’s why folks he wasn’t selected by the feart herts in Bute House.

  17. I was certainly considering giving my vote to an Indy List Party but ONLY if there was just ONE new List party led by someone like Salmond. That we have all these pop-ups all over the place is a BIG turn-off and, as such, my List vote will, once more, be given to the SNP.

    But those who shout it’s a wasted vote are actually wrong. I’ve taken some time to look into the realities of this and have gone from being a strong supporter and advocate of a 2nd Indy List Party to SNP 1 & 2. Here’s why I changed my mind.

    In SE2016 the SNP lost 12 List seats (and their HR majority with them) because its % of the List vote fell by just 2.3% (from the SE2011 result). Now, if the SNP can recover that lost 2.3% of the List vote or more (and it presently looks like it will), then they will win back those 12 lost List seats (and possibly more). Along with their Constituency seats SNP will then have a MASSIVE majority in Holyrood.

    So, rather than splitting the List Vote at this crucial juncture, we should, in fact, be consolidating it to win back that 2.3% vote to win back those 12 List seats we lost in 2016. We can ONLY do that with every shoulder to the boulder and vote SNP 1 & 2.

    This is no time for splitters.

  18. Funny that people seem to be throwing accusations of “MI5 plant” at Nicola.

    If I was an MI5 agent tasked with pulling a Trojan Horse gambit and destroying the independence campaign from within, the method I’d choose would be the same one used on the SSP and similar parties.
    Cause them to disintegrate and fracture into a mess of separate groups, all too busy fighting each other to be a threat any more. Job done.

    Not saying there are MI5 agents around. (For those who’ll see this and immediately scream “conspiracy theorist!!!”) Just doing a spot of ‘non-conspiracy theorising’…
    In fact, let’s look at it the other way, maybe MI5 don’t really exist. Maybe just the paranoia about the potential existence of such an organisation causes enemies of the establishment to panic and turn on each other. We’re our own agent provocateurs…
    Friend of mine had a similar take on religion. Personally, I don’t know… Just saying, WGD has a point here. It would be a truly epic historical act of stupidity to turn around and attack ourselves just when we’ve got our real enemy running scared.

    Eyes on the prize folks. Feel free to try to steal the spotlight once we’re independent, not before!

    • ..”If I was an MI5 agent tasked with pulling a Trojan Horse gambit and destroying the independence campaign from within, the method I’d choose..”..

      Would be to target someone who owns an extremely influential so-called pro-independence site.

      • I don’t think it’s true, but I’ve played with the idea of a Russian agent wanting to keep the UK weak. Easy enough: with Independence pulling just under 50% in 2014, push Independence. With Independence over 50%, push division in the Independence ranks. Either way you keep a divisive item of UK politics alive, just what Putin would want: keep the UK occupied with internal matters enough.

        Again, I don’t think it’s true. It’s just scary how well it tracks some folks behaviour online. A lot better than ‘Nicola Sturgeon is a UK government plant’.

  19. Oh dear we all just need to calm down .I am not a member of the SNP but voted yes in 2014 having left the Labour Party in disgust when they joined forces with the Tories . For goodness sake give Nicola Sturgeon a break . She is winning over many soft no voters due to her handling of Covid . As Brexit approaches support for English independence will likely increase so Paul is correct to say it could be a win win for Johnson . We cannot will independence but it is within our grasp but only if the yes movement stays united .

  20. Thank you for this Paul.
    I know I despair that we’ll ever get independence and I can see why frustration has led to others creating new parties.
    I will never vote for any of them – we need to consolidate the independence vote through the SNP and, for those who want a second party, the Greens.
    Those forming new parties are well-meaning (I’m sure) but are also a danger to the cause because they could split that second vote badly.
    We’re so nearly there – I beg these parties not to mess this up for all of us.

  21. I will be voting SNP 1&2. I trust Nicola Sturgeon but also know the British state are regally screwing things up and she is the best person to take advantage. The Brexit galactofuck will further increase support for independence. We are so close now and I am not splitting my vote in the hope that we get rid of a couple of Britnat numpties from the List. I have read the views of James Kelly of Scot Goes Pop and now Paul who both advise against splitting and these are people I know have our best interests at heart.

  22. In SE2016 SNP lost 2.3% from its SE2011 List vote. That 2.3% decrease in its List vote cost them 12 List seats in 2016.

    If SNP can recover that 2.3% of List votes then it will recover those 12 lost List seats taking it back up to 16 List seats (from its present 4). Along with the predicted near clean sweep of the Constituency seats, this will mean the SNP will have a MAHOOSIVE and unassailable majority in SE2021.

    Now is actually the time to GET BEHIND the SNP on the List vote to get its List vote back up to 44% and those 16 (or more) List seats.

    I won’t be giving my vote to any of the unknown splinter pop-up List parties (and I hope you are reading this). You’re too wee and unknown and will be lucky to get 0.5 of 1% of the List vote IMO. That said, however, if Salmond DID decide to start a List Party I could very well be tempted to give him my List vote because I do have strong views about SNP’s GRA / Self-ID policies.

    That caveat aside, it has to be SNP 1 & 2. The pop-up List parties are just a distraction.

    • Just one last time, the better the SNP does in the constituencies the more their list vote is filleted, divided, diminished. That’s why they lost list seats in 2016, because they did so well in the fptp seats. So it needs one strong agreed non-SNP but pro-Indy party to stand on each list. Nothing need be split, but the SNP cannot beat the system alone, co-ordination and co-operation is called for, along with putting the cause of independence before any single party. Otherwise as in 2016, the movement could easily gain votes yet lose seats again. So don’t say you weren’t telt!

        • Here’s the key quote for those too lazy to go to the original post :

          “But this picture changes entirely in the 2016 election, an election in which more people voted SNP in both the constituency and in the regional list – and it lost 6 seats. Again, this happened due to a couple of factors; a change in voting behaviour and the effect of the D’Hondt formula in the regional list vote, and these are important to us when it comes to thinking about the May 2021 election. Following the 2014 independence referendum the collapse of Scottish Labour began, resulting in it losing some 116,200 votes in the constituency ballot and 87,550 in the regional list. With much of the unionist vote consolidating around the Conservative Party, the Tories gained votes; bringing them almost neck-and-neck with Labour in both ballots – thus considerably weakening both parties in the constituency vote and – owning to the gains of the SNP (6 more seats) – significantly strengthening them in the regional list vote.”

          “This 6 constituency increase for the SNP resulted in an absolute wipe out in the regional list. This time, rather than having fewer voters on the regional ballot than in the constituency, unionists voted tactically and migrated to the Conservative Party, and, given the working of the D’Hondt system, secured 24 seats with 22.9 percent of the vote. Labour won 21 with 19.1 percent of the vote, the Greens 6 with 6.6 percent of the vote, and the Liberal Democrats got 1 seat with 5.2 percent of the vote. But with a whopping 41.7 percent of the vote – 953,587 votes, the SNP won a paltry 4 regional list seats – 2 less than the Greens with their 150,426 regional list votes.”

      • I think legally a List party would not be allowed to coordinate a plan with SNP.
        I’m sure I read something about this on the electoral commission website however that does not mean it cannot be done a different way for example a call for tactical voting as was done by the better together organisation in the past but they were not a political party so didn’t break electoral commission rules

    • It seems that voting in Scotland isn’t taken too seriously (apart from Indyref 2014). Consistently lower voter turnout than for UK elections and even the Brexit ref turnout in Scotland was 2nd lowest in UK (NI was lower).

      Voter turnout % –

      Scotland election 2011 – 50.5%
      Indy ref 2014 – 84.6%
      UK election 2015 – Scotland 71.1%
      Scotland election 2016 – 55.6%
      Brexit ref 2016 – 72.2% (UK overall) – Scotland 67.2%
      UK election 2017 – Scotland 66.8%
      UK election 2019 – Scotland 68.1%

      Seems to be quite a large group of ‘Don’t Care’ missing voters in Scotland.

  23. Paul I agree with your sentiment but I must say I disagree with this:

    “Yet despite this there’s a significant body of pro-indy opinion, especially online, which is determined to split the pro-independence vote into a myriad of minor parties, each of which claims that it’s their brand spanking new party which is the one which is most deserving of list votes from independence supporters. “

    It is too general. I think the SNP is great, I think Nicola and Scotgov are doing a good job, I will vote SNP for the ftp vote. However where I live an SNP vote on list would be wasted due to our voting system. I was one of the 910,000 wasted list votes the last time.

    I will vote for an indy list party IF nothing changes to maximise Yes. However I do understand the risks. If we only had ISP there is no risk based on current polls. This according to the Business for Scotland survey wiped out a lot of Unionist seats, SNP have a good majority.

    I have enough savvy to see the risk. If we get say three indy list parties I will vote Green. A second vote SNP would still be wasted. I do not care if the SNP loose their current 4 list seats if it looks like we can get more than that in an indy list party/ greens.

    I can read the runes and will not be daft. Daft is SNP2 where I live.

  24. It appears to me that at least two of the people who are pushing the new party idea are inherently unstable characters. They have promoted themselves out of their depth and are incensed that their ludicrously inflated sense of their own importance is not accepted by lesser beings. I am reminded of a rapper who is similarly, and perhaps understandably, deluded but who is happy just to be a pretentious twat. All three are misfits who have proven to have no loyalty to anything except their belief in their exceptional judgement.

    But how dare I question the impeccable credentials of these people? Surely they have proven, beyond all reasonable doubt, their commitment to the cause and have nothing left to prove? No. They know full well the damage their actions could potentially cause to the pursuit of independence. Even if they believe that the SNP has been got at they could have avoided the ultimate exercise in stupidity in promoting the splitting of the independence vote. But they have apparently made their choice and some poor mutts have been drawn into backing them.

    Fortunately, the setting up of two other pro independence parties has spiked their guns. Maybe we should all set up a party each. Then again maybe it’s best just to have one big party. We could call it the SNP.

      • It’s telling that from my wee pen picture you know exactly who I mean. I won’t bother adding to their self promotion.

    • Got it in one Arthur. What many people seem to forget is that some individuals change their allegiance for all sorts of reasons, including being blackmailed and / or pocketing English gold. Craig Murray himself wrote about how Mugabe changed from being the ”good guy” to becoming a veritable monster over a ten year period.

  25. Agree there should only be one Indy list party: more would be divisive. Personally I’d only vote for one led by Alex Salmond, otherwise the Greens get my list vote. V interesting that so many English Tories claim to be not that fussed about the Union. Big Q for Boris is: How BrEnglish are the English and esp the English Tories?

    • One other indy party would be enough if people could understand why. If they could see what the d’Hondt vote really means. Most people are emotional and cannae dae arithmetic.

      • Why can’t people read the official description of the electoral system used for Holyrood on the official website. Why read other people’s interpretations. Make up your own mind based on the actual facts about the system. Are people just too lazy?

        I always voted Greens on the regional list to maximise the number of independence supporting MSPs as an SNP vote was unlikely to achieve an extra SNP MSP. Of course there are no guarantees on how overall votes will pan out in any election but it was my judgement. I don’t remember any of this wild hysteria that is now inflicting so many independence supporters that to not vote SNP in the constituency and the regional list is somehow helping the Britnats and makes you a traitor. A traitor that votes the SNP – really.

        The independence leaders – should be showing leadership but instead there is infighting. Yes that includes the bloggers as well as politicians. Independence seems to be secondary to egos and political careers just as polls are looking great.

        Instead of fighting each other they should be looking at how Westminster is trying to make it near impossible to win a referendum by raising the bar. They pockled the 1979 referendum and cheated the 2014 referendum with the Vow. The answer – put a clear mandate for independence in the SNP manifesto for the 2021 election.

        People relishing bloggers fighting each other does nothing for independence – not a good look.

        “We can trust her with our political future as well.” Paul, as a person whose opinion I respect I am glad to hear that you have never wavered in your believe.

  26. Two words why a new party might be needed to give the snp a wee kick up the arse ” Pete Wishart” need I say more, Alyn Smith would that add weight to the argument. I will reserve my judgement for nearer the time and I desperately want to vote snp 1 and 2 but if the manifesto is another spineless wash out then the list vote is going elsewhere. Its not the wider yes movement that needs our heads knocked together it’s the high heid yins at the snp that begins to look more and more like new Labour and we all know how that ended. Now really is the time to start being a bit more pro active simply seeking mandate after mandate is pissing people right off. People can be patient but the can’t stay cocked forever, at some point the trigger needs pressed

    • Unfortunately a few names spring to mind. The list party is now essential. The SNP can continue to display competent Government and display the day to day image of that role. However we need a band of MSP focused on the Independence cause making their voice heard daily. “A conscious for the comfortable.”

  27. There is no downside to a list Party. It just needs to be A Party and not half a dozen.

    Even a cursory review of how many Unionists crawl in on the list vote when a million votes are wasted is staggering.

    It cannot be that difficult to register a YES Party and to get behind one list of candidates. We just need ONE name with the clear support of the movement behind him/her to get this moving.

    • That’s not what we’re getting though is it. What we’re getting are god knows how many new parties all competing with one another to get nowhere fast. How exactly does that help us?

    • Yes, that’s what we need. One party for independence only on the list seats. Then we have a majority for an independence vote – if the SNP are still for independence.

  28. The desperation has spilled over already as those who would have us vote against the SNP name us, me as * SNP Ultra Loyalists* if we don’t, I also remember Willie Rennie calling supporters of the SNP a very similar name
    Hell mend them for their behaviour if any of this nonsense gains any traction and the SNP lose vote totals only for Professor John Curtice and others to point to graphs on the Telly showing a swing away from the SNP to *A.N. Other* party proving that the SNP and support for Independence is on the wane

    I say hell mend them but of course it’s exactly their ambition to achieve that outcome because of their obsessive Nicola Sturgeon hatred

    I’ll resist the urge to name call

  29. The only way to self determination is all of us together. People may disagree on the strategy and the roads taken and not taken, but NEVER forget we only win as a majority. We only win as friends.

    • Loads of SNP on the constituency votes and another indy party on the list votes. Maximise the indy votes – if the SNP is still indy.

      • You vote your conscience and use your common sense at any ballot. At least that’s what I do. Party politics I leave to party political folk.

  30. We had three alternative Independence parties to vote for in 2016, RISE, Solidarity and the Greens. The Greens were the only ones to win seats. Solidarity with leader Tommy Sheridan who has high personal support in the West of Scotland only managed to get 0.6% of the vote, RISE which was largely comprised of SSP candidates got 0.5% of the vote.

    I really don’t see why the ISP and AfI can be expected to win many more voters than those two parties did in 2016. In fact, some version of RISE and Solidarity may well be standing on the list next year too.

    I see the merit of having a list only Indy party in certain circumstances, mainly to ensure the Holyrood had an Independence supporting majority in the event that the SNP and Greens combined failed to do so. For this new party (singular) to actually win seats though it would need to persuade mainly SNP supporters to support them on the list since they are the largest block of Indy supporting voters. To me, that would require trust on the part of these voters that a new party would align themselves with much of the manifesto that the SNP pursue. If SNP voters thought that a new party opposed the SNP in many of their policies then I can’t see enough of them giving their support to get MSP elected for the new party.

    You can also work hard at getting trust but it is likely to take quite a long time due to limited exposure in the media, or you can have already established figures such as Alex Salmond who is already trusted and respected by many fronting and leading a new party.

    Barring that it will be very difficult to get support off the ground and any potential support is likely to be limited, just as it was in 2016 for Solidarity and RISE. I have nothing at all against new parties giving it a go, it’s likely though that I will be sticking with either the SNP or Greens for my list vote as the safer bet for getting a pro-Indy MSP elected.

    • What you really need is trust that the party on the list is for independence. If a party declared it would support independence and stood only on the list vote then the combination of Yes voters would surely form a total majority in the Scottish government.

      • Why in the name of goodness would I give my list vote to some wee diddy Indy party that was just created yesterday or a few weeks ago by some disgruntled wummin who did not get a job she was after in the Snp. All these wee Indy parties are a massive ego trip for certain people. As Paul pointed out gaming the system will not work. It did not work with Rise in 2016 with the list vote so why would it work next year. Having a party fronted by the sainted Alex Salmond will not work either and I like Alex but like Paul I don’t believe Alex Salmond would ever betray the Snp by creating a new Indy party. All this will merely fracture the Indy vote and give votes to Unionist parties. I think they are a lot of people in the Indy movement who really need to waken up and stop believing crap disemanated by certain other bloggers and of course unionists pretending to be Indy supporters. Personally I wouldnt even vote Green next time as I have been very disapponted in some of their voting choices in the parliament. It is interesting that there seems to be quite quite a lot of negative comments posted today from people who may be supporters of that other blogger

        • Not to be too cynical Eilidh but there is the added incentive of 80 to 90,000 pounds a year salary as an MSP that could entice some who were not so idealistic about throwing their hat in the ring. There was an interesting segment on the Aye Right Radio podcast today about the List parties which is really worth a watch. They were in agreement with Paul that the only chance of a List party having any success would be if it was fronted by a big hitter which as Paul says is not going to be Alex, who is unlikely to go against his own former party. In the discussion came up an interesting idea; what if there were to be a Labour for Indy party say fronted by Henry McLeish and Malcolm Chisholm, but the probability that they would be willing to do that is fairly negligible. It would seem that the only party in contention could be the Greens who have proved their worth regarding independence support for the SNP in the past.

      • Any idea of the background, opinions etc, of the people that will constitute such a list party, James? Do we know who they are barring one or two individuals? Or are we all going to be asked to ”trust” people that we know little about?

  31. You’re missing a fundamental point: Conservative voters and the Conservative government are two completely different things. The former would be quite content to see the back of Scotland, the latter would not. The treasury knows exactly how much Scotland is worth, and exactly how f****d England will be without it.

  32. One thing I’m confused on, approx 650,000 SNP votes didn’t deliver one SNP seat last Scottish Elections, so surely if Alex Salmond was standing for list seats only that wouldn’t be an attack on the SNP or current leader Nicola Sturgeon, surely something has to be done about those wasted votes?

    • “surely something has to be done about those wasted votes”

      In 2011 the SNP won an outright majority. The vote reached tipping point and “broke” the system. For broke you can also say reflected the democratic will. So yes, split the vote. It means the SNP are less likely to reach that tipping point.

        • Good article in your link Diane, but as I asked Cubby below… how do you KNOW which way with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY the constituency seat is going to go before you game your second vote AND which of the “splitters” is going to be the surest gamble?

          • I’ll spell it out for you Shagpile. You use your judgement and do your best to prevent more Britnats getting a seat. There is no absolute certainty – pretty dam obvious. But in my region it is odds on that a Regional list vote for the SNP will not get another SNP MSP – that was the case in 2016 and if the polls stay anywhere near the 54% at present then the odds are even higher in my region it will be a wasted vote.

            There is no elephant in the room – just an imaginary one.

          • “There is no elephant in the room – just an imaginary one”

            Denial! Weren’t you not just a few posts back accusing me of THE BIG LIE?

          • Shagpile , I have no idea what you are talking about. I am not aware I have ever used the term “THE BIG LIE ” as you suggest with anyone never mind recently with you.

      • Shagpile – I do try and resist the temptation to query most comments these days but – “The vote reached tipping point…” care to explain what this actually means?

        What vote reached this tipping point- the constituency vote or was it the regional list vote or was it both. The only tipping point I remember was a game show.

        Also ” broke the system” – not aware of the system breaking in any way but please clarify if you wish.

        • “Shagpile – I do try and resist the temptation to query most comments these days but – “The vote reached tipping point…” care to explain what this actually means”.

          In the article Diane linked to above, it is explained.

          “What vote reached this tipping point- the constituency vote or was it the regional list vote or was it both”.

          Again, as Diane’s link explains, it was a combination of both.

          “Also ” broke the system” – not aware of the system breaking in any way but please clarify if you wish”.

          Well, again, please read Diane’s link. Then reread my post which you replied to. What I wrote was: *The vote reached tipping point and “broke” the system. For broke you can also say reflected the democratic will*.

          Democratic will, being that of the Scottish electorate.

          So that is also me referring to Diane’s link too. A good article, yet where I disagree with the conclusion of the author is; due to the elephant in the room his article did not address is: UNLESS YOU KNOW THE OUTCOME OF THE CONSTITUENCY VOTE BEFORE HAND, YOU CAN NOT “GAME THE LIST VOTE” BY VOTING TACTICALLY FOR ANOTHER PARTY.

          It is clear to me you believe otherwise.

          But…. “but please clarify if you wish”.

          • Shagpile – there is no tipping point – the system just worked the way it is designed to work in 2011 based on the votes of the electorate.

            The system did not break – it worked the way it was designed.

            So why chose to describe it in this inaccurate fashion.

            ” It is clear to me you believe otherwise.” – that is your opinion. I refer you to my post below @2.13am for my personal explanation of how the system works for me. I do not believe I “game the system” I make a judgement. I do not believe I am tactical voting either or any of the other silly terms used. I am voting as I see fit to maximise the number of independence supporting MSPs. Without people like me voting for the Greens on the Regional list there may well not have been an independence majority in Holyrood but some people are happy to call us all sorts of names.

            PS – I had already read the article you refer me to prior to the link above being available.

          • “Shagpile – there is no tipping point – the system just worked the way it is designed to work in 2011 based on the votes of the electorate.

            The system did not break – it worked the way it was designed.

            So why chose to describe it in this inaccurate fashion”

            Like I wrote… “For broke you can also say reflected the democratic will”. And as clarified… “Democratic will, being that of the Scottish electorate”.

            An expression used in *fairly/common* terms to describe the SNP overall majority in 2011. The phrase was certainly not coined by myself. So, your point? BTW, you are not alone in reading other articles/blogs.

            ”I see fit to maximise the number of independence supporting MSPs….”.

            Fair enough, but we’re talking about gaming the system, I have not called you names. You also did not answer my question regarding the elephant in the room.

            If you are going to disagree with me that’s fine. But do it with an argument, not a straw man attack. Or… do you really believe I and others do not use personal judgment in casting our votes in an election?

          • Shagpile, I believe I did answer what you think is the elephant in the room in my posts below which I referred you to – did you read it?

            What Straw man did I put up?

            ” So your point?” Thought it was obvious but I’ll spell it out for you – they are inaccurate statements you are repeating. Commonly repeated statements do not make them accurate.

            With regards to use of terminology you use splitters in your post above at 9.45am.

            “There is no ABSOLUTE certainty about how constituency voting will go.” That seems a statement of the bleeding obvious. If there is a straw man then this is it that you have erected.

          • “What Straw man did I put up”?

            “The typical straw man argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent’s proposition through the covert replacement of it with a different proposition (i.e., “stand up a straw man”) and the subsequent refutation of that false argument (“knock down a straw man”) instead of the opponent’s proposition”. [From wikipedia]. By presenting “broke the system” as a concept I created, ignoring my own clarification in my original post.

            “Thought it was obvious but I’ll spell it out for you – they are inaccurate statements you are repeating. Commonly repeated statements do not make them accurate”…. Ah, “The Big Lie”.

            Well then, which is untrue?

            The proliferation if pro-indy candidates split the independence vote?

            [Now, as an aside, I believe laws passed in Holyrood regarding; anything you want really, GRA etc., can be enacted, repealed, considered for judicial review etc., can wait until an independent Scotland is established. As… they ultimately split the cause of independence. In the same way as whether or not an independent Scotland ought to be a republic or not. The constitution, the currency or whatever.]

            That without knowing in advance for certain the outcome of a constituency vote in advance, it is impossible to game the list vote?

            “With regards to use of terminology you use splitters in your post above at 9.45am”.

            Not an insult, an adjective. Does anyone who wishes to split the profits in a business venture insulting of his/her partner? And I do not recall using that word in a pejorative fashion regarding yourself. Or am I not permitted an opinion on that anyway?

            “There is no ABSOLUTE certainty about how constituency voting will go.” That seems a statement of the bleeding obvious”.

            It is isn’t it, yet there are some who ignore that fact. Like the author in Diane’s link above. Would you agree? Obvious ain’t it!

            “If there is a straw man then this is it that you have erected”.

            Making a strawman out of the “bleeding obvious”? Are you serious?

          • “I refer you to my post below @2.13am for my personal explanation of how the system works for me”.

            Indeed, the system worked for you. You helped elect a Green MSP. Imagine how spoilt for choice you would be with five independentistas on the list? The greens are at risk of losing their seat to a Britnat…. Kind of makes the point about tactically voting to increase the pro independence MSPs.

          • Shagpile there were other independence supporting parties on the list in 2016. So what is your point – the Greens could have been at risk in 2016 – sorry but you have no point.

            ” You helped elect a Green MSP” One more Green MSP is surely better than one more Britnat MSP or would you rather have another Annie Wells in Holyrood?

          • I do have a point, it’s yourself which choses to be deliberately obtuse.

            In 2016, you rejected other independence parties. With 3 or 4 more to choose from, will that be easier for you to decide, and can you say for certain other voters will feel the same and vote with you?

            Do I wish to see more Britnats in Holyrood? Thing is, you do not believe that either. So, you continue with your strawman attacks… obviously, strawman and vote splitting are concepts lost on you.

  33. I have never read so much bumf in all my 89 years, the SNP is the only true independence party in Scotland. Vote 1 and 2 SNP, stop trying to rig the vote. In government, the SNP could not always rely on other parties votes, like not passing the budget, because they want to implement their own ideas.

  34. I am at one with the sentiment of the article. I just cannot understand this pervading impatience amongst some sections of the Independence movement. Rather than look on the fact with astonishment and some relief that the Independence movement is in a much stronger position now (which I believe is in large part due to the figure of Nicola Sturgeon who has been an absolute bombshell as FM), than it has ever been. Certain Independence supporters now complain that the SNP leadership, all of which have sacrificed everything for the dream, are somehow dragging their feet or more outrageously are happy just to be in the Government of a subordinate nation that forms part of a useless Union. Who are these people to make these kinds of statements? This amazing scenario and amazing it is comes just 6 years after a crushing referendum defeat which one impatient Independence supporter recently stated “that Alex Salmond took the Independence movement to the brink of Independence”. No he didn’t we were defeated by 10% points that is not even close in political terms. A sense of realism and pragmatism is surely what is called for now. Particularly so when very likely we will have to do battle with the most successful political Establishment in the history of the world. I also agree wholeheartedly that NS will get the job done……she is canny and thank goodness for that as she knows we cannot fail a 2nd time around.

  35. While I do agree with what you’re writing (and just the sheer number of these new parties guarantees that they’ll fail spectacularly and won’t do anything but take a couple of per cents off the SNP vote which in the end might be badly needed), it also has to be said that there are quite a few individuals within the SNP that seem to be terrified of the idea of the independence and sound when talking and writing (I was really puzzled by some articles in the National) more like unionists than indy supporters.
    There are party members who’ve definitely forgotten what the raison d’etre of the party is. They seem to be far more comfortable with the English Tories around because they know they can always win the elections like that. People are starting to have doubts whether the SNP are an indy party or whether they are a party of devolution. It’s something the party does have to address.
    And some recent comments by NS haven’t been helpful at all. I’m really happy with how she handled the whole coronavirus crisis and I do know how much this has boosted the support for independence, but saying the indy cause will be on the back burner while she’s dealing with the economic fall-out was wrong. Realistically, how long is that – 2, 3, 5 years?
    Will be leaving the EU for real at the end of the year, trade deals we don’t want will be forced upon us, devolution will come into question and the SNP have to find some answer to this – tweeting how outraged they are just won’t do it anymore.
    Anyway – do vote for SNP on both lists next year (anything else will split the indy vote), but if they don’t do anything immediately after that vote we’ll have to forget about them (and yes find another party).

  36. Only one List party
    With one policy….Scottish independence
    Is required

    Anymore than one ( on both counts ) will be a disaster and split the vote

    ISP have already jumped on the Gender Recognition bandwagon splitting the vote
    Crazy, didn’t take them long

    • OR you could word it ” The protection of hard won Women’s Rights”
      They are FOR something. When you post a comment like that do you really think that misrepresentation is helpful.

      • Julia we are discussing Scottish independence
        Not women’s rights

        Whilst we are on the subject can I reiterate my point of view which is vote SNP to get Scottish independence
        Once Scotland is independent you can vote for MPs who you can persuade to campaign for the things you want in Scotland without having to accept that the fifty million people in our neighbouring country England may well stop the things you want in Scotland even if most people in Scotland also want them.

  37. Meanwhile … down in Cardiff:

    Live Blog: The Senedd debates independence for the first time
    15th July 2020


    So there you have it. The vote went as expected with Plaid Cymru’s motion being amended out of existence but it was the debate itself as an event which may have been “historical” as Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price put it. Time will tell whether it will merit a chapter, a paragraph or a footnote in the historical record when it comes to be written in many years’ time.

    The debate will no doubt continue as we look forward to next May’s Senedd elections in which the constitutional future of Wales is likely to play a prominent role.


    Labour’s amendment – Senedd “believes that Wales’s interests are best served by its continuing membership of a reformed United Kingdom” – sails through as expected.

    29 for, 24 against.


    The Plaid Cymru motion on independence: 9 for, 1 abstain, 43 against.



    Former First Minister Carwyn Jones, Labour, said this debate was not needed as there was a constitutional convention that if a pro-independence party won a Senedd election there could be a referendum, based on what had happened in Scotland.


  38. For all the new Independence parties out there.

    You may have done the SNP a great service in your impatience .

    You couldnie organise a ménage.

    Most Independence supporters will recognise this and Vote in the main SNP 1 & 2.

    • Scot goes pop James Kelly hits back and this time it’s personal
      We’re in a movie folks, it’s all kicking off, I’m getting popcorn and a drink

      • Very few of his followers seem to have clocked what has happened, right enough James. They are being manipulated right, left and centre by a man, lolling around in England, spouting a load of old guff and can’t seem to see it. The BritNats best mate now, imo.

        ‘The brass neck.’

        ..”Speaking as one of the few people who is actually saying exactly the same thing now that I said in 2016, and who isn’t arguing that the laws of arithmetic somehow change depending on how woke or non-woke a political party is, I must say I can only look on in total bemusement at the way Bella and Wings have swapped sides on the subject but seamlessly continued to argue with each other. What makes it even more comical is that very few of their followers seem to have clocked what has happened.

        That said, Stuart does take a moment to deny that he even wants to game the system – he innocently claims that his support for the concept of a list-only party is simply about making sure that the views of a particular segment of the electorate are represented in a way that isn’t currently the case. And naturally he’s in a good position to make that claim with a straight face, because at no point has he published lengthy blogposts explaining that one of the main purposes of a list-only party is to win far more pro-indy seats on the list than the share of the vote would otherwise warrant. Nor has he at any stage published a pseudo-scientific analysis by Gavin Barrie setting out how this would supposedly work in practice. Nope, none of that happened. If you think it did, you imagined it. Stop imagining things.”..

        • … one of the main purposes of a list-only party is to win far more pro-indy seats on the list than the share of the vote would otherwise warrant

          Precisely. Right on the nail there, JK.

          There’s nothing like getting the representation your support justifies, no more and no less, and (even better) that support being overwhelming. Who benefits instead if the indy vote is split?

          • Grizebard, if you want “no more and no less” then a national 100% proportional representation system is what you need. The Holyrood system is not designed to do that – it may do that on a very rare occasion but that is not its primary aim.

  39. O/T but just very briefly for the record, Nicola was superb again today. We couldn’t buy the support she is garnering for us.

  40. We will not even get a vote on independence with Sturgeon at the helm. You are getting fed the rhetoric of bread and circuses to stop you revolting.

    Ask her for a commitment to attend the first Yes March post covid. Is she refuses to do so…then you know who is right

    • “then you know who is right”

      Says the guy who openly admitted on this blog that he was taking down his Saltire/Yes flag and banning the SNP from putting banners in support of Independence on his land in Angus and in Perthshire.

      You sound much more like a Tory and SiU member than an Independence supporter squire LOL

    • In a comment above you were agreeing with a British nationalist troll. Which really ought to give you pause for thought. It certainly casts serious doubt on your political judgement.

    • Maybe she won’t go if you are there? Who could blame her. The underminers do the tories and unionists job for nothing.

  41. Now there is a very strong argument to say that putting more independence parties on all the regional lists or some of the regional lists may not work but saying it should not be done because it is not FAIR to the unionists or it is not a fair reflection of the votes cast then that is a bloody joke.

    Westminster has not been fair since 1707. The UK was set up from its inception not to be fair to Scotland and has been continued in that vein ever since. They steal our resources and are planning to raise the bar on future referendums well beyond a majority and people want to be fair to the Britnats. Truly unbelievable.

    • Who cares about the Unionists? Who cares about what they think or have to say? Not ONE truly genuine Scottish Independence supporter, IMO. What we do care about is getting out of this dysfunctional hellhole, ASAP, and if we can see that a multitude of “pop-up-parties” ain’t going to do it for us then drop it. If they won’t we will drop them by not voting for them. End of story. Stick with the SNP / Greens and THEN with independence get heavily involved and sort out the divisive issues, such as the GRA.

      • ” Who cares about the unionists.” Grizebard above @4.56am and James Kelly, SGP and others seem to think we should be ” fair” to Britnats when it comes to Holyrood elections.

        Me I don’t think there should be any British parties in a Scottish parliament.

        • You can add WGD @ 11.37am to the above who seem to think we should be fair to the Britnats. These are the very same Britnats who are planning to ” GAME ” referendums even more so than in 1979.

          The Westminster bill intends to make any future referendum must have 55% of the population take part in the referendum or the result is invalid. Seems achievable on the face of it but if Britnats boycott the referendum then they will have a veto.

          The Westminster bill intends to make any future referendum result invalid unless 60% vote in favour. The 60% cutoff could of course be easily increased by Westminster in the future if the polls for independence keep increasing.

          Both of the above potential legal changes are completely undemocratic and way beyond ” unfair”. This Britnat union has since 1707 been deeply undemocratic and way beyond unfair.

          It’s called moving the goalposts. But we must play fair – unbelievable.

        • The only way you can stop that happening in a democracy is to persuade people not to vote for them.

          If people vote for them, they should be represented. You might not like it but that’s how democracy works.

          • Well the UK in my opinion does not provide a democracy for Scotland eg 62% for remaining in the EU. That is my fundamental reason for independence.

  42. Absolutely bang on Paul. A second indy party on the list isn’t a bad idea of itself, but unless it and the SNP reached a cast iron agreement to promote each other as option 1 SNP and option 2 ISP it’s a waste of time …. Half of folk putting SNP 1 and 2 and the other half putting SNP 1 ISP 2 will still split the vote and let Brit Nats in. Having 2 other indy parties plus the SNP with no strategy would be a disaster.

    With that and the infighting going on over the trans issue resulting in what used to be one of our most valuable and influential bloggers becoming so obsessed with it he’s about as much use to the struggle for independence as Boris Johnson’s barber I despair for this movement at times.

    It’s time to push the reset button and for everybody in this movement to remember what the bloody objective is … fail to do that because some are too busy with their own agendas and personal battles or chucking the toys oot the pram because something that’s been a century in the making suddenly isn’t going fast enough and we can forget ever becoming an independent nation and I’ll curse the buggers responsible with my dying breath.

    • Parties which have “cast iron” agreements are treated as one by the Electoral Commission. It has to be tacit, not explicit. But otherwise you are right.

      Especially about a “reset”.

      (Which if she is politically astute, would include the FM over GRA. This is exactly the kind of issue we should address as a fully-sovereign nation after independence, not be foisted on us by what is in effect a placeholder government of a party elected largely on a single issue, and not that. Remove all “stumbling blocks”.)

      • If you are meaning the Snp most people including me don’t vote for them on a single issue and they are certainly not a placeholder govt. Their support for Indy is very important for me but their are many other policies they have that I support too. The whole furore of the GRA proposals is pathetic.I am a feminist but I believe there are ways to protect womens safe spaces and still allow equalization of rights for the trans community.

  43. Just how many “Peoples Liberation Fronts for Scotland” standing on the list will it take before even the daftest eejits realise the whole cunning plan’s now a crock…?

    (And keeping the total vote for a soaring SNP under 50% would be a great win for whom, exactly?)

  44. The Trans policy argument is a the big red herring used to suck in the the *right kind* of angrys
    All policies can be changed repealed discarded or not even adopted at all but the Independant self determination of a country is more than a policy, once won it’s pretty much fixed forever

    That’s what the *indignant * folk are attempting to prevent using a not as yet determined policy that may or may not happen and could be reversed even if it did happen, all this nonsense of *I’ll resign I’ll never vote SNP again if I don’t want to live in a country that blah blah* Patrick Harvie and pals repealed the OBFA because either they didn’t like it or they hoped to collect some votes off the back of doing it, the indignant people never uttered much of a stutter over that and that was a big policy

    It’s a fake argument used by fake people who hope to achieve a win over Nicola Sturgeon because of personal dislike, you know because *Nicola Sturgeon in an Independent Scotland will be the First Minister until the end of time, there’ll never ever be another one or even elections or anything democratic will ever take place again because she’s just really really bad and will live forever and be a dictator so I will prevent my country being Independent in order to avoid the live forever android Nicola Sturgeon*

    I’ve just used a tactic called *reductio ad absurdum* to reduce that argument to ridiculous levels of stupidity
    The folk who employ the fake Trans argument above are using the same thing in reverse to achieve their objective and hoping folk will fall for it because it’s knee jerk reaction stuff, there are websites dedicated to engineering this garbage, just to create the desired reactions they feed off

    A poll of 1207 people were asked if they would rather be shot, either through the head or heart or stomach so they lasted longer, then these people who attempt to manipulate folks heads begin to apply analysis to a ridiculous question that nobody would ever pick any of those outcomes anyway

    Shell oil and other large companies used to use these techniques on their employees in the 1960s until they were banned from doing it although it’s still used today on creating the *right kind* of soldiers, guess where, kill kill kill

    They had a name for it in the 1930s 40s and 50s *Brainwashing* nowadays they just call it strategy
    Once you’ve seen through it you can’t unsee it and that’s when they become very angry with you

    • You are perfectly right, of course, the vast majority of ordinary voters don’t give a toss one way or another over GRA, they just rather like the way the FM and her government are showing their true mettle over the biggest crisis in living memory that every government in the world is having to deal with.

      Hence it is no accident that all this white noise is creeping in now to try to distract from that.

      All I’m saying is that the more the SG can do to dampen the static, the better. And putting the GRA on hold is a very easy call to make right now.

    • If you want to destroy a cause, such as Scottish Independence, you most definitely, in the first instance, target the leader. You look for a chink in his / her armour that you can use to pretend that you actually care, for example the GRA. You utilise your influence through the media or your online site (or both) to totally undermine the leader. You post convoluted articles, half truths and out and out lies, propaganda, ban the opposition and open your site to people who support your sinister little aim. These individuals are then allowed, encouraged, to start posting a variety of obnoxious, ridiculous and farfetched comments all of which influence other posters. They also get into attack mode by constantly targeting genuine independence supporters on the site in an attempt to drive them off. Shut them up. People like Robert Peffers previously, those in between, and people like Capella now. And so it goes on. The instigator (rather his highly intelligent and extremely experienced master) gets it all going through manipulation and brainwashing and then sits back and watches others do his dirty work for him. Sad to say for him it will all come out in the wash eventually.


      Next up George Galloway. Another Scot, who coincidently jiggered off to England and is now on our “opposition to Scottish Independence” list. The man who supports every country on earth becoming independent, except for his own. Differs right enough from the man who pretends to support independence with the objective of lining his own pockets (and not just from donations). George Galloway, the Scot, who is seemingly quite happy to see the coronavirus flow over the border and ultimately kill even more Scots in his support for Engerland. What on earth did we do that was so bad to deserve them?

      • If the only champion the BritNats have left is Galloway, they are in desperate straits indeed.

        Back in ’14 he was on a panel for an indy debate held at the SSE Hydro, specifically intended for an audience of schoolkids, and in an audience poll afterwards, he tanked. Judged worst debater by a long chalk, IIRC.

        To whom exactly would the once-Gorgeous George appeal these days?

        • Galloway came across to me and other friends and family as if he was drunk but he claims he doesn’t touch drink.

      • Petra you are 100% spot-on. It’s quite startling to see how the GRA seeds planted in his blog a couple of years back have now sprouted to infect so many here and now. Deliberate and skilful duplicity to sow division. The list party nonsense is the next step – designed only to split the vote and destabilise the SNP at the exact moment it’s starting to win over undecideds to the indy cause. Perhaps even more worrying are the numbers of people who’ve fallen for it hook line and sinker. As for the reasons? With his sort, it’s always a case of following the money….

  45. In 2016, my West of Scotland Region group of constituencies had 8 SNP MSPs out of the total of 10 MSPs. As a result all the 7 Regional list MSPs went to Britnat parties except for Ross Greer of Greens. Now I voted for Greer because the Greens supported independence not because I had any time for Greer. If I had voted for the SNP on the regional list it would been a wasted vote as they would not have a chance of getting an MSP.

    Did that make me an underminer or a Unionist or a traitor or any of the other hysterical nonsense getting bandied about? Now I can understand if you are an SNP party member not wanting to vote for another party but as I am not an SNP member as are the majority of independence supporters I vote for what I think is best for independence.

    I will have the same scenario or possibly even more SNP MSPs winning in the 10 constituencies, hopefully giving Jackson Carcrash the boot, so please explain why I should vote SNP in the regional list to help independence. Ken not you.

    I am sorry to say I have Jackson Carcrash as my Eastwood constituency MSP and other than Greer the rest of my Regional list MSPs are Britnats. So not one of my MSPs are SNP.

    • A tough one for you. But if you have a choice of (say) 3 “alt-indy” parties to vote for in the list, which one will you choose? And which one will all the others…?

      Whereas if enough voters in your neck of the woods could be persuaded to vote SNP instead of whomsoever they voted for last time, Carlot is history. And if a considerable number more vote SNP, PR even begins to work for them in the wider region as well as in the constituency.

      Nothing succeeds like people being prepared to vote for you. And judging by the polls, that is exactly what is happening. Alt-indy in the list is just so yesterday.

      • Grizebard you raise a few points.

        1. Many small independence parties are unlikely to gain any more independence supporting MSPs but I will make a judgement at the time who I will vote for on the list as to what I think will be best for Scottish independence.

        2. Eastwood is part of East Renfrewshire and at the Dec19 GE the Tory was ousted by Kirsten Oswald SNP so there is hope that Carcrash could be on his bike next year. This is the logic of why the chance of the SNP being successful in the Regional list is even less likely.

        3. I disagree with your final point. In my region the SNP got 8 out of 10 constituency MSPs in 2016. It is likely but not a given that this number will increase for 2021 making a vote for the SNP on the Regional list even less likely to achieve an SNP MSP. I will try not to waste my vote. It is a choice between a wasted vote for the SNP or taking an educated gamble. So sorry Grizebard you have not convinced me to vote SNP on the Regional list in my region. Now it may be that it is the best option in other regions to vote SNP and I would say vote SNP if that was the case.

        Personally, I would prefer a full National 100% proportional representation system or a FPTP system over this hybrid system that Britnats designed for Holyrood that I think a very large majority of the electorate do not have a clue about how it works.

        A final comment. There may not have been a majority of independence supporting MSPs in Holyrood after the 2016 election if people like me did not vote for the Greens on the Regional list but NOW we are called splitters and all the other nonsense which wasn’t the case in 2016 when there was not the hysteria today caused by all this infighting and Wings etc.

        • I refer you to Paul’s response to osakisushi @ 11:37 below.

          As to your apparent wish to eliminate the BritNats more than their support warrants, just keep in mind the big picture. To get in a position to be able to mount a plebiscite but still don’t have >50% support for independence in the country overall, that achieves what, exactly? Or are you proposing to eliminate the BritNats somehow from that poll also?

          There was some argument for protecting the pro-independence majority at the next election, but we’re clearly nowhere near that now. We were only in that situation anyhow because the pro/anti sentiment was so evenly divided, but we need to have far more ambition than some vote tinkering at the margins. There is just no alternative to persuading people that independence is in their own best interests, and voting accordingly.

          That’s democracy. (Alternatives are available, but there’s no future in those.)

          • Grizebard, I had read WGDs comments and responded to him.

            In my opinion there is no democracy in Scotland so there we fundamentally disagree.

            It is the Britnats who want to stop independence supporters voting for independence. Not me stopping them voting. So I have no idea why you say ” Or are you proposing to eliminate the Britnats somehow from that poll also?

            The polls are at 54% so why do you doubt – ” still don’t have greater than 50% support in the country overall.”

            Your logic says I should not have voted greens in 2016 and therefore reduced the independence supporting MSPs in Holyrood.

            Where have I ever said you should not persuade people to vote for independence.

          • I don’t understand your evident confusion. If your aim is to “game” the system to get an unrepresentative advantage from an admittedly crocked electoral arrangement – which is the whole essence of the alt-indy list cunning plan – you are digging a hole for yourself come a referendum, where every single vote is tallied straight, for and against, and where a majority for indy wins, otherwise we lose. What’s not to understand about that simple proposition?

            While I’m by no means one of the “60-percenters” who seem to crave some kind of cast-iron guarantee of success before daring to act, we have to have a reasonable expectation that support is hard enough to survive – even prosper! – a full-on referendum campaign. Any amount of diddling or gaming our crocked AMS electoral system doesn’t help with that one iota, no matter how many MSPs you can somehow wangle into parliament on the side.

            You are also twisting my words here by selective quotation. I made no imputation about you personally not persuading people about independence (close reading required), but rather that we all need to convince more people to support indy, because that’s the only way we can win. This is about more than scrabbling for a few MSPs more or less come next May, it’s about the big picture; when the showdown comes – as it surely must – we have to have a majority of people – actual voters – lined up on our side. There is no alternative, not unless you (yourself) are suggesting we go “off piste” like the UDI zealots?

          • Grizebard – I am finished with this discussion. I am not confused about anything. I am not some UDI zealot. I have no idea why you keep jumping about introducing stuff. This started with me putting out my case and asking why in my region I was wrong to vote Green in the list in 2016. You went back to saying I was didling/gaming – no I helped maintain the SNP in government in Holyrood. Don’t remember anyone calling it didling in 2016. Bye

  46. You are Bang on the money .AGAIN. I think the belief in England that they are sponged on by us works in our favour. The term is “hoist by your own petard” Tory party is shambolic, a chimps’ tea party is better run. I have faith in Nicola. Hell, I used to have faith in Labour for longer and with less justification. Much of the “To the barricades” talk reminds me of “As soon as this pub closes the revolution starts” Hell, getting them to walk up the road to put a couple of crosses down off too much effort at times. Keep the heid right enough. Let’s get through this before charging off in all directions.

  47. “it doesn’t have that political and moral capital just now and it won’t do until after it wins a large majority at the next Scottish elections”

    To win a large majority, we need expunge the unionists from the list vote. Surely the only way to do this is to balance the unionist grouping with a Scottish grouping?

    The big problem shall be getting the message across to avoid any ticks against the LibLabLiar brigade in the list vote.

  48. Venezuela has elections coming up. It’s an oil rich country. It’s being sanctioned to the hilt by the US and anyone else who has a tendency to put the boot in to countries that are rich in resourcescand also social democracies.

    Scotland should take note. More parties popping up from nowhere. See article here.

  49. If you want to change the SNP. You become a member. You attend branch and / or constituency meetings. You fight for your beliefs and views within the context of the party rules. That’s the way it works. Slow, cumbersome but successful. Is everything perfect? Absolutely not. My annoyance with the government is over the slow pace of land reform. Why not join the greens. So many reasons but their vote against controls against football bigotry was tacky as they sided with the tories and Kelly of labour.
    You take your pick but if you want Independence it has to be with the SNP.

    One cautionary note for any leadership. There comes a time when you are replaced. It is inevitable. It’s called life. Always remember that. Ask Ruth Davidson, Theresa May, Wendy Alexander, Kezia Dugdale, Alex Salmond and the rest.

    It is not Nicola Sturgeons time for a good while yet.

  50. Any other unrecognisable pro Indy ‘party’ (with no manifesto) will just disappear into the ether. Just disappear out of the loop and out of the internet. Just an absolutely pointless exercise which will harm not help the Independence movement.

    Just when the SNP can do it. Defeat the lot of them. The whole opposition. To even consider this action of various separate parties at this juncture is just complete and utter nonsense. Beyond comprehension. Helping the unionist opposition in every way rather than hindering. Some prima donnas wanting some cheap publicity. Totally negative.

    The Independence movement should now stand united in every way backing the SNP, without question. Or possibly lose again. An outcome not even worth considering in the interest of Scotland.

    Divide and rule in the Independence movement should never be an option. That is Tory Party policy to divide and rule Scotland for years and years. Since 1928 and before. Leading to the loss to the economy. Political, social and economic policies not conducive to Scotland. Kept secrets under the Official Secrets Act and ‘D’ notices.

    If people really want to help the Scottish economy and society they should be joining the SNP and helping. Not switching from it. A total retro step in every way. Helping the Westminster unionists to try to ruin Scotland.

    The motley crew of dissidents will disappear into the ether. After trying to help the opposition to Independence. To try and ruin Scotland. Totally misguided. Just for a bit cheap publicity. Not a united action. They do not care but plan to split the vote for no valid reason.

    Strength in unity. Join the SNP. Do all anyone can to protect the Scottish economy and society from Westminster destruction. Vote SNP/SNP support rising over the tipping line.

    All to play. Highlighting all the positivity. That has gone before and triumphed. Play to the united strengths not to the failed weaknesses. That is the way to victory and a better solution. Even a two State solution.

    Support for SNP/Independence rising, within 5 years more than possible. Another Indy Ref. One campaign at a time. Holyrood elections, Then Tory collapse, possible GE or before.

    Another Indyref coming soon. That can be won. It is affordable. The SNP/Independence movement financed by the people. Those who care about others and their struggles. Especially in the current climate and circumstances, very trying.

    The Tory collapse sooner rather than later. Or social,unrest and riots on the streets. Already happening. The Brexit mess unfolding. The catastrophe. A total embarrassment.

    That is why in Scotland it is better not to trust a Tory/unionist. SNP going in to win outright victory. Independence for Scotland through absolutely better governance. Increasing 2% a year. The young ones coming on board.

    More people being convinced by the positive argument. A bright better future of more positivity, entirely possible. Do not split the movement at this juncture, a retrograde step.

    For goodness sake change the list system. An abomination of democracy. First preference votes go in the bin to let 3rd losers in. The voters do not even know how it works. FPTP is preferable, PR or AV, STV introduced by unionists illegally. Not voted on.

    Leslie Evans PR introduced it to help unionists win. To appease the Westminster unionist hypocritical masters. For higher (UK) civil service salary and benefits. Not changed anyway elsewhere. Divide and to try and rule unionist in Scotland. Still overcome at the Ballot Box. The unionists cheated but defeated at the Ballot Box.

  51. Any last election is history and not for comparison. The future is not predicted by the past. The past actions are the past. That is history. That does not predict to future. The future is for now.

    Any electoral past comparisons without consideration or qualification are futile to predict the future. Just irrelevant. Things move on.

    United in different circumstances but still united is the way to go. To win. SNP/SNP before anything. The times they are a’changing. Be part of it for a better more prosperous better future. The argument is being won. More people coming on board in and with different circumstances. Do not disrupt it for no good reason.

    The Tories have offended every section of society and continue to do so. They will be voted out again. Lose again.

  52. Websites losing support will fail. Tanking. All the white noise falling to incomprehension. Nonsensical. Not worth the hassle. Or readership. Or sponsorship. Just complete failure.

  53. 2016 was 2016, 2020 is now. 2021 is 2021. Five years later. Support for SNP/Independence rising. (2% a year?). People voting accordingly. Will voters act as in 2016. Hardly likely. Much has passed under the bridge since then. Influencing decisions. A malicious, inappropriate Brexit vote. A major epidemic.

    Times they are a changing. Times, things and circumstances move on. A better brighter future. Hopefully.

  54. Excellent article again, and some interesting if dubious comments appearing.

    I fully understand the impatience for independence, but the more vocal citing Brexit or conspiracy theories or GRA or etc. are either agents of or have been unwittingly influenced by propagandists intent on blocking independence through deliberately sowing discord and confusion. Conspiracies are the favourite weapon of the propagandist, a whisper here or there in confidence and it takes root with the gullible like faked moon landings.

    In the 46 years since first voting SNP I’ve seen them go from being a “bit of a joke” to rocking the “natural” order of Scotland’s political landscape, but the London power continum only knows to crush any opposition through maximum propaganda rather than find a solution.
    Their “subsidy junkies” wheeze in England spectacularly backfire recently with half supporting Scottish Independence off the back of it. They are not just fighting Scots over Indy2 now but the English, a political minefield of their own making from which I can see no escape.

    The Labour and Tory parties and Scottish media are the “bit of a joke” now, their scurrilous campaigns to undermine SG and SNP by any means available opened a lot of eyes, but it was the pandemic which dropped the veil on the vindictive and nasty collusion which was as revealing as it was horrifying to many folks, instead of cowering it made people angry and increased indy support.

    As to the hoohah over “gaming the system” for Holyrood, I’m with James Kelly on this, and the explosion of developments recently make the inverse of the intent all the greater possibility. As intriguing as being rid of the Turdo types is, without some degree of collusion which could invite legal challenge, it is nowhere near so simple as is painted.

  55. Hi Paul As a regular reader, supporter and very occasional contributor, I am very concerned about the number of contributed to this article who are new to me or whom I recognise from “another blog”. It is very frustrating to hear all the SNP haters in full flow and these are the ones that make it through moderation! I really feel for you having to read all the shite that doesn’t get through, it must be like reading the HYS that the BBC keep opening on Scottish articles – they really make my blood boil! I know I shouldn’t read them but I can’t help myself… Keep up the good work and stay safe.

    • “…like reading the HYS that the BBC keep opening on Scottish articles”- I’ve long suspected this shower are on speed-dial from PQ, multiple user names (same phraseology), very coordinated and aggressive/unpleasant..

  56. Well done Paul! you remain the calm voice of reason as the other sites go into meltdown.

    You have won my admiration and respect and despite my growing frustration with the entire Indy movement I will listen carefully to your opinion and assessment of the situation before I vote next year.

  57. This Covid pandemic has shown the difference between Scotland and England quite starkly
    In Scotland we have the FMs daily briefings and we know she has the best scientific and medical advice behind her that she can get advising her on how to proceed so that she can impart all this information to us the public in a way that most folk can understand using her own personal style in doing that so that we see the reasoning and comply as best we can

    In England they have the same system but in that country it appears that when the advice and instructions are given the entire English media dedicate hour after hour on how to justify avoiding all the advice and instructions

    Last night on the Peston program Robert Peston posed the question to his Tory and Labour guests “Do you think we English have an arrogance that we’re better than everybody else and refuse to learn from others” that question was posed immediately following an interview with Nicola Sturgeon showing how well she personally handles communications with Scotlands population resulting in a less severe outcome from the Corona virus

    The Labour MP immediately attacked the FM and the Tory Baroness refused to recognise the FM or that Scotland even existed as she prattled on about learning from other countries thus avoiding the question of Scotland altogether

    That’s not just arrogance, that’s some kind of bitter hatred tinged with a how very dare they, just who do those Scots who shall not be named think they are, and they wonder why they can’t get their public health messages across, well I can tell them the answer to that

    They have no respect for anyone, Woops! was that a Spitfire fly past

    • Nice Jim, your comments reminded me of the “Class System” sketch from 1966, I imagine Scotland as a whole plays the part of the pain in the back of Ronnie Corbett’s neck, even if some in Scotland presume they are the Cleese or Barker characters because they haven’t yet been told their place as they’re still useful idiots.
      The dismissive attitude of the baroness thereby comes as no great surprise, but it is the Labour MP’s response which I thought neatly epitomised the disease which has engulfed modern politics, always attack and never praise your opponent, you need never resign over a lie even if people die as a result.
      The days of nuanced honesty of MPs has given way to blatant lies and distortion, all that matters is winning, I can but hope the people of Scotland demand re-imposition of standards of conduct which have been so readily dismissed from Westminster once we are independent, this rot as with any disease has to be stopped at the border.
      If SG were to introduce such measures early on grounds of reducing global warming, the silence from Jackass and Turdo might well accelerate progress by 30 years and stop folks muting the deliberations in Holyrood…

  58. The public are not nearly so daft as those who think they have, so cleverly, created a schism to destroy the SNP. Not a chance.

    It’s the SNP Scottish Government led by Nicola, not a miniscule shower of dribs and drabs who think they know better, who are showing the people why independence is important. Fortunately, anyone who has decided that that they must support such a life changing course of action is not going to vote for people they know nothing about. They are going to vote SNP.

    Still, all publicity is good publicity. The media will want to talk about this at some length and in doing so they will keep independence right up there as the key issue for Scotland. Nicola will feed off that, she will show that she doesn’t bend to pressure from persons unknown whatever their foolish claims are. In doing so she will give the less confident in the Scottish electorate the reassurance they need to make the change. She will be seen even more clearly to be the “strong leader” that people want.

    Nicola is going to swat away any challengers like flies. If and when Alex ever decides to re-enter the fray he will be leading the applause.

    Dream on Brits.

    • Yep! all this pushing of there’s a secret that we can’t tell, the former FM and the current FM don’t like each other but we can’t say more because because

      I don’t give a rats ass who is friends with who or who has hot showers together or sipping Mint Julips cuddling round a roaring fire, all this is cr*p conjured up to sew the seeds of doubt and dissent

      We have an FM and she’s doing great and the British Nationalists don’t know what to do about her and everything they try just comes bouncing right back at them, and her popularity continues to rise as she moves towards doing what most of us hope for, and she’s doing it by hard graft proving who she is rather than just waving her arms around

      People like competence, we can clearly see that in her numbers

      • What a deluded wee, egotistical blawhard, eh? It looks as though he’s been living in England for far too long now as the Scots, in the main, wouldn’t give the Johnson’s, Farage’s and Trump’s of the world the time of the day. And when the Scottish public become conversant, as they surly will, with his despicable views, behaviour and actions he’ll be added to that list.

        ‘Dialogue with the Reverend.’

        ..”you just think that because I swear sometimes and I’m ‘controversial’ nobody would vote for a Wings party. You’re perfectly entitled to that view, however obviously stupid and wrong it is – controversy and being disliked by a lot of people didn’t seem to stop Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump winning. Nor Alex himself, come to that. And I do still find it hilarious that you think the Scottish public has great fainting fits over swearywords like you do, because you’re apparently from 1932.”..

  59. Oh and I meant to add that Mr Popularity himself has probably alienated the Labour party supporters in Scotland that we dearly need to push up the stats: That’s those who know of him now and when others become ”acquainted” with the man we could see ourselves losing current support.


    I see that a journalist attending the Coronavirus briefing today attempted to bring up the UK internal market issue. Nicola Sturgeon stated that the briefings related to the coronavirus crisis but mentioned that it was a real power grab (words to that effect).

    Alok Sharma covered this issue in detail in the Commons today (will make your blood boil) and it’s really worth listening to, as he mentions the centuries old union. Just wondering, for one, how breaching the Acts of Union by Scotland, say, having differing trade deals from NIreland is going to pan out? Keywords=&Member=Rt+Hon+Alok+Sharma+MP&MemberId=4014&House=&Business=&Start=16%2F07%2F2020&End=16%2F07%2F2020

  60. The British Nationalists talk about successful Unions the same way they talk about their dogs, sit fetch roll over beg, good dog, now look at how successful we are at training
    Until the dog disobeys then the stick they used to train it to obey comes back out again or failing that, destruction

    Well you can always get more dogs

  61. If all independence supporters had obeyed the call for both votes SNP in 2016, there would have been significantly less Green MSPs elected, there’s unlikely to have been any additional SNP list MSPs elected and we would, in all likelihood, have spent the last five years with a British nationalist coalition running Holyrood accompanied by endless media stories that peak support for independence had passed. Where would we be now in such circumstances? The mind boggles.

    Both votes SNP was an idiotic proposition in 2016 and is even more stupid when support for independence is sitting at well above 50%. I agree that multiple pro-independence parties might not be the best way forwards but it’s early days and there’s plenty of time for them to each make their cases and for a front runner to emerge. It is completely wrong, in my opinion, to be writing off the idea of tactical voting for the regional lists just because several parties are currently considering standing candidates. I’m quite sure that one of the new pro-indy parties will emerge as a front runner and that independence supporters will coalesce around the best organised one with the most compelling message and the best candidates. Even if a front runner doesn’t emerge, we live in a democracy and people are entitled to vote for whatever party / parties they choose.

    Trying to shut down this part of the democratic process when it has hardly begun is not a good look. We have enough problems with Overton windows being used by neoliberals, British nationalists and others to limit the scope of political discourse without the independence movement resorting to similar tactics.

  62. Pingback: Gaming the System – Random Public Journal

  63. ENHS to get £3Billion. NHS needs £10Billion. ENHS to get get £3Billion Scotland will get even less, but will have to make loan repayments on the debt.

    Losing Scotland £Billions. Paying for things it does not need but not having the fund to pay for things it does. The illegal Barnett Formula. Westminster Gov poor, bad decisions. Not voted for in Scotland.

    Vote Tory to die younger.

  64. 2020/21 is not 2016. It is four+ years later. Times have changed considerably. Vote SNP/SNP for good governance and Independence.

    The past does not predict the future. The past is history. The present can lead on to better things, in different circumstances.

    Change the Holyrood electoral system. It is a nonsense, The voters cannot understand it. A bad political PR system.

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