The determination that’s needed

There have been a number of credible reports recently about panic and despair amongst senior figures in the campaign to oppose Scottish independence. While it is of course distasteful to take pleasure from the misfortunes of others, the sole response of any independence supporter to these developments ought to be ha ha. Instead what we’re seeing from certain quarters is the deeply Scottish ‘Woe woe and thrice woe, it’s aw gaun wrang.’ So it’s perhaps useful to take a step back from what independence supporters consider our chances of wresting a referendum from a reluctant Westminster to be and instead to look at what is going on in the British Government.

We learned yesterday from the Sunday Times, a publication close to the highest levels of the Conservative party, that Michael Gove is in ‘panic mode’ about the consistent majorities for independence which opinion polls have been showing for some months. The same paper told us that his boss, part time Prime Minister and full time dilettante Boris Johnson is deeply irritated by the same question. Meanwhile we discovered from another publication close to the Conservative party, the Spectator, that someone who was prominent in the Better Together campaign in 2014 now believes that it’s already too late and the independence horse has already bolted. And just a short while ago in a podcast on this very blog, the legal commentator Andrew Tickell mentioned that a confirmed opponent of independence of his acquaintance who had likewise been prominent in the 2014 Better Together campaign had summarised the current position of British nationalism in Scotland as, “We’re fucked.”

These are not the reactions of people who are supremely confident in the ability of Downing Street to keep saying no to Scottish independence forever. They are the reactions of people who see that they have lost the argument and who have no real idea how they can regain the initiative. They are the reactions of people who know that they cannot prevent the inevitable, they cannot resist forever the demand of the people of Scotland for another referendum and who know that when that referendum takes place the people of Scotland will vote for independence.

If you truly believed that you could simply refuse to play ball, keep denying a Section 30 order, and that this situation could continue forever and a day then you wouldn’t be panicking like Michael Gove is. And he is, after all, a man who is best known for his oleaginous smugness. If Gove was convinced that there was no issue because Downing Street held all the cards and Scotland was entirely powerless he’d be smugly and calmly ignoring the rise in support for independence in the polls because it would be meaningless. But he’s not. He is, according to the Sunday Times, in a panic. If you are one of those independence supporters who believes that the Conservatives can continue to deny Scotland a referendum forever, ask yourself why that is. Michael Gove would clearly love to benefit from some of your confidence.

It’s because of Gove’s panic and Johnson’s anger that the Prime Minister is coming to Scotland, although he apparently won’t be crossing any border. His wee tour of fridges in Conservative owned businesses is aimed at telling us rebellious Caledonians that we need the UK in order to be able to keep ourselves in toilet paper and pasta when the British Government’s incompetence leads to a second wave of coronavirus. Oh, sorry, not incompetence, its [checks notes] world beating response. That’ll be the world beating response that has given the UK the highest death toll in Europe. We need the UK in order to deliver the economic stimulus that we need in order to ensure that the Scottish economy recovers. That’ll be the extra £21 million from Rishi Sunak then and not the extra £6 billion that the Scottish Government’s own economic recovery plan was calling for.

Johnson’s wee tour will of course achieve hee, and when it’s not doing that it will deliver haw. He’ll keep out of the way of real live Scottish voters in carefully stage managed events and will only take a couple of questions from the press. Then he’ll wheech back to London in a flying fridge painted in the colours of the union flag and declare the job done.

However the point is that he’s only embarking upon this entirely cosmetic exercise because the Conservatives are deeply concerned that Scotland will not remain one of their playthings for much longer. They don’t have a clear idea how to stop us leaving. They have no case for the UK, other than insisting that Scotland is an economic basketcase which is dependent upon handouts from the Treasury. However they also know that this response is damaging support for the UK in England. People in England hear the constant refrain that Scotland is too poor and needs bailouts from the British Government and ask themselves why they should keep paying for those ungrateful Scots who keep complaining about Brexit and generally insist on doing things differently. That’s why there is now majority support for getting rid of Scotland, along with Wales and Northern Ireland, amongst Conservative voters in England.

The Conservatives know that they will be unable to resist a concerted push from a Scottish Government which was reelected with a majority and a mandate to seek another independence referendum. They have successfully resisted until now, but the Scottish Government has not pressed insistently so it’s been easy for the Tories to resist. The reason that the Scottish Government has not pressed for another referendum with the insistence that many in the independence movement would like is because it’s only this year that we’ve started to see consistent majorities for yes in opinion polling. That will change after the next Holyrood elections if the SNP are reelected with a majority and there is still a consistent majority for yes in polls.

It’s not enough for the SNP to have a mandate for another independence referendum, it also needs a strong enough mandate to be certain that the people of Scotland will continue to back it if it needs to seek an alternative route to a recognised vote on independence. It needs to be certain that a majority of people in Scotland will vote yes to independence.  It needs to be certain that it has a solid enough mandate that the people of Scotland will continue to support it during the constitutional and political crisis that will ensue if Johnson defies the clear result of a Scottish election.  It needs a mandate that is strong enough to resist any attempt from the Conservatives to defy Scottish democracy.

The Tories know that the people of Scotland are now, and only now, in a place where they are prepared to give the Scottish Government that strengthened mandate. The Tories can resist the SNP, but they cannot resist the determination of the people of Scotland.

This is not now and has never been about the determination of the SNP to achieve independence, it’s about the determination of the people of Scotland. That is what has been lacking until very recently. You can’t achieve independence based solely on the minority who happen to have supported it for years. You need majority support. You need majority resolution. You need majority determination. It’s only now that the people of Scotland are coming to the determination that Scotland needs to forge its own path. That’s why the Tories are panicking. They know that the people of Scotland are now in a place where they are no longer willing to be passive observers of their own history.


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190 thoughts on “The determination that’s needed

  1. “While it is of course distasteful to take pleasure from the misfortunes of others”

    Depends who the others are Paul.

  2. I agree with you as this is a path ahead and that it must continue to have majority support in the population. However I feel events with Brexit, Covid, unemployment etc we need to ensure all indy supporting parties in May 21 have in the manifesto, front page, large text stating clearly As vote for us is a vote for independence’. No weasel words about a mandate for a referendum. Then with a good win play hardball, remove our MP’s and tell WM we are leaving.

    • You must not forget something crucial here – what the EU would think of such a UDI approach. Given what could happen in Spain with Catalonia, they are likely to say ‘no’ to an application from an independent Scotland if it achieved independence in such a way.

      And if they do – Scotland will NOT get EU membership. Remember to consider what the wider world thinks, not just Westminster.

      • I feel that if we had a clear win in seats in a free and fair vote as I describe then is that not democracy which the EU and others would be happy with, why a vote in 21 and in 22? I would concede a need for two votes if the polls indicated poor numbers.

  3. “It’s not enough for the SNP to have a mandate for another independence referendum, it also needs a strong enough mandate to be certain that the people of Scotland will continue to back it if it needs to seek an alternative route to a recognised vote on independence. It needs to be certain that a majority of people in Scotland will vote yes to independence. It needs to be certain that it has a solid enough mandate that the people of Scotland will continue to support it during the constitutional and political crisis that will ensue if Johnson defies the clear result of a Scottish election. It needs a mandate that is strong enough to resist any attempt from the Conservatives to defy Scottish democracy.”

    Aye, there’s the rub. And there’s still work to do….

    • Drew Morrison, The Scottish National Party is not the people of Scotland!!! Rhe same as the Conservative party is not The Engliah people. Both are the elected politicians we the people choose (by whatever voting system) to run the country. listening to A Tickell talk with Paul it seems that no matter what we do Election/Referendum NONE of it need necessarily be accepted by Westminster. If I am wrong I stand to be corrected, though thats what it sounded like to me.

  4. Thank you for once again giving me hope, Paul. I’d convinced myself that Westminster was going to close down Holyrood and that next year’s election wouldn’t take place, never mind a referendum. I now see that if they were planning on doing that they wouldn’t be panicking now.

    • Westminster might well be panicking now but still be thinking of Holyrood closure as a last resort, as they know it would provoke a strong reaction.
      I imagine they want things to stay quiet until Transition ends (31st dec), then claim all repatriated powers that count and allow the May 2021 election to go ahead for a much weakened Scottish parliament.
      They are probably of the view that even if there is a 100% independence vote, Scotland will no longer be in a position to actually do anything about it.

  5. “They [Westminster britnats] have successfully resisted until now, but the Scottish Government has not pressed insistently so it’s been easy for the Tories to resist. The reason that the Scottish Government has not pressed for another referendum with the insistence that many in the independence movement would like is because it’s only this year that we’ve started to see consistent majorities for yes in opinion polling. That will change after the next Holyrood elections if the SNP are reelected with a majority and there is still a consistent majority for yes in polls.”

    So we have to wait yet again for both provisos to come together? How consistent is “consistent”? Who decides? Even then the SNP/SG could well come up with another reason to postpone the push for independence.

    Sorry, I am losing faith in the SNP to actually provide some of that push. I agree it’s up to the people of Scotland to provide that push. Start marching again, even if the current FM doesn’t like us doing so. Write/email your local SNP politicians to tell them how you feel they should be more radical.

    I agree with andyfromdunning’s post above. The people must put pressure on the SNP to withdraw SNP MPs from britnat Westminster so they can set up an independent/independence assembly in Scotland. Support other pro-indy parties in the regional vote, as long as these parties form an alliance which sees them strategically nominate candidates in the most productive way for independence.

    Simple things like using window/car posters advocating independence, or wearing pro-indy t-shirts and hats, can have a beneficial influence. If the SNP/SG isn’t prepared to do something for independence we must do so in its place.

  6. Paul,
    I’ve asked this elsewhere without response so I’d be pleased if you could address my thoughts.
    If as you say Westminster would be compelled to “grant” an independence referendum at these sustained levels of support for independence then surely our very own Holyrood would also be compelled to grant an independence referendum also, regardless of how many SNP MSPs are there.

    If you don’t agree, could you tell me why?

    • I’m not sure I follow. Holyrood will only vote for a referendum if there is a majority of parties and MSPs who agree to support one. That’s why it’s vital to ensure that we have such a majority following the next Scottish elections.

      An opinion poll by itself, or even a sustained series of opinion polls, cannot create the political pressure that’s required to demonstrate that there’s a definite democratic demand within Scotland for another referendum. Only MSP bums on seats can do that.

      • Paul,
        Do you not suggest yourself that the opinion polls are enough to sway Westminster?
        If this is the case opinion polls should be enough to sway Holyrood whatever the mix of parties there.

        If the opinion polls can’t sway our own parliament then they can’t be expected to sway Westminster either?

        • Yes, I see your point, Breastplate. All the same such an approach would be risky. We really need both a popular majority for Indy combined with a majority of MSPs in the next Holyrood. Belt and braces!

          • Sorry Marconatrix,
            I was examining flaws rather than positing a strategy.
            My personal opinion Is that Paul and the SNP are underestimating Westminster intransigence.
            Of course, I’m willing to accept I could be wrong in that department.

          • If they’re determined to never allow a referendum under any circumstances – then why are there so many credible reports that they’re panicking?

          • Paul, I don’t doubt that they are concerned about the rise in support for independence but I’m not sure that means they’re ready to cave in on our polite requests for an indyref2, I certainly wouldn’t bet the farm on it…or my country.

          • No one is talking about a “polite request”. It would be a constitutional and political crisis backed up with a large and energetic grass roots campaign.

          • Ok Paul, I sense a touch of frustration and I understand that we see things differently but from my point of view the pursuit of an independence referendum has been feeble.
            I’m also sure that not great to hear and it doesn’t make me feel good about saying it.

          • As one SNP MP put it recently, there’s an easy way and a hard way to Scottish Independence, and it’s up to Westminster to choose which it wants to follow. So we should at least offer them the easy way out, and if they refuse it, well that’s on their heids …

          • Marconatrix,
            I’m pretty sure you already know what the answer will be, history is littered with examples.

          • They have already refused it twice!
            Lets go the hard way -whatever that means

        • No, I am not suggesting that opinion polls themselves are enough to sway Westminster. I am saying that Westminster will not be able to withstand a political and constitutional crisis brought about by the clear democratic expression of the majority of people in Scotland that they want another referendum and they want independence. That can only happen with a pro-independence majority in Holyrood to give democratic legitimacy to the claim, combined with an active and vigorous grassroots campaign for independence – both of which clearly enjoy majority support within Scotland.

          • We have only just started to have it for the past few months – while we’ve been in the middle of a pandemic and are unable to do the sort of campaigning that the grassroots movement does so effectively.

          • Thanks for your thoughts on the matter Paul, it is much appreciated.
            I’ll now digest what you’ve said.

          • I’d like to see polls showing those that favour the right to have a vote on independence. The only poll I’ve seen from quite a few months ago had 61% in favour of this. It’s a more basic and democratic question and that is what needs to be highlighted in tandem with support for independence itself.

            It may seem to be splitting hairs, but when a S30 is requested and refused, this seems to be too politically acceptable to WM & Holyrood. More hidden seems to be that the public support for the right to a vote has then also been ignored. If that is highlighted then it becomes a basic question of democracy and harder to just push aside, especially if there is a high level of support for it from both sides.

            Support for the right to have a vote doesn’t imply support for independence and that’s it’s strength. It’s about being able to make that choice when public support for the chance to do so is strongly in favour of it. As it stands, Scotland doesn’t have the right to hold a vote on independence, nor to actually hold a vote on it. Whatever someone’s views on independence, saying no to the right to have a vote, as all major UK parties have publically made clear they do,
            is a strongly undemocratic and authoritarian stance to support. So when a S30 is refused, what is being refused is more than just a S30. Why this isn’t being highlighted along with evidence of widespread public support, seems strange. Independence is one thing, having the right to vote on it is a distinctly different matter.

          • ”What percentage of votes did each party get in the General Election? At the time of writing, the total vote share – according to the BBC – is as follows:

            Conservative – 43.6% Labour – 32.2% Liberal Democrats – 11.5% Scottish National Party – 3.9%

            In Scotland, SNP gained 45% of the total vote share, followed by Conservative (25.1%) and Labour (18.6%).

            https://metro.co.uk/2019/12/13/percentage-votes-per-party-won-popular-vote-general-election-11898913/

            …………………………………………..

            ‘Mandates – Ponsonby nails Tory hypocrisy over Indyref2.’

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc8ftCHSGqE

          • re your point on Westminister deciding on the right to vote

            The same thing obtains in the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. Only the UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland can decide, on nebulous criteria which the UK refuses to define, on whether a border Poll (referendum) will be held.

            Once again, the right to vote is denied until Westminster gives the say-so

          • Ian wrote – “I’d like to see polls showing those that favour the right to have a vote on independence”.

            The right to have a vote on independence is already part of the UK constitution. Not only that, but the UK is signed up to UN conventions on “a people’s” right to self determination… and I’m pretty sure I am correctly remembering the view of a constitutional expert which wrote that… because of that… it too is enshrined into UK domestic law.

            So in that respect, it is as irrelevant as having a poll showing our right to have a state pension. Sure, Westminster can change the entitlement rules to when you can claim that state pension. They can not change (unilaterally) the periodicity of when our indyref can be repeated.

            The citizens of the UK are subject to the same constitution regardless where they reside in the UK, although subject to different laws.

            No act of the UK parliament is superior to another, and case law makes the definition which law takes precedent over another where they clash. However, laws which relate to the UKs responsibilities under it’s own international treaty obligations always take precedence.

            So, with respect to the above… “a generation” for a constitutional referendum to be repeated is seven years, and consent for that can not be unreasonably be withheld, and what is unreasonable is defined in the Good Friday Agreement. Not to be confused with the “self-denying ordinance” of the Sewel Convention.

    • Indeed no, it’s beside Llandudno and has a Welsh name too, something like (IIRC) Pen y Gogarth (??)

      Thanks for the info, btw.

          • Thank you, Paul – I intend to, if you received the reply you were expecting. No one came back to me though … yet. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy your other invitees to Dugcast … 🙂

            Incidentally, could you find the time to reply to my query to you as well… no rush, though. Thanks.

          • Don’t want to over-plug but it was really only to ask if you remembered me from your meeting SNP London some time ago and if you had found my book of any interest?

            I’ll also give YC another little nudge if you like – I hope to be back in Caernarfon area next week (aka ‘my real home’)and although you’ve now found someone, it might be in their interests to maintain contact with the WGD. I’ve already told them that I’m happy to work together with both you and them.

    • The Great Orme, as I am sure you know, provided most of the copper used for making bronze in Bronze Age Western Europe. Cornwall and Devon provided most of the tin required to make the bronze.

      A somewhat mischievous pet theory of mine is that Stonehenge, which is roughly equidistant from the Great Orme and Cornwall was simply a large industrial complex where bronze was smelted before shipping to Europe. It would have made much more sense to ship copper and tin ingots rather than raw ore, or perhaps even bronze alloy itself. Especially in those days where ships were much smaller.

      I must confess, I like that theory if only to annoy those archaeologists who love to attribute pseudo-religious associations to just about every site ever uncovered. 🙂

      • Stonehenge is ‘Côr y Cewri’ (‘The Giants’ Choir’) in Welsh. Make of that what you will.

        All I can say – regarding the ‘blue stones’ in particular – “Praise the Lord, we (have always been) a musical nation!”

  7. There has been an increase in the growth of a trait in Scotland that not enough people exhibited previously, confidence, and it’s been more and more noticable in our other trait of when we attach humour to our daily lives, like black folks invented soul music as a distraction from their position in life I like to think maybe Scots probably invented the reverse humour attacks on ourselves for our distraction from poverty imposed upon us by the same people who create all misery on earth, the powerful Exceptionalists
    Down through the ages once a people get a sniff of the chance to improve their lot in life that sniff travels like the Bisto aroma advert until everyone begins to smell it, then the demand to taste it becomes overwhelming

    We used to say *Aw Naw but they’ll dae sumthin tae us* and worry about the dictat coming from on high, now we say *Bring it on ya clowns*

    For thousands of years people have faught and died for the right to exist in freedoms of their own choice, in Scotland all we have to do is stand together and tell our own parliament *YES* we want this referendum on our freedom and in the words of SNP MSP Constitutional affairs Minister Michael Russell addressing the Scottish Parliament “Then the people of Scotland shall have it”

  8. During the recent debate on Independence in the Senedd last week (the first ever in Cymru, btw), the former FM, Carwyn Jones MS, came out with this. You might find the comment interesting, Scotland.

    ___________

    7.33pm

    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.

    https://nation.cymru/news/live-blog-the-senedd-debates-independence-for-the-first-time/

    • You wonder why so many politicians after having left office decide to tell the truth that they didn’t when they were in office

      • I would agree with this. In 2015 I had a similar experience when out canvassing with the Scottish Tories (I must explain that since that time, I have walked away from both them and the Unionist cause due to my fury at losing my EU citizenship through Brexit, and the Tories’ disgusting transformation into a lying, intolerant Hard-Right English Nationalist party, exemplified by the current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson) in the Dumfries and Galloway constituency.

        I was walking behind the former, and now late Galloway and West Dumfries Tory MSP (and former Holyrood Presiding Officer) Alex Fergusson, who was having a lengthy chat with a local Tory councillor (who may have been Ivor Hyslop, though I cannot remember for sure) and the the subject of a future Indyref 2 came-up. I clearly remember Alex Fergusson telling his colleague that, if it came to another referendum the Unionist side had to be ready:

        “because they’ll win the next one.”

        By ‘they’ he meant the pro-Independence side, not the Unionists…….

        I cannot picture Fergusson’s successor, Finlay Carson, or any of his colleagues making a similar comment now. For obvious reasons……

  9. Paul,

    Who wis it Andrew Tickle mentioned!

    Wis it Gordie Broon?

    Wis it Black eyebrows Grey Heid?

    Wis it The Egg Man?

    Come oan! Dinnae tease us!

  10. Okey-doke. Support for Independence, 54%. Even now we have to say that it could vary, some could take a notion against it. Support for getting rid of Holyrood? A trick one, it used to be less than 10% but a poll by UKIP in January showed support at I think 16%. That’s possible now with the increasing partisanship.

    So that leaves 30% (or more) who support Devolution, but not Independence – yet. And Devolution is indeed under threat, and impartial experts are agreeing with the “power grab” description, like the guy from Liverpool Uni. In terms of the 85% turnout last time, that 30% is over 1 million voters.

    Fertile ground.

  11. Thing is Paul….what if yer wrong…. Oh God Paul what if yer wrong?
    If the Westminster Government did keep refusing us a vote they wouldn’t need to do it for very long to have the time to declaw Holyrood .
    Especially if they’re serious about “keeping” Scotland ,and I think that they are.
    What I see coming down the tracks at us is a repeat of the Thatcher year’s.

    I grew up as the crow flies 5 miles from you and in the same social economic environment 5 year’s infront of ye,but I never got out.
    The effects of that social destruction on our communities,I’m sure I don’t need to describe ,has never stopped giving,and the notion that more of it is heading our way again is intolerable to me and I suspect to you too.

    The only thing that makes any sense of the Westminster Government.
    actions these past 5 year’s is that they do intend to make London a “Singapore on the Themes” and the blue print for London’s financial model is a Thatcher type policy and this time not towards heavy industry but rather towards agriculture and manufacturing.
    They reasoned that we didn’t need to produce coal or steel we could just but it in from else where and this was ment to be just ” good housekeeping of the public purse”, when really it was shaping the UK economy towards financial services.
    Well…I think think they are about to do the same with the little we still produce and again they’re not asking if that’s the economy Scotland wants!
    The country’s they seem want to forge post Brext look like being made to organise into focusing on facilitating and supporting the financial services sector and allowed “some” tourism as a side venture.
    Any Government prepared to damage and dilute the exclusivity of an industry like the Whisky industry must, it seems to me , have other priorities.

    So it’s not just Gove who’s panicked that the Union won’t survive,I’m panicking that it will.
    It’s not just Johnston that’s irritated at Holyrood for its actions,I’m furious at it for its inaction.
    Don’t even get me started on our Westminster MPs!!

    back then, all the adults round me claimed, “she can’t do that,people won’t stand for it” multiple times with Thatcher, but they were so wrong. Do it she did and stood for it they did too.
    Those adults did not have the benift of hindsight to see the generational damage that would be visited in their weans…we do!
    They waited for Labour election after election and even after Blair eventually won…. all that waiting changed nothing for people here!
    All of which taught this child of Thatcher waiting is not an option,when they are showing you what they intend.

    So,as I see it !!

    One of the very few things we can do is to explore other solutions.
    I’d say it was a perfectly proper thing to do.
    A learning from past mistakes thing to do.
    A something we don’t have to wait to do.
    I really don’t see the problem with looking to see if a list only party would push things on and some of the caustic comments flying around are as you’ve said so totally unnecessary.

    We’ve got at least one party registered now if we choose to go down that route and for that I’m relieved that someone got off their backside.
    I’d just rather we had a list party and not need it than work out we needed one and not have it… registration is a lengthy process.
    As to all these potential others….well one might be a break out party,but it will be interesting to see the speed of their applications process .
    The ISP still haven’t got approval for a logo yet and they’ve been at this since January.

    If you’ve got this far Paul,you’ll see that I disagree with you and want to help to push for the List party option,and while I hope you think I did so respectfully as you have asked….please note you said not a bloody word about keeping it short 🙂

    • WGD says in his article: “The reason that the Scottish Government has not pressed for another referendum with the insistence that many in the independence movement would like is because it’s only this year that we’ve started to see consistent majorities for yes in opinion polling.”

      I think differently. I don’t believe in blind faith, so am in favour of pressure being kept on the SNP and the leadership, just in case they actually are becoming too comfy in their seats and would happily drag on election after election while they earn the big bucks and give in to entryists whatever they are, rather than exitists! As some think.

      But the thing is this, the power grab has been on the cards for at least 3 years and that is when things will move very fast. It hasn’t happened yet despite what some say. 90% or thereabouts in Scotland support Devolution, and if anything, more powers, not less. The other thing is that the end of the transition period is 31st Dec this year, not last year, the year before, or the year before that. That is when the pressure is really on the UK Government to deliver.

      The good thing is we should know by the end of this year, barring any transition period extension, well before next May, whether it’s squeaky SNP backsides on seats as in parliamentary ones, or has it been a genuine reason to hold, hold hold …

    • Good post Liz and a timely reminder of the Thatcher years and her legacy that can still be felt up until this very day … then the damage she created compounded by every last PM that’s followed on from her.

      I swither and dither about the list party idea and if I’m veering in that direction at all (rather than SNPx2 or SNP/Greens), I could only countenance one party, only, getting anywhere and if led, only, by Alex Salmond, as proposed elsewhere. I can’t see more than one list party actually getting many, any, seats due to scattering the vote.

      Anyway what I don’t get Liz is when you (and others) say, ”I really don’t see the problem with looking to see if a list only party would push things on ….” I’m trying to figure out how a new list party could do that. How they’ll actually get us our independence. I’ve read the David Hooks article on WoS too, but there was no mention on there of the strategy that they would use. Just asking in case I’m missing something.

      • Stuart on WoS wrote a very good article about a list party when he first proposed the idea. It made sense and you could follow his reasoning.

        Must be last year sometime now, if not even longer.

        Now “gorgeous george” is jumping on the list party bandwagon, so there must be something in it, if the Tories are interested!

        • Thanks for that info, Elizabeth. List parties? I remember Schrodinger’s Cat mention what he saw as being the benefits of having a pro-independence list party on WoS in 2016 whereby it was, let’s just say, totally dismissed. Now it seems to be the flavour of the month … or longer? The thing is one PI list party led by the right person, for example Alex Salmond, might have worked. Any more than that I reckon will get us nowhere. In fact could lose us a majority.

          • Petra I was under the impression that the support for ” both votes SNP” was an attempt to repeat the 2011 breaking of the system ?
            Therefore it was reasonable to get behind it.

            As we know to our cost it didn’t work,the SNP were too popular in the Constituency…. The SNP have to be just the ” right ” amount of popular in the Constituency to gain from the list…
            That now seems to be impossible and they are going to dominate the Constituency.
            Those are the facts that have changed that warrant a change of mind.
            I certainly wanted to understand why the SNP being more popular in 2016 resulted in less seats than they got in 2011.
            So now that I think I do,I certainly want to do what I can with it!

          • …the SNP were too popular in the Constituency….

            Well, that’s one (negative) way of lookin’ at it. The other is that they were not popular enough in the lists!

            Anyhoo, now is now, not 2011 , 2016 or 2017. Times change. The SG is more popular now than it ever was in those past contests, is “good to go” for (most of) the constituencies, and could even be in contention for the lists as well. If enough people vote for it. Simples.

            The list seats only “cancel out” gains in the constituencies where the latter are disproportionate. (As can often happen with FPTP. Just look at Westminster.) But if a party truly has support behind it because its arguments are consonant with the times – as is happening now – it’s a whole new ball game. The more your vote grows beyond 50%, the more the list actually begins to work in your favour, not against you.

            Unfortunately, too many people are looking back, haunted by the past, content to just tweak a supposedly marginal position instead of looking forward and seeing the new possibilities for advancement. In which case their unambitious stance is liable to stymie list gains for the SNP next May without any compensating win for any alt-indy startup. (RISE redux.)

            Even worse, all this irrational doom-mongering goin’ around these days could even lose us the majority. When the disengagement of yer supposed indy supporter dovetails with the last desperate tactics of the opposition, a re-think is well overdue. If they’re genuine, that is.

        • List parties are nothing new. The greens and others have always been in reality list parties. All this current furore is not about new List parties but more about where the people involved have come from (SNP) and their stated reasons for starting the party.

          The election system is designed to give voters the option of voting for two parties if they wish. Nothing new – otherwise you could just work out the proportional adjustment part by using the vote % from the constituency vote and therefore just have one vote.

          There is no cheating, gaming or didling going on.

      • Hey Petra..I hope you are well 🙂
        Anyhoo there’s not a thing wrong with swithering and dithering.. LOL
        And believe me when the election comes I’ll cast my votes only in the interests of Indy.
        Because never again do I want to wait for another country to decide to change my government…
        And that is a big part of my interest in a list party..

        The first thing they can do is remove British paid for party’s seats from Holyrood ( well as many as possible ) because as Labour demonstrate with trident and the Tories demonstrate every day they are mere place holders for the dictate of London HQ and must remain leashed.

        We all know that the SNP as a government has to govern for all of Scotland and across all area’s but the new party doesn’t.
        They don’t even have constituents in the strictest sense and are not constrained by the manifesto of the SNP either.
        Therefore every day and every way where possible they are free to address the constitution as they will have been elected to do.
        ( The Greens are not good at this )
        But for me the two main things would be the % of Holyrood representing a pro independence vote and how that would play internationally.

        The mash of voting will be of no interest to …well …anyone really!
        It’s the headline that 75%/80 + 🙂 of the parliament are demanding a vote that will matter, and it’s Westminster left to flubber at anyone who will listen over the Scottish system being no as simple as that!

        I think it’s almost unanimously agreed we need international recognition and a large % of our parliament agreeing on this will help.
        I believe that, that was indeed one of the Tory arguments recently they argued the whole of Holyrood was behind having a vote in 2014 because they just knew that it was a once in a generation thing and they’re sticking with that.
        It also will play that way in England too with any luck…they are tuned to first past the post only .

        Secondly , getting rid of the British Parties representatives from Holyrood ensures the best we can manage that there’s no repeat of the Smith commission set up when it comes to the negotiations.
        Labour Liberal and Tory getting two seats at the table….we could never know for sure who’s interests were being negotiated…..having more reps that can’t be offered a seat in the Lord’s it seems to me is no bad thing to aim for!

        Of course my dream team for in that room would have been.
        Wings = to play hard ball and call out lies
        Paul = to record honestly for us and for history what really went on
        Craig Murry = as someone wise to their ways
        Sadly not going to happen, I know, but I promise ye Petra if I become Queen of Scotland I’ll make them go 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Hi Liz I hope you are keeping well too and thanks for replying to my post..

          Well like you Liz I want rid of the BritNat parasites at Holyrood but what about doing that with the Greens (numbers permitting); a political party that many Scots are familiar with?

          You say, ”They don’t even have constituents in the strictest sense and are not constrained by the manifesto of the SNP either.”

          So will they have their own manifesto? If not how will people know what they stand for other than wanting an independent Scotland?

          You say, ”But for me the two main things would be the % of Holyrood representing a pro independence vote and how that would play internationally and having a headline that 75%/80 + 🙂 of the parliament are demanding a vote that will matter.”

          Don’t you think that if too many pop-up parties emerge over the next few months that could dissipate the vote Liz to the point that we may end up not having a majority at all? And I’m back to why not the SNP + the Greens?

          And who would lead such a party Liz? So far I’ve noticed a couple of names of people who are not known at all by the general public. And the other candidates. Who are they? Where are they coming from re. beliefs and opinions? Then there will be the usual MSM digging for dirt as has happened with the SNP previously. If they find any that’ll be extremely damaging to our cause. Right now they don’t seem to have any more dirt to dig up on SNP/Green politicians. The Alex Salmond investigation? Time will tell, soon, if this was civil service led only (reading through the investigation communications it looks like that to me .. but who am I to say?), if Nicola Sturgeon was duped like Alex or if she was involved. I doubt it’s the latter, but as I’ve said already time will tell. And if she was involved I reckon that we can forget about getting our independence, as an independence list party ain’t going to get us anywhere without the SNP, in my lifetime at least … if ever.

          Then there’s the issue of Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP in general. If you ask anyone on the street about the SNP they’ll say ”Nicola Sturgeon,” She’s the person that most Scots know and trust, especially now, following the coronavirus briefings and yet we’ve got people in the independence movement who are attempting to crucify her. How does that make sense? How’s that going to help us to get our independence?

          My dream team definitely wouldn’t include Mr Campbell, as you’ll know, and as far as I can see he gave up calling out the BritNat liars (which he was great at doing) quite some time ago. I also reckon, to put it nicely, that he wouldn’t appeal to the general public. In fact, a poll gauging his chances of successfully fronting (or behind the scenes) a political party wouldn’t go amiss right now.

          I also have issues with the Greens and the SNP however they just pale into insignificance in comparison to getting our independence, with the bottom line being that Laws can be repealed and politicians can be ousted. Let’s not forget either that there won’t be a need for the SNP following independence and at the first opportunity we should see things change plus we’ll have MP’s returning from London, such as Tommy Sheppard who’s natural leanings are towards the Labour Party.

          Anyway Liz questions, questions, questions and I’m still swithering and dithering about a number of things, lol.

          And by the way if you become Queen of Scotland Liz, as I can very well see you doing, I want first dibs at being your number one lady-in-waiting and between us we’ll definitely sort them all out. A force to be reckoned with I’d say 🙂 .

          • Ah Perta….know this now
            YOU will never ever be my lady in wating..not a chance…

            Princess Royal ..me thinks… 🙂 🙂 🙂 LOL

            Anyhoo nae doot we’ll get to unpack all of what we’ve said going forward….we’ve spent years agreeing to disagree but I have to bow out for tonight ….speak soon xxx

            And yes I’m well thank you for askin 🙂

          • Princess Royal? I like it, being promoted already, but don’t you be thinking of dumping me for someone else on Wings. If so there’ll be a right royal stushie 🙂.

            Yeah we’ll continue to discuss, debate and at times agree to disagree. At the end of the day we’re both desperate for the same outcome. Anyway nite, nite and take care and don’t forget to pop by for a blether and a cuppa xxx

  12. This article has just appeared on Conservative Home, from a Tory councillor in Edinburgh, Nick Cook.

    “Nick Cook: Watch Gove’s crucial role as a pro-Union strategist – with Scotland’s elections just ten months away
    Cllr Nick Cook
    By Cllr Nick Cook

    Nick Cook is a Conservative councillor in Edinburgh, where he holds responsibility for group policy and political strategy.

    The first phases of lockdown saw me progressively tune out of the news. I’ve no doubt that juggling nursery-free parenting and arrival of a puppy both contributed.

    However, the poll earlier this month putting support for Scottish separation at 54 per cent gave me the nudge I needed to again fire up my go-to news apps proper.

    Yes, polls are but a snap shot in time. Yes, political pollsters worldwide have increasingly struggled to correctly predict results.

    But despite damning failings on care home deaths, school reopening, comparably tight-fisted business support and a dog whistle border row that would make Donald Trump proud, Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP have been judged to have had a ‘good pandemic’.

    By extension, support for a separate Scottish state seems to have risen too. I suspect temporarily, but in truth nobody is yet sure of the medium to longer term impact of Covid-19 – on politics or anything else.

    Notably, the Indy uptick comes despite the fact it is the UK Conservative government – not the SNP – that has been directly paying the wages of Scotland’s 628,000 furloughed workers and 146,000 self-employed.

    I firmly believe that seeing Sturgeon conduct a high budget daily press conference has boosted the SNP’s polling. The opposition simply haven’t been afforded similar exposure by broadcasters, as they would be required to at election time. As John Curtice has pointed out, it appears polling reflects two decades of relatively low public understanding of the devolved settlement has given way to a public better engaged with Holyrood’s responsibilities.

    To follow this through logically, an increasing number of Scots will also be becoming better equated with what is – and crucially, is not – the UK Government’s responsibility in Scotland.

    Perhaps this unprecedented pandemic will finally do what opposition parties at Holyrood have largely failed to do, which is to unambiguously pin blame for the Scottish Government’s failures at the SNP’s feet in the mind of the casual voter. Increased awareness presents risks and opportunity for unionists and nationalists alike.

    However, if the recent summer statement from the Chancellor is anything to go by, the UK Government is – contrary to detractors – prepared and ready to take the fight to Scottish nationalism, based not on historical identity, but by delivering financially for Scots in the here and now. Austerity be gone.

    The statement itself had Rishi Sunak’s fingerprints all over it: his predecessor, Sajid Javid, would have given it a Thatcherite rinse.

    But the strategic decision to largely bypass Holyrood and spend the bulk of the £800 million directly in Scotland makes good on months-long UK Government murmurings and best the imprint of Michael Gove and his unassumingly monikered cabinet subcommittee for Union policy.

    It also belatedly gives teeth to Cameron-era messaging that Scotland does indeed have two governments.

    Fellow Conservatives can often be critical of Theresa May’s premiership. But she remains broadly well-regarded in Scotland by Remainers and Leavers alike, because she was rock solid on the Union and Scotland’s place within it. Lacking the Bullingdon baggage of her predecessor, May had no hesitation in tackling Nicola Sturgeon head-on. And she was modest enough to defer to Scotland’s Conservative leadership.

    Some might suggest that May’s decision to put in motion the Dunlop review on devolution, when she had one foot out the door of Number Ten, was intended to put a marker down for her successor. She would know that any new government would be unlikely to be bound by its conclusions.

    While Boris Johnson would declare himself ‘Minister for the Union’, his decision to heed Lord Dunlop’s call to task a senior minister with inter-UK relations betrays a good degree of self-awareness that critics – and allies – would question.

    Either that or Dominic Cummings, Eddie Lister and company know full well that Johnson’s undeniable charisma and quintessential English charm quickly meet a brick wall in Scotland, amongst Unionists across the political spectrum.

    Gove’s influence penetrates right across government, but his pivotal role as Union tsar is probably as shrewd a decision as the current government has made. While many English MPs point to their Scottish heritage as a sort of tokenism, it is clear Gove’s Aberdonian upbringing is central to his politics. He has remained dialled in to Scottish politics across his career. Bluntly, he gets the nuances of Holyrood. Many others do not.

    He is already known as a zealous reformer, but if the UK government is to succeed in more loudly stamping its mark across Scotland through direct investment, they will need to be bold and channel the sort of zeal usually reserved for an underdog. Even Kevin Pringle, Alex Salmond’s former spin doctor, recently suggested such an attitude could play well for Unionists.

    Back at Holyrood, current the Scottish Tory leader, Jackson Carlaw is an enthusiastic leader, albeit with a tough act to follow. He is also a one who – through no fault of his own – has had the early momentum of his leadership wiped out by a global pandemic. With the Holyrood elections just ten months away, fight like an underdog it must be.”

    “Either that or Dominic Cummings, Eddie Lister and company know full well that Johnson’s undeniable charisma and quintessential English charm quickly meet a brick wall in Scotland, amongst Unionists across the political spectrum.”

    There is some #10 self-awareness of the Johnson liability in Scotland then. What the majority view of Michael Gove is, I would be fascinated to know.

    I do think we need to be much more careful of Gove than Johnson. For one, Gove is a Scot, and so has an emotional reason to prevent Scottish Independence, being dumped by your own homeland is not a good feeling. So he has more to lose, and is likely to put up a much more intense fight against the SNP than Johnson will. Gove is also a liar, and a cynical opportunist – as Johnson, whose 2016 Tory leadership campaign he betrayed in public, is only too aware. He will have to treated with more care as an opponent, whereas Johnson may well be an asset to our cause with his arrogant, insecure, tone-deaf chancer act. Johnson also hates detailed criticism, which is why he flounders against Keir Starmer at PMQ’s every week, and why he refused to debate Nicola Sturgeon on TV before last December’s General Election – because he feared that he’d get torn apart. Gove is unlikely to shrink from such a fight, and may be a tougher enemy to deal with.

    We must be careful to stop him making any headway on the Unionist side.

        • You mean the Tories can think!! I always thought they just did what Number 10 told them to.
          As far as I am concerned Michael Gove is not Scottish. He may have been born here but although I was born in and still live in Scotland,for me being Scottish is not just about the place a person is born or bloodline it is a State of Mind. Gove does not exhibit the communitarian values that I identify as a major part of being Scottish. He doesnt live here but is an MP for an English constituency so should have no influence on Scotland’s future.He is just another money grabbing posh boy out to screw the common people. Personally I don’t think he is very smart either. He is a man that is so slimy he makes Jabba the Hut look like Mr Universe. The man has already betrayed Bojo once I fully expect him to do it again all for his own advantage.

          • What you think about Gove doesn’t matter dear, it’s what he thinks that counts given his position in Johnson’s government. If he considers himself to be a Scot, given his birthplace and upbringing, then he is not going to stand by and watch his homeland make him a foreigner in his own country. He is a greater threat than Johnson because of that. Put simply, he has much more to lose from Scottish Independence.

          • Please don’t patronize me by calling me dear. You have your opinion about Gove I have mine. His power in a Uk Tory Government that Scotland voted substantially againstreflects everything that is wrong with our current constitutionalal situation. He is going against the will of the people in the country he was born in. What he personally has got to lose by Independence is irrelevant. The will of the Scottish people is what is important not those who haven’t even lived here for years

    • I liked the line on Theresa May “..broadly well regarded..in Scotland”

      And

      Gove in touch with Scottish Politics.

      😂

    • Some great posts on here today, such as yours Christopher, although I could pick on the ”Tory Government paying the wages ..”. What I would like to say is that I totally agree with you on Gove. He’s the one to be watched with his high IQ, fantastic memory (recall) and ability to make his opponents look like ignoramuses during debates. I’ve been concerned that Johnson, who IS an asset to us, will step down due to health reasons and that Gove will ultimately fill his place. Anyway time will tell, and until such time, all we can do is continue to work our butts off to help support for independence to rise.

      • Thank you Petra. We also have to be careful, very careful, about Dominic Cummings. He may well get involved in the Tories’ Holyrood election campaign next year, which given his abilities in sloganeering and social media data harvesting – which won both the Brexit referendum and last December’s election for the Tories – could be dangerous for us.

        In the past few days, it has also been reported in the Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph that Isaac Levido – the Australian strategist who co-ordinated Johnson’s Tory leadership campaign and General Election campaign, is involved in strategising for the Scottish Tories 2021 election campaign. The big guns seem to be getting involved on the Tory side, and we need to be alert to any signs of 3-word pro-Union slogans (Cummings signature strategy) and the other kinds of tactics they have used before. Given the size of the stakes for them, the Tories will likely throw everything they have got at Sturgeon to try and stop an SNP majority.

        • GET INDEPENDENCE DONE

          TAKE BACK CONTROL

          BYE BYE LONDON

          JOHNSON DISNAE CARE

          CARLAW CARES LESS

          Take your pick – 10 secs to knock them out – Cummings is not a genius.

          • It’s the coverage that is the problem , not the slogan. And every sodding media outlet will be favouring the thieves , liars and fraudsters.

        • Yeah Cummings is an extremely dangerous man Christopher and I’ve read that Isaac Levido was the ‘brains’ behind breaching the ”red wall’ and Boris Johnson being where he is right now with his majority of 80. On the other hand he was brought back to help deal with the coronavirus crisis and he doesn’t seem to have been too successful with that. It’s said that he doesn’t have any experience in crisis management in government and I’d imagine that’s exactly what Scotland wanting to dissolve the union would be classified as .. a crisis. There’s no doubt that we’re up against it as I’m sure that they’ll have the top experts, from a variety of fields, sitting at a round table deep in the heart of England with each individual being tasked with scuppering our plans. Money no object. And then there’s those who are already embedded in Scotland doing likewise from within. Anyway let’s not forget, however, that wee David beat big Goliath, lol. A story of courage, faith, and overcoming what seemed to be impossible odds. If he could do it, we can do it.

    • Interesting. Cook is as deluded as Duncan Haverslavers across on Labour Hame. I agree Gove is the one we have to look out for, they don’t come slippier or slimier than Gove.

    • Perhaps this unprecedented pandemic will finally do what opposition parties at Holyrood have largely failed to do, which is to unambiguously pin blame for the Scottish Government’s failures at the SNP’s feet

      Perhaps. Or perhaps not. (Check the polls.)

      That’s all Tory wishful thinking, as we’ve seen ad nauseam on the BBC news courtesy of Jackass Carload, and in the attack-statements-as-questions from the media rat pack in the daily Covid briefings, but unfortunately for all their fact-bending and finger-pointing, the public-at-large thinks it’s all made-up cobblers.

      And they’re right.

      Even better, the more the Tories (or enfeebled Labour) try to spin their tawdry party politics out of our wellbeing, the lower in our esteem they fall. So carry on, Carload & Co!

  13. Those asking why would Westminstet give in to public pressure .

    Look at India. The only violence was from the BritNats. A polite, gentle man eventually overcame the Empire. This was more than 70 years age during the period of Pathè News and Unionist influence in World affairs still high.

    Imagine the World watching on 7/24 news programmes as Boris screams NO!

    I hope RT and the Chinese make full use of the propaganda windfall. The EU have a lot to gain from welcoming Scotland and ZERO to lose.

  14. As I’ve said elsewhere today regarding the “panic” Interesting that Gove is panicking about the break up of the Union but not about Boris heading North!
    The guy is a loon!

    • As said previously, Gove does not panic, he has cutlery for all eventualities….
      The ‘panic’ story is Tory window dressing to excuse the Charlatan crossing the non-existent border, presumably panic fridges are being assembled en-route

  15. Another excellent article, Paul, outlining the reality of the situation and that is that this has ALWAYS been about Nicola Sturgeon requiring to have a majority of sovereign Scots behind her to win this battle: A majority being THE basic requirement. I read of people stating that 62% of Scots voting to remain in the EU constituted dissolving the Union and yet within that stat I’d imagine that many didn’t want to live in an independent Scotland at all. Can you imagine the utter mayhem that would have ensued if Nicola Sturgeon had followed that advice? Others have said that Nicola Sturgeon should have just ripped up the Treaty of the Union when support for independence was less than 50%. Who was that going to impress? Westminster, the EU and / or the UN? More so how would Unionist supporting Scots react? One legal challenge after another, from the BritNat billionaire brigade, plus chaos on our streets. Over the last few years the BritNat politician’s mantra, raison detre for being totally dismissive, was that a majority of Scots didn’t want independence. Well that’s changed now, as you say, ”it’s only this year that we’ve started to see consistent majorities for yes in opinion polling” and with that change in circumstances we can now see that we’ve got the Tories on the run .. or with the runs, lol. We’ll all be patiently waiting here in Scotland for the arrival of LBJ to see what words of wisdom he’s going to spout for keeping us in this Union. That should be a laugh. And hoping to see him mix with the throngs in Glasgow, No Mean City, as Nicola Sturgeon has done. Aye right enough!

  16. In other news (which may not appear in MSM – I am blocked from visiting the BBC, for some reason) …

    https://golwg.360.cymru/newyddion/rhyngwladol/2005512-protest-erbyn-ymweliad-brenhinol-chatalwnia

    In translation (WS + Google Translate):

    _________

    Protest against royal visit to Catalonia

    King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia are travelling all over Spain to raise the spirits of the country during the spread of the coronavirus

    Hundreds of people have been protesting against the Spanish king and queen’s visit to Catalonia.

    Felipe VI and Letizia have been travelling all over Spain to raise the nation’s spirits during the spread of the coronavirus.

    And he is in the middle of an argument about his father, former king Juan Carlos, who is suspected of hiding millions of untaxed Euros in secret accounts.

    Prosecutors are deciding whether to prosecute him for receiving the money from Saudi Arabia, possibly in exchange for a high-speed rail project.

    The ex-king has not commented on the matter, but his son has rejected his father’s inheritance after he renounced his kingship in 2014.

    Visit

    The king and queen plan to travel to all 17 Spanish regions to show support for the country’s inhabitants and the economy in the wake of the pandemic.

    They were due to go to Catalonia last week but the plans had to be modified due to a sharp increase in the virus outbreak in the Barcelona area.

    The protesters today carried flags and displayed cards bearing the phrase “Catalonia has no king”.

    The protest was organized by the movement ANC – the National Assembly of Catalonia.

    There has been considerable tension between Spain and Catalonia since 2017 after Spain banned a referendum and led to fierce clashes between protesters and the authorities.

    After the police closed roads in Catalonia, protesters have been trying to disrupt the journey by reaching out to members of the royal family in many other ways, including walking through a vineyard.

  17. There are two problems with the ‘unstoppable political pressure’ argument. The first is that a politician feels pressure on him/her, when s/he realises that if people vote in the next election the same way they seem to be ‘voting’ now, in an opinion poll, that politician will be out of a job. In these terms, Scottish opinion polls exert essentially no political pressure on Mr Johnson, Mr Gove or Mr Cummings.
    The second problem is that it is not Mr Johnson alone, or just the Cabinet, or just the body of Conservative MPs — but a majority of the whole House of Commons that must agree to the ‘grant’ing of a new Independence Referendum. The House of Commons spent two years fart-arsing about in face of the pressure generated by the ‘Brexit’ vote in the EU referendum — and even after that, we’d still be in the EU if Boris Johnson hadn’t suckered the Remainer MPs into granting him an election.

  18. Re: The Internal Market Bill.

    Plaid Cymru have proposed an amendment, following the approach taken by the Government of Wallonia in 2016 regarding a trading agreement between the EU and Canada.

    The amendment, if passed, would ensure that the devolved parliaments would have the opportunity to vote and approve (or not) any international trade agreements. PC Agriculture Spokesperson, Ben Lake, points out that such similar systems exist in the USA and Germany and it would show that the UK was an equal partnership.

    More details (without translation for now – but Marco might like to try his hand …):

  19. what worries me is that the tories are taking steps to sideline devolution and the scottish goverment, and with an 80 majority in westmonster they’ll do it. so how do we get independence with no scottish goverment in place

    • It’s pretty well accepted that it would need a referendum to abolish the Scottish Parliament, and unlike the Sewell Convention, there’s no “normally” to worry about:

      https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/46/part/2A

      “63APermanence of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government

      (1) The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are a permanent part of the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements.

      (2) The purpose of this section is, with due regard to the other provisions of this Act, to signify the commitment of the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government.

      (3) In view of that commitment it is declared that the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are not to be abolished except on the basis of a decision of the people of Scotland voting in a referendum.] “

  20. Referendums and Scottish Parliament

    The Scottish Parliament backed Ms Sturgeon’s call for a second independence referendum in 2017 following her speech in Bute House setting out the material changes that warranted a second indyref I.e. Brexit.
    Then this earlier this year.

    https://beta.parliament.scot/bills/referendums-scotland-bill

    The Bill became an Act on 29th January 2020.

    The ducks are being lined up.
    .

  21. I truly hope that Johnson would cave in the future if that was required and the wait and see approach will pay dividends. It is not impossible far from it but in my opinion it is not that probable. Why take the risk?

    Is Johnson different from all the Britnats who have gone before – possibly – because he will have to be because all the rest that have gone before did not give a monkeys about Scotlands democratic wishes.

    Now before I get accused of woe is me – sorry, but I have proposed an approach that does not need any wait and see. State in the 2021 election manifesto that a mandate for independence if > 50% of the vote is achieved. Now that is putting pressure on Johnson. If he doesn’t come calling like Cameron did then proceed if you have the courage with the election plebiscite. If he comes calling all those independence supporters who believe we will win a referendum will be happy. Both options will be legal options and keeps those who insist on legality happy as well.

    Do nothing but wait and see says to me that the confidence of the 54% polls is still not enough for the SNP.

      • May well be. The one thing about the FM that is not in doubt is that she is a smart politician. So I tend to think that if she has not got some plan then it’s not because she is incapable it’s because she does not believe in the Scottish people.

  22. I’d say there is no quick fix. No easy way out of this catastrophe. Some might argue that we had that chance in 2014. Came close. Gave the PTB a fright. Wound up where we are today. Generally frustrated, angry, fearful and mistrusting of… well… everything. They did a bang up job on that front. Sooo, well done them (very slow hand clap)

    I’d guess that there is only cutting off avenues of argument and false narrative. That means rooting about in the long grass quite a lot. Y’know, that place where they keep kicking the issue of constitutional clusterf… And no. No, I don’t believe in some clever legal loophole which will magic our way to self government either. The law follows politics. Sometimes it informs politics, but it will always take second place to political pressure and expediency. That place where you find that some folk in politics believe there are only common interests and self preservation. 🙄

    Peacefully and democratically is the only way this happens with the least amount of harm to Scotland’s population. That’s going to take time (six years and counting so far). Wilful intransigence on the part of Westminster government has to be seen to be proven to the international community beyond all reasonable doubt. Societal pressure and political pressure applied in tandem. They cannot be allowed to hide behind either as they have done to date. Their narrative has to be taken apart and shown to the wider public for what it always was. And by wider public, I mean ALL the populations of the UK.

    Probably worth a thought.

    • In a perfect world, Sam, peace and democracy would be second nature. Unfortunately, we are far from utopia. If you haven’t watched the series on BBC iPlayer – Once Upon a Time in Iraq – then do so. Saddam was no threat to the UK – despite what Blair et al said at the time. We did what the USA told us – they in turn were following orders from Israel. This documentary lays bare what that meant for millions of ordinary Iraqi’s.

      The destruction of much of the Middle East is an ideological choice. The British Establishment adopts that ideology at every opportunity.

      If Scotland ever achieves a position – through referendum or election – where it can legitimately make a claim for independence, just be aware that every and any measure will be taken to prevent that from happening. Scottish independence is a far greater threat to the British Establishment than Saddam ever was.

      • No it’s not a perfect world Mark. Nor will it ever be so long as people don’t try to be better. Some folk do have a knack for following the worst parts of human nature right enough. Pretty much most of the political class I’d say. 😉

        Also? YES. Yes they will fib, mislead, misrepresent, call in favours, leverage the corporate world, other governments etc, etc. They have form (see under 2014) . Kinda gives the lie to their bestest chooms in the galaxy right there, yes?

      • ..”just be aware that every and any measure will be taken to prevent that from happening. Scottish independence is a far greater threat to the British Establishment than Saddam ever was.”

        Spot on, Mark. They’ll stop at nothing to hold onto us.

  23. Surely it is up us, supporters of independence to do everything in our power of the next 10 months to get another 5 or 6% onto the 54%,

    Get the abstained and the non committals to vote

    Get our new younger voters to see that it is their future. 1/2 million Scots from age 16-24.
    The older age range saw Europe taken away from them. The new first time voters are more confident in Scotland than their Grandparents and Great Grandparents

    For the SNP branches agitate for a pro-Indy biased election next year. The tories have no policies and will fight for Brexit and No referendum. A quandary for them.

    For Lib Dem and labournuff said.

    The Greens -stand up to the mark or you may be usurped.

    To the other pretend parties- either unite into one or don’t bother. To be a distraction only helps the unionists.Stop attacking the First Minister.

    March for democracy

    Focus on pro Indy parliament with a mandate to call a referendum – indicative if need be. After all Brexit was not mandatory.

    Prepare for Court and UN.

    Win.

  24. Thank you for writing this Paul – I needed to read something positive.
    Getting sick of all the negative Nicola Sturgeon bashing posts from people who should know better 💖

  25. In 2014 it was accepted that any referendum on Scottish Independence would fail otherwise the UK government wouldn’t have allowed it at all, but that nearly went wrong, although had the proposition passed the UK government in all likelyhood would have stuck their jackboot down and disallowed the result on the basis of all referendums are advisory, followed by Mumble Mumble for a long time

    The implementation of the the UKs Brexit referendum makes that option pretty null and void now and I would suggest that’s one of the reasons for UK government panic, they don’t know how to stop another Scottish referendum without showing jackboots and making matters worse for themselves and looking like the dictators they are to the rest of the world

    How does the UK government demand freedom of choice for say Hong Kong and other places while practicing the oppression of a nation themselves
    The UK still haven’t been able to extricate themselves from the problem of the UN instruction to vacate their continued occupation of the Chagos Islands, violating UN law

    The UK right now have upset just about everybody bringing their unpopularity bubbling up to the surface with EU officials openly now calling them the English Nationalist party

    The international and foreign press are not aglow with praise for the UK of England either and it’s not going to get any better, as a now described *regime* instead of a government the UK of England is in serious trouble

    The UK of England withdrew consular support to Scotland when Nicola Sturgeon was travelling to Brussels because they knew what she was doing there which wasn’t just coffee and biccies and a blether wae her pals

  26. Sorry paul think your peddling false hope here boris has came out in the national press and said categorically he will not agree to a s30.gove exactly the same.what we have from the snp is a mishmash of statements without a definitive policy.there is no policy it’s a game of say anything without commitment the plausible denieability card.everything that has been said by the snp that would show a willingness for indy ref2 is through a third party.boris says no .nicola says thanks for the birthday card.gove says no blackford says scotland will not stand for this.we either put pressure on the snp to declare 2021 a indyref election.or push for joann cherrie to stand for leadership of the snp.we have no other options as time will kill us.

    • OK, you’ve vented your disillusionment, now you can give up, hide under your comfort blanket and let another decade or two pass by. That’ll fix it.

    • He’s not Boris. He’s Johnson and a proven liar.

      If another leader was in charge in Scotland what would the difference be? Sitting at 42% and saying we will win? Hurrahs

      If you have no hope which you seemed to peddle stay away from those who are on the cusp of voting for pro -independence parties. You will just put them off.

    • You’re just doing the Tories’ job for them you know. David Cameron said no just before he went and signed the Edinburgh Agreement with Alex Salmond.

      What exactly do you expect Johnson to say right now? *Of course* he’s going to say he won’t allow another referendum. He’s trying to persuade us to give up. Don’t fall for it.

  27. It’s not too long ago that some people were trying to tell me that Johnson is clever. Now I’m being told that Gove is super smart. I can’t recall anyone specifically saying it but I get the impression that some people think Cummings is a political genius.

    Johnson is a buffoon. Gove is a common slug. Cummings is a chancer who scares the shit out of the posh boys.

    If people are going to make bogeymen out of clowns it is little wonder they are scared about what is going to happen. Ooooooh watch out fearties 😱 , the bogeyman is going to get you.

    Collectively they are minnows. Soon the Brits will be friendless in a hostile world that no longer rates them as anything but an irrelevance to be bossed around.

    That is who we are up against, not some superpower whose every word we should hang onto and whose every action we should fear.

    Nicola Sturgeon is going to out think them and then skewer them. Which is why so many people want her gone. Read the venom of the Brits towards her, the more support she gets the more they hate her. She is their worst nightmare.

  28. If support for independence increases in opinion polls, that will put pressure on both the Scottish and UK governments, and will encourage the general population in Scotland to see independence as the way forward – naturalisation. Old people, in particular need the latter.

    So instead of criticising the SNP or others in the independence movement, we should be doing two things.

    Increasing support for Scottish independence among NO voters by giving them information about what happens/has happened when we say to other people ‘we don’t want to control our own affairs, will you do that for us’. And it is ‘we’ not ‘you’ who did that – blame is not a way forward.

    Encourage our friends south of the border to support independence for England – they can put much more pressure on the UK/English government for the very simple reason that there are far more of them.

  29. The Acid Test:

    Westminster says – “You are not getting a S30 to hold a referendum. And we, Westminster are retaining the powers returned from the EU post Brexit.
    We, Westminster are conducting a study on the supposed benefit of continuing with the Holyrood administration.
    What are you Scotland going to do about it, eh?’.

    What are we going to do about it? ” That is the Acid Test.

    Worse, what can we do about it?

    “The Tories are panicking” are just words. Where is the proof?

    Once we exit the EU at the end of the year we are truly exposed to whatever schemes Cummings and his ‘commandos” will impose upon us.We, Scotland should be in the panic mode.

    i’ll end with a dark cynical, sad view of post Brexit. Chlorinated chicken, hormone boosted beef will arrive in UK supermarkets. The needy, surviving on benefits, will buy this food. Their impoverished diets will shorten their life expectancy. Less of a burden on the UK pension obligations I suppose.

    SNP – Covid is not the only game in town. Brexit is a bigger more dangerous game.

    • “The Tories are panicking, are just words. Where is the proof?”

      I gave the proof in the article. There are numerous credible reports of panic and despair amongst the Conservatives about Scottish independence.

      • Isn’t it odd how the voices of doom and derision constantly accept and proclaim whatever the UK government say is fact but anything the SNP says or indeed anybody else who actually supports Independence is not

        • And let’s not forget that quite often when the SNP haven’t said anything at all, what they haven’t said becomes fact too.

          • Or miss out words which remove context from what Nicola or the SNP said.
            Just about every article written about Nicola’s response to when she will start the Independence campaign misses the word ‘ need ‘ from her response. Include that word and the portrayal of her shelving Indy for 10yrs exposes the writers agenda.

      • It doesn’t matter what proof you provide, these people will deny any argument that doesn’t suit their own narrative of “we’re all doomed” and its that SNP and Nicola Sturgeon to blame so we better get rid of her!

        99.9% of Independence supporters are not listening to their shite and that’s why the polls are looking so good for Independence and the SNP.

        Doesn’t stop the grumblers though, they have their own motivations I’m sure, but if anyone wants to tell me how changing the leader of the SNP will help us get Independence sooner then I’m all ears and hoping to share in your wisdom.

    • Why you could refer to Covid-19 as “not the only game in town” is beyond me, it’s cost the lives of more than 4200 in Scotland and the “reasonable” worst case for this winter is that it may be responsible for as many as 120,000 deaths across the UK. Right now the number of new cases in the world is still growing, we haven’t even seen the peak and there are more than 600,000 reported deaths. I suspect that these figures are actually the tip of the iceberg.

      A report from the Acadamy of medical Sciences published last week after being commissioned by Patrick Vallance suggest that things could be a whole lost worse this coming winter in the UK.

      Modelling of our reasonable worst-case scenario – in which the effective reproduction
      rate of SARS-CoV-2 (Rt) rises to 1.7 from September 2020 onwards – suggests a peak in
      hospital admissions and deaths in January/February 2021 of a similar magnitude to that
      of the first wave in spring 2020, coinciding with a period of peak demand on the NHS.

      We are already seeing local outbreaks. The modelling estimates 119,900 (95% CrI
      24,500 – 251,000) hospital deaths between September 2020 and June 2021, over double
      the number that occurred during the first wave in spring 2020.

      Link to pdf on this page:
      https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/199693/prepare-winter-covid19-peak-warn-infectious/

      This is why Vallance and Whitty are quickly distancing themselves from Johnson’s latest utterings further easing lockdown measures in England. Dealing with Covid and its consequences is as far from being a “game” as you could possibly get.

  30. Ah but … can you prove that you can prove it? How do I know that you can prove it if I can’t see actual proof that you can prove what you say you can prove?

    Got ye that time.

  31. “We, Westminster are conducting a study on the supposed benefit of continuing with the Holyrood administration.”

    These are just words, where is the proof?

    • My crystal ball is better than your crystal ball is todays current tool of the miserablists
      I believe they have a website for that exact approach filled with people *who know* because they were told by people they don’t know on the Internet and they’re all genuine because they just *know* they are
      It’s a known *fact* that the people on the Internet who say bad things about the FM and SNP are more truthful and believable than the people who say good things about the FM and SNP and they’re definitely supporters of Independence because they said so

      These folk are such strong supporters of an Independent Scotland that they never get on the back of the opposition they just keep banging on about not voting for the side they say they support unless that side is replaced by somebody else who hasn’t a snowballs chance in hell of ever winning anything

      It’s a funny way to boast support for a cause by constantly undermining it, there’s a definite smell with a rat attached to it

      • Dr Jim, I have showered your posts with praise over a number of years. In fact the only one I can remember criticising was the Tory MP manhandling by the throat the women climate change protestor. I am sorry to say that the majority of your posts now seem to just think up different words to criticise people on other sites and independence supporters that you feel are all not genuine. I’ve done a good bit of that myself in the past so hands up by me. But I think you are better than that.

        Do we really need such a volume of this type of post from yourself and others. It is just like WOS but in reverse. Both blogs become less enjoyable, less informative and probably less likely to be read by neutrals for very long. Now you didn’t take kindly to my previous post disagreeing with you so I may well get short shrift but nothing ventured nothing gained – a bit like independence itself.

        More and more new people may well now be reading WGD – perhaps we need more posts on why independence Is the right course and less bitter ones toward others. They certainly won’t get that on Wings BTL. Can WGD remain a better example BTL.

      • Thanks for your posts Dr Jim spelling out the reality of what’s going on elsewhere. Posts I must add additionally give me a right laugh.

  32. Jesus wept.so if you criticise the lack of one single statement from the leader of the snp that there is a plan that doesn’t involve the permission of the people who have repeatedly told you to gtf.dont even want to know what it is as long as there is one. instead let’s all get excited because somebody who knows somebody says somebody is getting worried.must be a hell of a lot of fingers crossed.one statement from nicola sturgeon could end all this backbiting and verbal infighting.untill she does I’m minded to believe the present leadership of the snp is running down the clock to devo extra light.time to get joanna cherrie in and start fighting back.

    • Your original post didn’t “criticise the lack of one single statement from the leader of the snp”. It didn’t mention a lack of a statement at all and wasn’t about that.

      Instead, it claimed Paul was “peddling false hope” in this article. That’s your opinion but certainly not mine as I agree with what he said in the article. You also claimed that the SNP’s stand on Independence was a “mishmash of statements without a definitive policy”, this claim is false and if you had been reading here the last few days you might have been aware of that.

      Since 2016 the SNP manifesto’s have clearly stated their policy towards their support for Independence and having a second referendum. I won’t repeat all that here but if you care to go back over the posts I’m sure you will find what I’m talking about.

      The shortened version is that since 2017 the SNP supported a referendum when the “terms of Brexit were clear” and that position has never changed. there has been no “mishmash” just people telling us that there has been a mishmash.

      Your final point was to “push for Joanna Cherry as leader of the SNP”. I’m OK with that, I think she would make an excellent leader, right now though there is no vacancy and the majority of party members and the wider public who will vote SNP seem perfectly happy with Nicola Sturgeon. There is little clamour for a change in leadership and no evidence that such a change would bring Independence any closer.

  33. I propose that that smelly rat you refer to has another 3 character name, that being MI5 whose influencers are already within the movement. I’m sure we all agree that the establishment simply cannot allow the breakup of their precioussss UK and that they would stop at nothing to prevent it. At this time they are employing the divide and conquer strategy. Who in their right mind in the Indy movement would call for the overthrow of the party and leader most likely to win independence unless they were being brainwashed by a very effective British state employing subterfuge in order to split the movement.

  34. Well cubby you have said it better than I did the the other day, I was getting the same treatment as you on this site,
    All these years I have thought it was a site for all on Scotland’s independence, but it is turning out to be a snp site only, and no matter how much of a die hard Scottish independence supporter you are, like me, if you break away slightly, from the narrative here a good amount of comments are bombarded at us, apparently we may be trolls, or agents working secretly,
    It’s was even suggested that we might be the ones that think the snp are a cult,
    Even trying to explain we don’t all think in a tunnel, and open debates are good for the yes movement brings derision,
    These comments hurt and are a sad reflection on how the yes movement could destroy itself from within.
    Since the day I came of age to vote, I have only ever voted snp,
    I have had heated disagreements with my family as they are not yet ready to support independence for Scotland,
    They read the propaganda papers and have MSM,
    There arguement being they don’t like the snp,
    So I tell them that wanting Scotland to be independent is bigger than just the snp, and so is the yes movement in Scotland,
    Well I dare’nt refer them to this site to learn how we’re all together, that’s for sure,
    And the scotgoespop site can be verbally abusive,
    WOS has stopped doing what he did best, and they all fall out too,
    It certainly not a good look for the rest of us trying to convince new Yes’ers for independence.

    • Like you I have been an SNP voter all my life and I rarely comment on any of the indy blogs and I have total respect for Paul and the other bloggers. I also realise that they have given us a platform and a voice that we did not have before but it is within an indy bubble and in some ways that is positive but it also can be a negative.

      The people that comment sometimes remind me of ‘groupies’ that used to follow their favourite band and if you say a bad word about their idols…….well

      On Paul’s blog he has his ‘Duggies’ and if you disagree or have a different point of view, well… they will be snapping at your heels or giving you the ultimate insult by calling you a troll.
      I remember years ago reading an article by a Chilean refugee when he said ‘It is the most basic human right to have an opinion and a right to voice that opinion’

      Some people should remember that.

  35. It will not convince any new yessers to Independence by constantly criticising the SNP. In fact it will do the opposite
    The members fund the SNP so the Oarty can do a great job for Scotland.

    Constantly criticising the members and the Party will put people off of supporting Independence. The one who are damaging the cause are the ones trying g to cut off their nose to spite their face by all the criticism. It is foolish of people not to see that,

    The members fund the SNP to do a great job for Scotland. More people would have died during the pandemic if the SNP Gov had not done such a good job.

    Some of the very people who criticise could have died. Elderly men. Lifelong Independence supporters who are going off to form new Parties which could hinder the SNP and Independence. Just when support is over the tipping point and increasing.

  36. The ones who want to jump before support is founded and firm enough are the ones who will harm the SNP and the Independence Cause. Not wait a couple of years to be well assured and clear. They are the ones harming the Independence cause.

    Go too soon and all could be lost. The best campaign strategy is one step or campaign at a time. To be successful. With support ever rising, as predicted. The elderly keel over and the young ones come on board, unstoppable and gathering momentum. The Holyrood elections. Then the next GE which cannot come too soon.

    Johnston and the Tories will be gone. The mess and shambles they are making. The SNP could hold the balance of power. They are various ways of ensuring another IndyRef. Just as was done before. A convention, an appeal to the UN charter. Westminster could be sanctioned.Through the Courts.

    Westminster is always being held to account through the Courts. International and otherwise. Johnston and his cohorts are trying to break the Law with impunity. They are being stopped by the Courts and the Law on a regular basis.

    There are plenty of ways to ensure another IndyRef but not during a pandemic. When the most important thing is to stop people of dying from the virus and keep the economy on an even keel. The SNP are doing that very successfully. Still fighting the Tories and any Law breaking by the Westminster unionist Gov.

    The reason why support for the SNP and Independence is rising is because they are doing a good job. A great job for Scotland. People are voting for it.

    Another IndyRef and Independence will come when people vote for it. Not during a pandemic. Scotland has waited nearly 100 years. To wait another couple of years is no hardship. Especially with support rising all the time, as predicted.

    It has never been a more exciting time to be alive. The SNP Gov is keeping people alive and doing a great job for Scotland and the people. They will continue to do so. If people vote for it. Not constantly criticise. A senseless exercise. How can people be so foolish to cut off their nose to spite their face. Even in a pandemic. That does not make sense.

  37. Putin and the Russians were impartial for Independence cause. Putin criticised Cameron’s Illegal and unlawful intervention. The illegal Vow reneged upon.

    Where is Cameron now. Tax evading and milking the public purse. The architect of Brexit. The catastrophe on the UK/world economy. Killing people. More people will die.

    The dope on the rope. Exposed and out on a loop for all to see. Losing support faster than a sieve loses water. What a complete and utter fool.

    The Brexit mess imploding, A catastrophe. Johnston and the unelected associate’s embezzling from the public purse. £Billions being wasted. While people are dying unnecessarily.

    UK Military spending 65 million pop $50Billion.

    Russian Military spending 150 million pop $65Billion.

    Westminster Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion is costing Scotland dear. A total waste of monies. Hinkley Point, HS2 and Trident etc. A total waste of monies costing Scotland even more. Making repayments on loans. Not borrowed or spent in Scotland. Costing Scotland £Billions wasted every year.

    Scotland revenues and resources wasted by Westminster Treasury. Kept secret under the Official Secrets Act.

    Iraq, Dunblane and Lockerbie kept secret for 100 years,

    Westminster unionists poor, bad decisions. Foreign, social and economic. Breaking International Law and killing people. Ruining the Scottish budget, revenues and resources, which could be better spent. The illegal Barnett Formula.

    Support for SNP/Independence rising. For a better economy and a better more prosperous self governance. Supported self determination by the United Nations. Scotland has friends and support worldwide. A 40million disporia, worldwide. Support in the EU and Europe.

  38. Fantastic thread, I was only able to dip in and out yesterday but have enjoyed catching up this morning.
    When Scotland gets round to creating a written Constitution I don’t want lawyers, Politicians, the perceived intellectual great and good, anywhere near the process. I want people like Liz G creating a document that makes the rights of the individual paramount and a line in the sand politicians dare not cross.

    • ”I want people like Liz G creating a document that makes the rights of the individual paramount and a line in the sand politicians dare not cross.”

      I second that.

  39. I have to ask who the ‘ Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t want indy ” brigade and the ‘I’m not voting SNP because of a.b,c’ brigade are going to vote for.

    Will it be for Wibbly Willie and the Lib dems?

    Or Richard Whatsisname and the ‘Scottish’ Labour Party?

    Or perhaps the failed car dealer and the
    Tories?

    Or maybe the Greens and their enthusiastic GRA leader?

    Your choice in a democracy of course , but have any of you worked out why that might blight the chances of being a grown up country with a government that looks after the people , for the benefit of all?

    A government that does not start wars with those who have no interest in attacking us under a pretext of ‘saving’ their people while the entire world shouts ‘it’s about oil’?

    A government that does not waste money on silly vanity projects to ‘big’ ourselves up in the eyes of the rest of the world , to only make ourselves a snorting laughing stock?

    I’d be most interested to know for whom the anti brigade are going to vote to further independence- just going to spoil your ballot papers perhaps , but then you can’t moan about the results with any moral authority.

    • The last SNP leader to seriously challenge the UK’s policy of bombing whoever the US tells it to was Alex Salmond – and look what happened to him.

  40. BBC linking the perpetual baddies Russia and Scottish independence in their reporting on the long hidden Russian report that Johnson has kept hidden in his back pocket since last year.

    No more than you would expect from the BBC – the British state propaganda unit.

    • 3 years ago did the SNP hierarchy not make fools of themselves suggesting the Russians were peddling false claims that the 2014 referendum was rigged in order to de-stabilise support for independence, in particular the SNP’s far right foreign policy nutter Stewart MacDonald MP?

      In demonising Russia amongst other things the present mob in control of the SNP are eager backers of “British state propaganda”, witness the slavish adherence to the UK Government’s preposterous Salisbury narrative.

  41. We have already mentioned the dangers of Gove, above. Whilst this oil export from Scotland you can endorse for no return, there are others we need to watch.

    Ladies and Gentlemen of Scotland, I give Robin Millar, MP.

    Welsh Tory MP leads ‘hardline pro-union group’ aiming to stop Scottish and Welsh independence
    21st July 2020

    A Welsh Tory MP has become the leader of a new group of “hardline pro-Union MPs” which hope to influence No. 10 in the same way as the European Research Group that strived for a hard Brexit.

    The group of 30 MPs are led by Aberconwy MP Robin Millar, who was elected in December to replace Guto Bebb who had his whip removed after voting against Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

    […]

    https://nation.cymru/news/welsh-tory-mp-leads-hardline-pro-union-group-aiming-to-save-uk/

    • This Conservative Union Research Group is an exercise in futility. How are they going to influence Downing Street to bolster the union? The “just say no” stance eventually results in troops on the street. That would be interesting as Scottish Polis take an oath to the People rather than the Queen. The “federalist” stance won’t fly with 50% of English, Conservative voters already in favour of an “independent England”. Wot? Now we’re being dictated to by surly, sponging Jocks?

  42. Oh, and that amendment by Ben Lake, Plaid Cymru MP, mentioned earlier up the thread. No surprises here.

    Westminster votes against giving Welsh and Scottish governments say on devolved trade matters
    21st July 2020

    Westminster has voted against an amendment which would have given the Welsh and Scottish governments a say on trade negotiations that impact them after the Brexit transition.

    The amendment to the trade bill going through Westminster would have ensured that the consent of Wales and Scotland was needed if trade deals included changes to regulations which are within the remit of the devolved governments.

    The amendment, supported by MPs including Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake, was voted down by 345 votes to 244.

    […]

    https://nation.cymru/news/westminster-votes-against-giving-welsh-and-scottish-governments-say-on-devolved-trade-matters/

  43. This was always going to be a slow process. But it was and is a process that will have to be followed to the end. Despite what the unionists say, no assurances or promises were ever made that this would be a “once in a lifetime” deal. But the unionists made many promises and commitments to Scotland to save their “precious union”. Not one was kept. And every day we see how shallow and how fragile their union is. For every scare story they ever uttered, would befall an independent Scotland has instead been inflicted on their “Scotland in Union”.

    They really shouldn’t have had George Osborne come up here and claim that Scotland never contributed to the success of Sterling. They should have given us the closest thing to federalism, instead of the burned out husk of the Calman commission. They really shouldn’t have sided with the tories on Brexit. They really shouldn’t have told the English that the union was invented to give Scotland free money. They really shouldn’t be surprised if the English voter ends the union before we can.

    Doesn’t matter if they bring up Johnson to big up the union. The union is dying because of folk like him. They can’t save it, because they cannot sell it to the people who voted against it. They can’t make us “want” to be British anymore than they can force us to be British (whatever that means these days) It is entirely theirs to lose and lose is what they are doing. day by day. Its just a question of when, not if. It could be brexit. It could be brexit England that does it But it is going to happen..

    • ‘This was always going to be a slow process. But it was and is a process that will have to be followed to the end’.
      Absolutely and to be fair to all those who have put forward alternative strategies for gaining Independence, I have yet to read one that in reality if feasible would have got us there any quicker. Some had/have real merit, but to succeed would need the same level of support from the electorate as the current strategy pursued by the SNP.
      There are no legal loopholes that we can sneak through to bypass Westminsters intransigence, just a hard slog making sure that we tick every box required to make the legality of our independence indisputable.

      • Golfnut, surely part of the long slog is having independence sources that you can point out to those who may be considering an independent Scotland for the first time due to the super performance of the FM at the daily coronavirus briefings to look at for more information/reasons why independence is the right choice.

        Blogs full of bitter attacks on other independence supporters are not going to do that. Do we want the 54% to fall back or keep growing.

  44. An international lawyer has to be involved in creating a constitution. It has to be vague to encompass every eventuality. A government makes the Law. They can circumvent any Constitution. Change the Law. Quite easily. A Constitution is not the golden nugget. As expected by certain members of the community/society.

    Look at what the Tories are doing breaking the Law at every possibility. Being held to account in the Courts, repeatedly. The people can hold a Gov to account even without a Constitution. They can vote them out at every opportunity. Uphold the Law of the land.

    Gov collapse. Or face social unrest, riots and mass protest. Not a good place to be in. Or successful. Collapse in indignity. A total lack of respect. Into the wilderness.

  45. Anyone know where the tousled buffoon will be going on his visit to Scotland? Any chance of being able to throw rotten vegetables in his direction?

  46. One elected member does not encompass all policies. People have different opinions which can be called out. One swallow does not make a summer. A collective movement overall, is more successful. Unity is strength absolutely. A collective movement overall. Even with dissection. On balance. Hold the line for a successful conclusion. Especially when the objective is being achieved.

    Even with a YES vote. There are still objectives to be achieved. Just as there are now. A gradual change achieved now will continue. The vote will be the icing on the cake. The cake being distributed differently.

    Scotland to achieve a higher potential, to be the place it should be. Without gross, colossal negative, illegal interference. A positive place. A better world.

  47. One person’s opinion, even those elected. Can be called out. It is the overall conclusion by the collective that matters. Politicians lying to embezzle, and break the Law. To line their own pockets. Killing people. Not only will they be called out. They will be voted out.

  48. Alex Salmond would never damage the SNP or Independence. His life’s work. Alex still has great support in Scotland but would never use it to damage the SNP or Independence. He is a totally honourable person. He was found not guilty in any case.

    There is an Inquiry going on which might provide answers. Or a conclusion. The unionist perpetuated Civil Service might have a case to answer. The disruptive behaviour and unelected interference

    Times move on to different events and conclusions. There is no point harping on of the past. The past does not predict the future. Anything can happen. A major pandemic gets in the way of progress.

    Blair resisted an appearance in Court but was called out in the court of public opinion. A thoroughly dishonest person. A pariah. He ruined the Devolution settlement. He broke the Law and killed millions.

  49. The West accuses the Russians of surveilling the world? Kettle pot black. UK/US/France illegal wars. Destroying the world economy. Total lack of self aware. Poland was handed to Russian dominance by the Allies. Churchill and Roosevelt. At Yalta. 11Feb 1945.

    • Here we go again on your old Russia-excusing. Russia (as the Soviet Union) helped start WW2 by invading Poland in secret connivance with the Nazis. Along with the Baltics on its own account. All of which you always conveniently overlook. (Old political allegiance showing, maybe?)

      At war’s end, neither a war-depleted Britain nor a disengaging US wanted an ongoing conflict with Soviet Russia, so they let it have its evil way. Maybe you would have preferred otherwise? (But I doubt it.) So please quit insulting our intelligence with this ridiculous inversion you keep punting over this. If Russia had behaved properly as ally and liberator, Poland would have been free from 1945, not near on a half-century later with the collapse of the Soviet Empire.

      And if you doubt any of this, just ask any Pole. They would just laugh themselves silly at your pathetic excuses. (Or maybe have a less friendly reaction entirely.)

  50. Well that’s westminster set up to sell off the scottish nhs and scottish water and everything else of value.that will be why boris is coming to scotland.fill the media with guff look over there.lets see what the snp say.my guess pretty much nothing.except a friend of a friends aunty says boris is shitting it.time to wake up .

    • Stu we want LBJ to come to Scotland, as often as possible, because every time he sets foot on our soil he scunners even more people towards supporting independence. If you want our SNHS and water to remain in our hands then get behind Nicola Sturgeon. She’s the person who’s putting the wind up them. Reported as being ”the most hated woman in England, the most dangerous woman in Britain and in fact Piers Morgan called her the most dangerous woman in the world.” I find it strange that others can’t see that too.

  51. Well that’s westminster set up to sell off the scottish nhs and scottish water and everything else of value.”

    Why would the SNP comment on something that only exists in your imagination?

    Those are just words, where’s the proof?

    • Alex Clark
      Proof ! , Westminster voted on removing any and all interference from the devolved administrations , Twice just to make sure check , Hansard will confirm this .

      • I see, the government defeats the Labour party and SNP amendments to the Trade Bill and that is proof that the NHS and Water in Scotland is up for sale? Wake me up when it’s put on ebay.

        • Alex, I never said there was clear proof of this but your point is correct. But is it not strong enough to stand on its own so you have to post it with ” Wake me up when it’s on eBay”

          There was a vote against ruling out a no deal Brexit. If that should transpire at the end of the year what value is there in saying ah here is the proof. It does not help in any way the people adversely affected.

          Similarly, with not ruling out ownership by foreign parties and allowing devolved parliaments to be overruled. No point in saying after it happens – ah proof best try and stop it now. It doesn’t help all the people affected by it.

  52. I have no doubt that the Westminster warmongering bubble will try all they can to weaken Scotland and its parliament from behind some shadey back door manuoeuvres,
    they have form on this for centuries in just about every country they have interfered with,
    Including in Scotland, it is imperative that that we keep our eyes open from now until we gain our independence,
    Can anyone here provide more details on the london based (firm/company)?, whom are to be mineing Scotland’s gold around loch Tay, and what stage in the process are they at?
    I heard it mentioned but do not know the company’s name.

    • Another thing all this has exposed will likely be the UKs reluctance to delve any deeper because they already know what they don’t want us to know and to expose one person is to expose them all, the domino effect, everybody loses

      But I think the UK government will come out worst in public opinion over this, not because of who knew what but because they knew and said nothing leaving us the public to guess or invent our own interpretations on who we trust and don’t trust, so perhaps if the Russians are the baddies the UK are equally just as much the baddies for either inviting the Russians to destabilise certain events or allowing them to

      Given that in Scotland we have no national security services of our own to oversee any democratic events that take place in our country maybe that should be another wake up call to those who believe we should remain governed by a country who’s set of values we can never control or demand answers from

  53. I joined the SNP back when all the stuff with Alex Salmond happened. I also donated to his crowd funding.
    I renewed my membership last year.
    And I am just about to RENEW my membership again in August.
    I think Nicola Sturgeon is doing a great job. I think she has a plan, but it has to be a kind of loose plan as the Westminster government keep changing the timeline of just about everything.
    When I read some of the vitriolic comments against her and the party that is her whole life it really saddens me.
    It also puzzles me. Who else do they really think will get us our independence? Why vote for anyone else? They’d be in exactly the same position ‘re the legalities of arranging a referendum or including it in with the HE.
    Sadly I cannot vote as I don’t live in Scotland, but if I could I’d be SNP 1 and SNP 2, as that really is, as far as I can see, the only way to let everyone know that you’re voting for an independent Scotland.

    • ”I think Nicola Sturgeon is doing a great job. I think she has a plan, but it has to be a kind of loose plan as the Westminster government keep changing the timeline of just about everything.”

      There’s that of course Tatu plus Nicola Sturgeon is having to work within the constraints of the ”omissions” relating to the Scotland 1998 Act followed by the fact that Alex Salmond set the precedence for taking the Section 30 route. She has had to deal with the long drawn out, convoluted Brexit shambles and is now tackling a pandemic that’s been taking Scottish lives. All of which she never asked for. On top of all of that her Government is hamstrung by Westminster, she is up against the vast, far reaching Establishment network, the media and Unions are not on her side, she’s working in the midst of enemies at Holyrood and even some who say that they foster independence. In other words she’s well and truly up against it and has been left to struggle with a number of spanners that have been thrown into the works. If we want to get out of the h*llhole it’s up to US to do so. It’s not just down to one woman. We have to support her to give her the impetus that she requires to get us over that line, such as getting the stats up. Talk of not voting for the SNP and ridding ourselves of its leader is exactly what Westminster wants us to do. If we truly want our independence why would we do that?

      • Petra, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon both wanted the sect 30/Edinburgh Agreement route. The Britnats broke the Edinburgh Agreement by issuing the VOW. Therefore there is no precedent and no gold standard only a tarnished Britnat standard. The Britnats thought they were going to lose the referendum and all pretence of standards and adhering to the Edinburgh Agreement went out the window.

  54. Proof in the vote at westminster yesterday.an amendment by the welsh to give the devolved goverments a veto on any parts of the new brexit trade agreements. voted down by the torys.thereby we will have no say on whatever agreement is signed and becomes law.sadly people on here will believe any guff or hearsay that fits in to what they want to believe.why is the news media full of boris to visit scotland.and Russia interfered with 2014 referendum ? Nothing at all to do with a certain vote at westminster naw cos cos i got telt boris is panicked.another reece mogg moment common sense was lacking when most needed.got to many stupid people on here cant see what’s happening.we are getting shafted and crossing our fingers.and the clowns peddling this shit are on here.so have fun enjoy your wollow in stupid you deserve it.

    • Stu Hutch, you could have made all your points in a less offensive way and they may have had more traction.

  55. Reblogged this on charlesobrien08 and commented:
    Some very good points and if only the hurry-up and get indy2 brigade would hang fire and see that some of us have wanted independence for 50 years or more. We have watched friends die waiting but they died sure that independence will come, I want to be alive when we get independence.

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