Referendums and pandemics

Yesterday the SNP’s Marco Biagi, who hopes to stand as a candidate in next year’s Holyrood elections, said that he believes there could be a snap referendum in the autumn of 2021 following a decisive SNP victory in the Scottish elections.

Despite this, it was Marco’s belief that it would be foolish to press ahead with a referendum while the pandemic is still on-going which generated push back from some on social media. Critics demanded to know why it’s OK to have an election during a pandemic, but not a referendum. Some even went so far as to accuse Marco of not really wanting independence at all.  No doubt because of writing this blog piece I’ll be subject to similar accusations from certain quarters.

There is a good reason why it’s feasible to have an election but not an independence referendum during a pandemic. Party politics during elections do not depend upon mass grassroots activism in the way that winning an independence referendum does. Party campaigns can be conducted in traditional ways and largely through the medium of the traditional media. A successful independence referendum cannot. A party campaign comes from the top and is directed downwards. An independence referendum campaign comes from the bottom and is directed outwards and upwards. 

The referendum campaign will not be the SNP’s referendum campaign.  It will be ours.  The only reason that the independence movement came so close to winning in 2014 was because of mass grassroots activism. That’s what’s not possible during a referendum, and digital campaigning is no substitute for it. It’s not that we can’t have a referendum during the pandemic. It’s just that we would have a significantly lower chance of winning it.

Currently on pro-independence social media there are many people who have come to doubt the SNP leadership’s resolve to win independence and who regard any counsel of caution as tantamount to betrayal. They are so desperate to get a referendum and focus all their attention on what they perceive is a lack of progress from the SNP towards getting a referendum that they sometimes seem to forget that the point of all this pro-independence activism is not to get us to another independence referendum. The referendum is not the goal. It’s the means. The goal is to win the second independence referendum. Yet there are some people who are so fixated on how we get another referendum and the need to get it as soon as possible that they appear to believe that winning that referendum will take care of itself.

Well, it won’t.

We may now live in a Scotland where there has been a series of yes majorities in opinion polls, but that majority support is not nailed on. In the chaos and uncertainty of the UK these days, nothing can be taken for granted, least of all a convincing victory in another independence referendum campaign. Scotland is not going to march resolutely to independence the moment we get another referendum. We’re going to have to campaign hard, every inch of the way. We will face ruthless and well funded opponents who will be fuelled by desperation and who will not hesitate to use every resource of the British state in order to beat us.

Faced with consistent majorities for yes in the polls, the British state is going to throw everything at us. From the very outset of the second referendum campaign it will be like that mad panicked last week of the last independence referendum campaign when Better Together suddenly realised that it could lose. The British state and its allies will make any hollow promise, will say anything, will bombard us with scare stories and threats, and they will make use of their overwhelming advantage in the traditional media in order to do so. There will be a relentless and unending focus on the supposed dependency of Scotland on the British state. There will be lies and deceit. There will be dirty tricks. There will be suspiciously well funded groups popping up from nowhere and claiming to represent grassroots British nationalist initiatives. These will of course gain massive publicity in the media that real grassroots initiatives from the independence campaign will be denied – remember Vote No Borders? The Conservatives will make full use of their dark money, their billionaire donors, and their networks of dodgy think tanks in order to produce a barrage of anti-independence propaganda purporting to be “neutral” with the aim of drowning out any pro-indy voices that do manage to make it into the traditional media. We will be hopelessly outgunned and outspent. They are not going to make this easy for us.

This is why we need to make full use of every resource we’ve got in order to get our arguments across. We have to take the debate onto terrain where the British nationalists do not have the advantage. This means that we must engage in the sort of face to face personalised grassroots campaigning that the indy movement is so good at. It was because we so effectively deployed this kind of campaigning that the independence movement managed to increase support for independence from the high 20s to 45% during the course of the referendum campaign. We did it by face to face persuasion, one on one conversations, town hall style meetings, canvassing, speaking to people on doorsteps, showing that there was a large and vital presence of yes on the streets with marches and rallies. Yet this is precisely the kind of campaigning that is most directly affected by the pandemic.

The British nationalists don’t have the same problem. Their campaign is conducted on the airwaves and in the pages of a traditional media which overwhelmingly is on their side. Their campaign will be far less affected by the pandemic. They can, and will, continue to deploy the BBC, Sky News, and the crushing majority of anti-independence newspapers in order to get their message across. Their messaging and strategy is not negatively impacted by the pandemic in the way that ours is. Theirs is a top down campaign far more like a traditional party political electoral campaign.

If we were to go for a referendum during the pandemic we’d be fighting it with both hands tied behind our backs and conceding a huge advantage to the No campaign. It would be idiotic to give them such a huge tactical advantage when we don’t have to. The only people who will be rubbing their hands in glee if there is a rushed referendum in which we cannot campaign effectively will be the British nationalists.

We’d also face an additional problem if we were so foolish as to insist on holding a referendum while covid-19 remains a live issue. If there are any new outbreaks of covid-19, any new clusters of cases – and god forbid any new deaths – during the campaign, the British nationalists will not hesitate to blame it on the independence movement. They will claim that they’re the ones who have the welfare of the people of Scotland at heart. “We didn’t want another referendum,” they’ll say, “This new outbreak is the fault of those who have an obsession with independence and who are putting your lives at risk.” That messaging will be relentless, constant, and ruthless. It could potentially be very damaging to us.

It is counter productive to force a referendum when we are deprived of our best resources and the tactics which can win us that referendum. The key issue here is that we cannot take victory in the next referendum for granted. We’re going to have the fight of our lives on our hands, and we are going to need all the tools at our disposal if we are going to win.

Some worry that it’s delay and delay and delay, and the prospect of independence is receding off into the distance. However the real danger here is that if we rush headlong into a referendum without giving ourselves every advantage that we can in order to win it, then we run a serious risk of losing. Then independence doesn’t merely recede into the distance. It vanishes for good.

This is not a message that some people in our movement want to hear, but independence is too important to risk on a campaign where we have deprived ourselves of our full range of tactics, strategies, and talents. Let’s have a referendum that gives us the best possible chance of winning.

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267 thoughts on “Referendums and pandemics

  1. Pingback: Referendums and pandemics | speymouth

  2. In 2014 IndyRef NO started from around 70% support and ended up on only 55%.

    By comparison, YES is only currently around 55%. Could go up but, as the NO vote as shown, it could go down. IMO we need to build up a rock solid 55-60% before we go for it.

    Frustrating as hell tho.

  3. Totally agree with you on this, we need to win the referendum not just have a referendum.

    2 Sun Zhu quotes spring to mind here…

    “You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked. ”

    And “How victory may be produced for them out of the enemy’s own tactics—that is what the multitude cannot comprehend”

  4. Yours is the counsel of intelligent thinking Paul. You are absolutely on the button. Let the unthinking complain. The noise of their apparent frustration will keep the public aware that Indy is simmering below the surface and just waiting impatiently to break out into the open.

    The Brits will be all a jitter and continuing to relentlessly over egg their bravado – in a context where every week there’s new evidence of their shambolic incompetence.

    of course, they might decide to fire the starting gun themselves but they first have to work out which foot they will shoot at.

  5. Brilliant Paul. One of your best ever, imo, and I can’t thank you enough for being the voice of reason in the midst of absolute insanity.

    Such as, the following article has set the cat amongst the pigeons with someone on one particular site trying to make an SNPBaad (again) meal of the ”contents”. It hasn’t quite worked out for him due to people like Capella putting forward sensible points / arguments leading to him going absolutely bonkers now to the point of saying, ”And fuck the pandemic. This has been going on for FOUR YEARS. The pandemic showed up six months ago to save Sturgeon’s bacon. It’s got fuck-all to do with campaigning.”..

    Crikey talk about losing the bl**dy plot!


    ‘Indyref2 is ‘not imminent’, Scottish Government tells Section 30 case.’

    • I admire Cat and Capella for staying in the debate. I use debate in the context of presenting logical arguements in the face of aggressive abuse.

      Not a site I care to post on anymore.

        • Me neither I haven’t soiled my eyes on that blog since March. I no longer refer to that blog or blogger by name as I do not want him to have any gratification which might lead him to think he is important because he is not. If you ask the average Snp/Indy voter about that blog or blogger most would reply with who whit or eh. In regard to that blogs current attitude towards the Snp I will not be bullied by a misogynist Ex Pat (because that is what he is) nor his acolytes re what I should think about Independence and the Snps will or process to achieve it or their proposals for the GRA and Hate Crime Bills. I am quite capable of making my own mind up re these issues. The Snp are flawed but still remain our best hope!!

        • Great article, nail on head. Keep our focus on the prize. Of course there will be arguments over tactics, but the slowly, slowly strategy has gotten us to the current strong position. Our opponents are in total disarray, but still very dangerous, like a wounded tiger.
          It’s working. Keep our nerve. Get ready for some hard graft when the Indyrev2 gun goes off. We can’t run a good grassroots campaign in the midst of a pandemic. Why would we want to put an army of superspreaders on the streets? Because that’s what they’ll be dubbed by our pals in the media.
          We must wait till pandemic is under control. Perhaps that means when we have a safe vaccine. So be it. Saving lives takes precedence over everything. Nicola has been 100% clear on this from the outset. Scots folk trust her because of this. Easy decision to make.

      • So many half decent people gone from the site now, Julia, and been replaced by any number of BritNats. BritNats donating to the site too no doubt. I know that I would do so, donate, if I was a BritNat because that place has become the Unions number one support centre. They, Westminster, must love reading such statements as… ”we’ve given the SNP another kicking, ”the SNP are our enemies” and so on … and be rubbing their hands in glee. And that’s from the blog owner of course. The BritNat supporters of the owner and site have even worse comments to make.

      • Same here, it’s quite sad though. There are many good independence blogs, (obviously including this one) and sites to go to to share info, express rational thoughts and hopefully get a balance of opinion into the bargain. 🙂

    • Hi Petra and all the others that frequent here among other places. The “SNP bad” phrase was born from fictitious articles in the MSM to, in their attempt to spite the SNP. This “particular site” you speak of built its reputation on the opposite ( as you well know ). If there is something people don’t like to hear about the SNP from him that challenges their belief, commitment or just plain old confirmation bias then I say challenge it with facts.

      I have a question for everyone here. No one has to repond back it’s more of a think upon it in your spare time sort of thing. A reminder to everyone about the Labour party and if anyone voted for them for years, blistered their feet in pounding the street for them, saying they were the only ones who could stop the tories if you just lend them your votes one more time, who were unconditional in their loyalty to the party ( and in once upon a time to a well known lovely man in Tony Blair ), who if challenged would have defended the party and its policies to the hilt because who else was going to stop the tories if not Labour, such a betrayal could never become reality, to be used, abused and then thrown away only to realize years, nay, decades later that they lied about everything all along, but when could this have happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen and how did everyone feel seeing the truth finally in front of them?

      I myself was frankly far too young during the 1997 heydey and wasn’t someone who would have experienced any of the things above. I ask this because old habits can die hard ( it can be any habit or conditioned behaviour ) and from what I am seeing suggests the very same pattern emerging in not only the SNP (as an well establised force that quite frankly you could put a yellow and black rossete on a donkey and people would vote for it nowadays – Remember where that originated ); but the people that vote for them who expressly want independence, people like me, you and everyone else. No challenge except a minor few outside and inside the party whatsoever the policies that WILL harm not only the party but our country Scotland and its people too in the long run, ( Hate crime bill, GRA taking away womans rights as example ).
      Maybe not the short term but most definitely it will in the long run, politics history shows this time and time again ( a small stream erodes the mightiest mountain overtime an all that ). And I won’t hear of it’s just a wee bit of dirt it can go under the carpet we’ll deal with it later attidude, if so, then you’ll very much bring about the normality of this being born in an independent Scotland by ignoring it now and does anyone really want that? Why preach about all the the things we’re gonna do after a YES vote is done, whenever that is, does anyone know cause I certainly don’t.

      A reminder that I do believe the party does support independence at its core and their are good, commited people in it either as elected officials or just members alone but like anything no matter the industry one is invested, it can be derailed and put on the sidelines by new leadership with different priorities at any given moment.

      As a final note: When the chance came for me to vote for the first time ever I voted SNP in 2007 and it’s been that way ever since so what I’m saying is I don’t have any previous party affiliations so I’m comfortable challenging my way of thinking on the SNP but for those that voted Labour all those years ago are you resisting opening yourself to challenge the direction the party is taking because of old habits ( the SNP are establised now thanks to my and your votes). They are also no longer a fringe party. Or is the mere thought that something could be wrong just to painful to relive
      ( Labour) so you shut out any notion of doubt and lash out at anyone as having an agenda against Independence which really means shut up don’t talk bad about the SNP… just because I can’t fathom they could possibly do any harm attidude. Now that might sound disrepectful to some but quite frankly people would agree that Labour are an absolute parasite, yes? And that to still vote for them and believe them you would have to be uninformed and wouldn’t people here that have went through that want to help them see the light with facts? If so then why are people here doing the exact same thing, repeating the exact same behaviour ignoring the signs everywhere untill its too late just like people did with labour. If it can happen before it can happen again= Labour vote for me as I’m the only party that can stop the tories=SNP vote for me to give us the 50th mandate or to stop the tories and to mitigate their bad policies…. again. Now undoubtedly I’ll get attacked for that one and before anyone asks what’s your plan then If we shoudn’t vote for the SNP?
      I don’t have a plan but THEY should because it’s their job to have one and if they don’t have one within the next parliament term ( 2026 end ) after they win another election in 2021 ohh and they will win for sure that’s a forgone conclusion, then they will start to erode like that mountain overtime, the cracks were already starting to appear in October 2018 and if we don’t have Independence on the horizon ( I am a patient person but the SNP leadership do not have time to muck about any longer with the impending brexit tsunami coming and all the lovely dividends that comes with it ) by then they will go the way of Labour before them if people just close their eyes and ears lke they did with Labour all those years ago only to realize years later…… the membership that gave a damn should have got a grip on the party there and then. I personally don’t want that to happen but if everyone is shutting selective information out
      because they don’t want to hear it that might aswell be ( and I feel disgusted in saying it because people here and other indy sites would have a go at British Nationalists for this stuff with justification ) cultish behaviour towards the SNP ( look up definition ).

      • Well I do remember the betrayal of the Labour party. They kept promising something nebulous and ill defined. Independence on the other hand is easy to define. What’s happening now with the SNP is really not the same thing.

        If you believe that the SNP are no longer in the business of delivering independence, then it’s up to you to tell us some realistic mechanism for doing so. I’m not seeing it.

      • What makes anyone think Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t have a plan? That’s the major flaw in the argument for those who demand to know what Plan B is. They assume that because it is not being shared with them, it must mean there is no plan.

        Totally ridiculous assumption to make that there is no plan in my view, the plan is still in play and today’s announcement is a continuation of that plan. I find it hard to believe that there are people who believe that the plan for Independence considered of asking for a section 30 order and if refused shrug your shoulders and just keep asking again and again.

        A Section 30 order has been requested officially once only and refused exactly once.

        Just what is to be gained by telling all and sundry in advance what your tactics would be when you know that your request for a Section 30 would be refused? That was specifically stated in the letter from Sturgeon to Johnson, she fully expected a refusal and would have been naive in the extreme if she hadn’t.

        The objective of any plan is to force Johnson’s and the Tory’s hand into submitting to a democratic referendum under the watchful eye of the International community, not an easy task but you won’t do it by telling them what you plan to do if they don’t bow to your will.

        Look at it from their point of view, once a bill is passed in the Scottish parliament setting a date and the question for another referendum as was announced today in Holyrood by Nicola Surgeon, just exactly will be the response of Westminster? This bill is exactly the one that supposedly requires a Section 30 order.

        Nicola Sturgeon has announced today that she plans to produce sh=uch a draft bill before the end of this and yet no mention of a Section 30. What will Westminster do in the face of that threat to their perceived authority?

        You don’t know? Why not? Do Westminster and the Tories not have a plan B for exactly that scenario? Why haven’t we been told?

        This announcement today is all about building pressure on Johnson for a Section 30 order, it gives them another chance to show that they are democratic after all. Of course, I’d be very surprised if they straight off complied, do you think Nicola Sturgeon expects then to comply?

        What might she do then eh? What’s Plan B?

        Well, with a bill already in place setting the date and question, will Westminster still refuse to an agreed referendum between both parliaments? Maybe they will, but that is not without risk for the Union.

        The risk being The Scottish Government go ahead and continue making preparations for a referendum on a date already written into a bill and supported by those that voted them into power at the May election in a democratic election that gave Independence supporting parties an overwhelming majority.

        This has a long way to go yet, it has already been pointed out in this article the Plan is not to hold a referendum, the only Plan that matters is to win a referendum. Announcing your strategy and tactics to your opponents in advance will not win you any coconuts only ridicule.

      • Nah, soon as Tony Blair got the leadership, we knew the party was over. ‘New Labour’ what a scam eh. My dad, who’d had a terrible time as a child during WW2, joined army post WW2, (nothing else available re jobs etc) factory work, always voted Labour, soon as Blair was installed, he stopped voting for them. That was in England.

      • ”The “SNP bad” phrase was born from fictitious articles in the MSM to, in their attempt to spite the SNP. This “particular site” you speak of built its reputation on the opposite ( as you well know). If there is something people don’t like to hear about the SNP from him that challenges their belief, commitment or just plain old confirmation bias then I say challenge it with facts.”

        Oh I know full well what that ”particular site” used to stand for Kupo, as I was a staunch supporter, of Mr Campbell and WoS, over a number of years. However the situation has changed dramatically now and Mr Campbell has done a veritable U-turn. No condemnation of the BritNat politicians / MSM anymore rather just constant attacks on the only political party capable of acquiring Independence for us. In your words, ”who knew that such a betrayal could never become reality” and when it first dawned on me nearly two years ago I can’t begin to tell you how sad I felt. And you know it’s difficult to challenge Mr Campbell with ”facts”, really difficult, when most of us who did challenge him with ”facts” were banned from the site by the man himself, Kupo.

  6. Theres no low these England politicians the msm and every die hard English nationalists in Scotland will sink to in order to win they know if they dont theyve automatically lost Scotland one bt member blair whats his name even said it that they had to scaremonger.

  7. The Unionists have little to do now that the Wings club have decided to destroy the SNP without presenting ONE credible plan for an alternative political vehicle to achieve Independence.

    I am at a loss to understand why the clique think that the destruction of the SNP will bring forward a Referendum?
    The current campaign against the SNP can only delay Independence by decades.

    Thank you Paul for remaining the rational voice of the debate. However you need to brace yourself for the usual Wings “visitors” trying to correct your misunderstanding of reality and presenting the evidence that the SNP is the enemy now.

    • ”I am at a loss to understand why the clique think that the destruction of the SNP will bring forward a Referendum?” It won’t, as most of them are BritNats, and that’s part of the plan, imo.

  8. We campaign now, in all the ways that are safe to do so.

    We do not wait for any party, or leader, to press the starting button.

    The vote for indy, whether in an Indy Ref or by democratic votes in a GE or HE is the tip of the iceberg –

    All the work, all the battles, nearly all the victories take place in the campaign.

    It will have to be done, we can chose to do it now when we almost have the time, or wait until someone else says to do it, so they can get re-elected.

    Regardless of which party, or which leader, and what their plan is or is not.
    The Campaign for Indy must be now, in all the ways that are safe for us to do so given the circumstances.

    This is common ground for all who want Indy, and avoids any opinion about current SNP leadership.

    What is missing is a campaign strategy.

    Project fear was 2 parts fear/negativity to 1 part – Rose Tinted, better together, strong shoulders crap.
    Along with demonising Alex Salmond and trying to make it all about him.

    We planted very strong seeds of positivity during 2014, it was not wasted, but events have moved on.

    It would now be justified – and accurate – to highlight our own version of project fear.

    Brexit will mean we lose our NHS, our Devolution/Parliament, our food and water standards, our farms, our fishing industry, and jobs, so many jobs.

    When the truth is;




    Project No utilised the slogan ‘I cannae stand that Alex Salmond’ – and it was a slogan.

    We can do so much better than Boris, May, Cameron and on and on.

    Truth rings out, appeals to the head and the heart. We can do soooo much better than Boris. Believe in Scotland, Believe in you.

    We campaign (in all the ways that are safe to do so), we are Independent, Independence for Scotland follows on from that.

    • ”We campaign now, in all the ways that are safe to do so.”

      Happy to report Daisy that thousands of us have never stopped campaigning even through this pandemic. This site for one is supplying people with relevant, influential information whilst on another the only political party .. ”tool” … for achieving our independence is under attack constantly. No campaigning going on there other than campaigning for the Union.

  9. You highlighted the fight of our lives.

    With the Scotland Act repealed, Holyrood shuttered, and expenditure coming from the English Embassy in Edinburgh administered by Jack, and Lady Mooth of Hypocrisy it will indeed be a fight.

  10. I totally get what you are saying Paul and agree with the point on the pandemic but the problem I and others have is the actions lately of the SNP are a major concern. They are hemorrhaging members and general support. Of course their polling numbers are good only because they are the only show in town. I try to block out the noise as hard as it is until I see the manifesto but I am losing faith and fear the whole movement fizzing out. At this mo I’m snp 1 ISP 2

    • I think there’s a failure of leadership in the SNP which hasn’t successfully kept in communication with its core support. That’s why there’s so much doubt and uncertainty about. However I also think that splitting the indy vote and giving support to minor parties with no chance of election only damages our chances. I found this article very persuasive :

      • I would rather not split the vote iv always been both votes snp, although I’m not a member I’m a registered supporter. I just can’t help it. I feel like I’m watching Labour all over again, taking votes for granted. I hope to god I’m wrong. I am in no way advocating violence but I think the snp could have been a bit more on the front foot with the fight back. I agreed with you that we need some kind of alternative to a referendum because 1 thing I agree with the Rev about is as numbers for indy rise the less we are likely to get an agreed process. I know the snp have a fine line to tread but at some point they have to make a move

          • The most recent poll from Yougov is a bit better than that and put the SNP at 57% for the constituency vote.

            Conducted for The Times, YouGov surveyed 1,142 Scottish adults between August 6th and 10th, which was in the middle of the school results fiasco.

            It found the SNP on 57% in constituencies for the Holyrood election and 47% on the regional vote. A projection gave the SNP 74 seats, which exceeds the 65 required for a Scottish Parliament majority.

            The Tories trailed in second place on 20% in constituencies and 21% on the Lists, a result which could give new leader Douglas Ross’ party 29 seats – down from the 2016 election.

            The poll provided a disastrous set of numbers for Scottish Labour, which slumped to 14% on first-past-the-post and the second vote. The projection estimated Labour would win 18 seats.

            Similarly, the SNP’s increased support appeared to have a knock on effect on the Scottish Greens, who were projected to win only 3 seats.


          • What I mean is people are voting them just because but I don’t feel they command the same support as they did. I’d love to see their membership figures. If you asked me to vote any other party 2 or 3 years ago I’d have said no chance so if I’m looking for alternatives then so must others

          • Membership figures for the Snp mean zilch. I have been an Indy supporter since 1979 Referendum which was first time I was old enough to vote. I have never been a member nor been on an Indy march. I have and will continue to financially support their election and Referendum campaign’s. It is all of the electorate that has the power to vote for an Snp government or vote yes in a Indy referendum. The ultimate power lies with the voters not party members

      • Perhaps something else to consider Paul is that the SNP strategists are acutely aware of where they misjudged in 2014 and have no desire to repeat the mistakes. I suspect “normal” communications are tightly controlled so as to not let the cat out of the bag too early, but in doing so it runs the risk of “No Interest in Indy” rumour being circulated ably assisted be Unionist seeking to destroy the notion. The establishment have much expertise on conspiracy theories….

        I recall multiple occasions where Marr, Neil etc attempted to tease out clues as to how SNP would counter a, b, c, etc on the way to independence and the silence was deafening, hence increased pressure from the “Sturgeon’s a MI5 plant” brigade. There were no innocent enquiries, they were looking for clues, and thus far they’re rightly nervous.

        • Yeah I suspect you’re right. I also think that they were seriously spooked by the result of the 2017 election which resulted in us losing a lot of momentum.

          However I really do think that there needs to be better communication between the SNP leadership and the grassroots movement. It’s all very well blaming the disquiet on bloggers with a grudge or on people on social media, but that disquiet will only gain traction if it falls on fertile ground. It should be up to the SNP leadership to reassure people that we’re still on track.

          • Agreed there has to be a better balance, perhaps now Indy2 is on a more definite footing ?
            It’s about to become exceedingly dirty, DRoss may be farting through his whistle shortly while Kirsten Hair brainstorms (equivalent response but slower reaction)….

          • So what’s your take on the Scottish Ministers telling the Court of Session that a referendum is not imminent? It is one thing to take time in fighting a referendum campaign, but it is quite another to go into a socially-distanced courtroom and argue against someone who seeks to establish that the Scottish Parliament has that right, at the time of its choosing.

            From where I sit, 3,000 miles away, the Scottish Ministers’ arguments do not look good for anyone who wants independence. What will they do to explain their reasoning? What should they do?

          • The problem is that we haven’t yet established that we have the right to hold a referendum at the time of our choosing. Without that and without a S30, it would be too easy for the unionists to boycott a referendum.

          • meh, what we havent established is a 50%+ vote in an election/referendum in support of independence. last poll for holyrood had snp on 55 and 57% . if these polls can be translated into an actual vote at holyrood, why would we even need a referendum? and if indyref2 still needs to happen, it would be difficult for anyone to deny us the right? i suspect even many no voting unionists would baulk at that.

            it is a 50%+ vote which establishes our rights to self determination in what ever we chose, even if that is only indyref2

          • But an organized boycott causes, rightly or wrongly, credibility problems with the result. We’d need 50%+ of the total electorate and the No side didn’t even get that in 2014. However, with a cast-iron decision that Scotland has the right to a referendum at a time of its choosing, the No side would, indeed, have their own funeral.

          • I think the choice of word was interesting, imminent would normally be interpreted within the range of ‘ the next second to very very soon, tomorrow maybe or the day after.
            Remember this was written at least a couple of months ago, so ‘ imminent ‘ is out of date, we are way past a time where its relevant. Scotland is a clear and ‘ present ‘ danger to westminster and always has been.

          • ”It should be up to the SNP leadership to reassure people that we’re still on track.”

            Looks as though Nicola Sturgeon just did that today, Paul. STV reporting tonight that the game’s on.

      • Therefore, in the list, if you truly want to further the cause of independence, you have to vote SNP or Green.
        I agree with this

    • Are they haemorrhaging members / general support Kenny or is that based on comments from the WoS site? If so don’t forget that many of them don’t actually support an independent Scotland at all.

    • Can you specify your source and numbers the SNP are currently haemorraging or is your info purely anecdotal.

      I would also recommend you take the time to peruse Pauls link re casting your vote for a new indy list party.

  11. An important announcement by Nicola Sturgeon there, before the end of this parliament she will set out the date for the next referendum and publish her plans for preparing Scotland to become an Independent country. She will seek the support of the Scottish people in May 2021 to show they agree with those plans.

    I didn’t catch it 100% and am adlibbing somewhat but that was the gist of it.

  12. With all due respect, that is usually followed by the disrespectful comment and here it comes ,We will all be bloody dead before the SNP gets off it’s collective arses and actually does what it was setup to do , even try slightly to embarrass and be totally annoying to a Tory government that’s done everything under the Sun to piss us all off .

    We are in Exactly the same position as we were on the 19th of September 2014 , well actually that’s not strictly true we have moved backwards then stopped

    This SNP management has played the independence movement for mugs , being the only political route to a second referendum they are doing what Johnston couldn’t do they have blocked any move forward, independence supporters have no alternative ,and so far no where to go , and Johnston and the Tory Government are well pleased with their Very Efficient Colonial Administrative Helpers.

    Jam tomorrow, just one last push, it’s just round the corner,we are nearly there, it’s within touching distance, what a load of Pish and you lot still believe it , Christ .

    • You know what to do then. Go away and sit and complain on social media. Because in your world we’ll never get independence at all.

      This is a battle of wills, and you’ve already surrendered.

      You’re doing the Tories’ job for them. Well done you.

      • Remember the 2017 election? It was said the snp lost seats not because the tories etc vote rose but that snp voters stayed home. That’s the risk if they don’t start telling us what the plan is

        • This is an article about why it’s not wise to have a referendum during a pandemic. Maybe you’d like to address that issue?

          Nicola Sturgeon has announced today that the Scottish Govt will publish a draft bill, setting out the proposed terms and timing of an independence referendum, as well as the proposed question. She has also said that next year’s election will be about making the case for Scotland to become an independent country.

          • I did agree with your point it isn’t in our interest to hold one during a pandemic. You have suggested alternatives I would like to see some groundwork done while we are kind of in limbo not by citizens but by the party of independence. I’m so glad we have people like yourself that has done so much for the movement but we could really use some direction from the top. AS always said a referendum was only preferred but not the only route so let’s explore those other routes

          • It’s cool man. Sometimes things don’t read the way they were written. Any time my confidence that we will get indy takes a bump you and others gee me up but it’s hard not to get frustrated at a seemingly lack of real progress

    • The SNP are no longer a party of protest, they are are a party in Government, a responsibility they take very seriously. As far as annoying and embarrassing a Tory government, that would be just about everyday of this pandemic.

  13. The Tories will not give Independence
    The Labour Party will not give Independence
    The LibDems will not give Independence.

    That leaves the SNP and/or Greens. For all their faults and errors they are our ONLY chance of Independence.

    Post Independence we will select the future makeup of Holyrood. We will get the Governments WE vote for. They will have to set out their mandate for Scotland if they desire to win our vote.

    Now is not the time for division in the YES movement.

  14. Dont see how a snap, Autumn referendum 2021 would be a “referendum” in the strictest of terms. Even if Downing Street (whomever is in residence) gave a prompt and agreeable response to a S30 demand (and they won’t), it still leaves legislation to pass and the Electoral Commission to drag their feet.
    Any “snap Autumn election” would be an erstaz, plebesite propmted by the new, Scottish Government resigning followed by a failure of any attempted, Unionist coalition to pass a budget, followed by the Presiding Officer calling a new GE. All Indy supporting parties would clearly state that the second GE would represent a clear a mandate for Independence if an Indy majority was achieved.
    This would be all very messy. I’d much rather see an agreed Referendum in Spring 2022 with international election observers and the works.

  15. “There is a good reason why it’s feasible to have an election but not an independence referendum during a pandemic. Party politics during elections do not depend upon mass grassroots activism in the way that winning an independence referendum does. Party campaigns can be conducted in traditional ways and largely through the medium of the traditional media.”

    I see no real hurdle in holding a independence referendum with masks in place speaking to someone at their front door with mask in tow or in the street from a two metre distance is perfectly feasible. Even more more so if the date in question for the referendum is a lengthy one.

    I mean its not as if we have years left to achieve independence, with the EU power grab thrust upon us probably next year, and the Hub waiting to undermine our parliaments decision making process. I’d have thought that at least naming a date would give the grassroots movements a modicum of hope, and bank on Johnson being shamed into agreeing to giving the S30 before that date, but no that course of action doesn’t appear to on the table, well not yet anyway.

    I can only hope that Sturgeon has a snap plan ready in the wings for when Johnson and Co come a calling for the EU powers, and whatever else takes their fancy, even then under this plan we need Johnsons consent for an indyref, which many folk feel hell will freeze over before gives it.

      • Thank you for the link.

        I just had a thought, that if Sturgeon were to name a date for the independence referendum, that pressure would then be put on Johnson to comply with the S30 order before that date. I’m not saying that he would comply but naming a date would be akin to a ticking clock. A ticking clock on democracy in the UK that the world would also be watching

        The downside of this approach is that Johnson would probably just ignore it in the end, however we could use his intransigence towards democracy as a big stick to beat him over the head with whilst the international community is watching.

        • That might indeed be part of the plan as being seen to ignore democracy is a very big stick to hit Westminster with.

          This is all about political pressure and democratic choice. With a date set by a Scottish parliament for an Independence referendum and while it might potentially be ignored by Westminster, that won’t pass unnoticed by the rest of the world.

          Constitutional crises don’t come much bigger than that and it will be the electorate of Scotland who are the most outraged at being dictated to by Westminster, they will be seen to be overruling a democratic government elected in Scotland by a populace who voted for Independence supporting parties specifically in support of a referendum.

          • Not forgetting of course the constitutional crisis which will erupt if Johnson and Cummings try to interfere with Scots law which they will.

  16. Thanks Paul, for seeing right through the way some of our people have been suckered into attacking the SNP, instead of the REAL enemy. Looks like the Tories are winning, when we see so-called ‘nationalists’ working and acting against the ONLY political organisation which can actually deliver our freedom. Thanks for your sanity amongst so many who are so short-sighted.

  17. Ive noticed that there’s been a rise in the number of pro-union/anti SNP pages on Instagram in the last few months. None of them have any facts, figures or benefits of remaining in the U.K, only daft memes or vile pictures and the comments are outrageous.

    They’ve got nothing left but posting daft memes and personal insults and they know it. The Union is finished.🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    • LBJ did say that he’s be spending £millions on combating the independence movement, Kieron. I’d imagine that between now and next May that will metamorphose into £billions and the ”communications” will multiply.

  18. We need to know there is an actual plan. We need to hear more Msp’s speaking about independence .. we really need to know it is still the parties priority

  19. Maybe just one wee point about the FMs announcement about an Independence referendum, in her statement she said she would ask the people of Scotland, Boris Johnson’s name or his government were never mentioned in that part, so maybe that means they won’t be consulted, rather they’ll be informed of what’s occurring

    What was very revealing about the whole statement was that once she had made it the opposition were too cowardly to take her on in any meaningful way, Davidson didn’t employ her screamyness Robin Lepton was almost conciliatory and Willie Rennie only had a wee tiny moan

    Now all the opposition parties have advance site of the FMs speech so had plenty of time to construct their hysteria, they didn’t do it, they kept their gubs shut so I can only think they’re awaiting orders from their head offices in London as to what it is they’re instructed to say

  20. The feature piece on today’s Vanity Fair (American website / high end magazine) is Scottish Indy.
    The piece itself is riddled with basic mistakes and political misunderstandings. Written by an American freelancer based in London.
    The crucial point being, IndyRef II is gaining traction stateside despite the avalanche of issues they have on their plate. Vanity Fair is regarded as a trend setter and breaker of scoops. Expect other American news outlets to follow with their own take on the impending breakup of the UK.

  21. I agree with all you say regarding the restrictions the pandemic will put on campaigning by the Yes side.
    I’ve started up the street stalls again for Pensioners for Indy but door-to-door canvassing (which I believe raised from 20% to 45% last time) is a No No.
    However unless they develop a vaccine and make it available to all, we’re stuck with the pandemic. Maybe forever.
    It’s not a matter of patience. I’ve been campaigning for indy since I was at school -for over 50 years. I’ve accepted we probably won’t win it within the next decade or even two. But what worries me is I don’t see a road map through this pandemic towards us EVER being free to campaign for it and getting it.
    I don’t have any answer to this. Does anybody?

    • Yes, thankfully. Both to the pandemic and to a referendum.

      It helps to see it yourself, but sometimes you just have to lean on the shoulders of others. Particularly on a wet weekend. (Otherwise you just take up knitting or whatever instead.)

    • With you there Mary and, as a pensioner I’m not sure I want to spend my time campaigning for something I’ll never see. Time to get a life. I think.

    • no it didnt mary, the comment from alex about starting from 29% in 2011 was a dig at the msm who reported the first polls ,which all offered 3 options yes/no/devomax, by combining the no and devomax votes. once devomax was rejected by the unionists and polls came out with just yes/no options, yes was on 42-47% throughout the rest of the campaign.

      the swing to our present position of 55% yes began after bojo was elected in dec 2019

    • Good point Mary and who knows when a vaccine will be available? Some say by early next year? Meanwhile we have to keep on … keeping on such as posting on sites like this and don’t forget that data will be sent out by the ScotGov in the lead up to Indyref2. We may also find that we’ve just got to get out there, masks and all, at some point in time. One thing for sure I don’t believe we’ll be waiting for decades to get our independence Mary. It’s practically within our reach now, imo.

  22. Harry – how many is so many?

    I am absolutely cool with the crap that is apparently going on at another blog. I say apparently because I long since stopped frequenting it when I saw its spiralling direction of travel. If Brits are going there imagining that they have engineered a coup then that’s ok by me. A “pro independence” blog is only important to the extent that it furthers our cause. When it ceases to do that it becomes no more than an empty shell, an echo chamber for those who like to howl at the moon because the world refuses to take them seriously . Those who genuinely support independence have almost all left I’m sure. It’s sad to look at the ruins of what was once meaningful and see just a broken down shell but life must move on.

    How often have I read that the SNP has become like Labour? What makes me think that those who make this daft comparison long for a Labour revival to set the clock back? Apart from misogyny I think this is at the root of the much of the dystopia over there.

    Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon and her team continue to be the adults in the room. We are moving forward inexorably by dint of their hard graft. They will be in tune with the Dug on how best to progress.

    • Too true Arthur.The site-owner’s comments are becoming increasingly vitriolic and should you have the audacity to challenge the Dear Leader you are subjected to a torrent of verbal abuse .
      Sad to witness the demise of a once great indy blog.

  23. As I have long advocated. IndyRef2 Bill will be passed in ScotParl by the end of this year and our FM will DARE WM to block it. If they do then it will only result in support for indy rising ever further as WM being seen to be anti-democratic (who knew?).

    But WM cannot hold of IR2 forever. They KNOW it will have to happen at some time in the future. So it makes absolutely no sense for them to push the support for indy upwards. They will have to bit the bullet with support for YES at 55% or thereabout, but potentially breachable and more so than 60-65% would be.

    What a bind!

  24. I’m going to agree with the dug.
    The goal is an independent Scotland.
    Yes, I am very anxious, no doubt a common feeling.
    Let’s get on with it, I’m growing old.
    But, we are in extraordinary times.
    We must get this right.
    Patience, I believe, coupled with local grassroots organisation, will carry the day.

  25. England’s Westminster can only win from within Scotland.

    Their plan is to try and trick as many people as possible into thinking that an independent Scotland would be a bad thing.

    You can already see how easy it is for them to do it , just look at WOS and you will see how it has been turned , didn’t take much did it ?
    It’s actually a bit weird the way it has turned, as I recall WOS decided to have a bit of a long holiday with very little new input on the site understandable really because they had been at the forefront of the battle against England’s Westminster and allies for a long long time and were very good at it too.

    However after their long holiday the return has just been one slagging match after another about the SNP it’s as if WOS is now doing to SNP what it did to the other side for so long.

    Strange indeed.

    There’s a hatred of anything to do with people who wish to change their gender I still cannot fathom why there is such hatred , sure I understand that there are people in favour people against and people who don’t care but the hatred apparent on WOS is a real eye opener.

    There’s a growing hatred of Nicola Sturgeon and other SNP politicians too all because WOS has decided to make a guess that there will not be a Scottish independence referendum any time soon , not next year 2021 , think about it , how would they know this for sure ?
    The answer is they don’t.
    It’s a guess.
    They even say they will bet people it won’t happen ? Now that’s odd as well.

    I wonder what’s going on over there in WOS but it’s not a cheery upbeat place to go for Scottish independence discussion for sure.

  26. Brilliantly, yet simply put Paul. Easy for all to understand.

    I have become scunnered of late reading input from others screaming about Nicolas lack of focus, her abandoning of the “goal”. In my opinion she is biding her time.

    Only online campaigning can be done at this time with the Virus in play.
    We’ve waited 300 odd years for this, let’s not screw it up now.

    I am certain that with all the lawyers in the SNP that they know every “t has to be crossed and i dotted” before it’s the “right time”.

    Like all of us, I would liked it to have been “yesterday”. A Victory March would be a great reason to book a flight…oh I nearly forgot…there’s a pandemic to be reckoned with!

    Stay safe everyone …and…wear a 😷

  27. During this covid19 pandemic England’s Westminster has had an advisory group called SAGE.

    The Scottish government has its own advisory group which interprets statements and information issued by U.K. SAGE , from a Scottish perspective and then passes it’s conclusions and advice to the Scottish government.

    I think that once the next Scottish independence campaign starts , the Scottish government should have an advisory group for the specific purpose of interpreting statements and information issued by England’s Westminster and allies relating to Scottish Independence.
    The advisory group can do things like counter misinformation and lies at the time it happens and have a daily twitter update by Nicola Sturgeon and others just like we have seen during the covid19 epidemic only it will be about Scottish independence .

  28. There’s more to come from the FM on this, Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t just make announcements with no consideration, I’m betting all her wee Hilda Ogden ducks are in a dead straight line aiming the same way, I just can’t wait until January when the UK is officially out of the EU and the officials of the EU will then be free to say whatever the hell they like to whoever the hell they like, and I have a strong feeling about what they’re going to be saying to us over here in Lil Ole Scotland with the Nordic countries queuing up behind

    62 countries have left the Imperial British did any of them care what currency they were going to use or if the supermarkets who didn’t even pay taxes in their countries threatened to put up prices
    or what would they do if Aliens attacked or the Russians or the Chinese stopped selling them televisions, the only people who were stroppy were the Imperial British but they’re still trading with them so it knocks on the head their nonsense about who trades how much with who

    After all America kicked them out and now it’s England that’s begging America to be their next state

  29. Good article.

    The truth is some of those wanting an Independence referendum last year, the year before and the year before have a mind block. We would have lost. Maybe they would be happy? Of course not.

    As the FM stated she wants to win a referendum not just have one.

    We are at 55 %. Not because of competent government or such like. All down a few banditos on one blog. How ego and what gender you may be blinds their lives.

  30. I suspect Paul is correct in saying that the SG/SNP do seem to have lost touch somewhat with a portion of their own party faithful, let alone the wider independence movement, seeming rather too focussed on the (non-trivial) process of government. Not too surprising given the severe challenge of dealing with a literal “crisis of a century”, but not in any way helped by an unfortunate tendency of the SG of late to indulge in divisive displacement activity.

    I get impatient at times, incandescent even with every limp-wristed Wishart back-peddle (pun intended), but we all do need a reality check right here and now. There is an election coming up which has UKGov and their BritNat stooges in Scotland seriously rattled, and for good reason. It doesn’t matter an expired coupon code whatever our quibbles with the SNP happen to be at the moment, it is only a stunning victory by the party in May that will unlock the possibility of an IR2 any time soon. If we are so inclined, we can return to grievance-mongering, furious accusations of betrayal etc., etc., once we are in a position to judge how the party is – or is not – progressing matters having been given a decisive mandate.

    But first it has to have that decisive mandate. It is the sine qua non. Without it, there is no amount of petty quibbling or shortsighted intemperate diversion that will subsequently be able to save us all from the dire consequences, or assuage our bitter regret.

    It’s really that simple.

  31. Well said Paul. I get annoyed with all the armchair experts. I trust Nicola Sturgeon to get us there more than I trust them .

  32. What a shame Nicola is not nearly as adept at rationalising her inaction to the Yes movement as Paul.
    Of course, you are right there should not be a referendum campaign until the pandemic crisis has passed. Very few people would argue that there should be; you are setting up a straw man to knock down.
    I was pleased with today’s announcement about Indyref legislation but I have heard a number of near identical announcements from Nicola over the years, so let us see whether this time next year I am pleasantly surprised.
    What the Covid epidemic does not prevent the Scottish Government from doing is announcing

    “If we win the Holyrood election, there will be an referendum in August 2021. This will happen with or without a S30. The people of Scotland have a sovereign right to self determination and we do not accept that Westminster has a legal or moral right to veto the will of the Scottish people”.

    The date can be flexible with a year, but if they do not say that, we will know Nicola does not really mean it.


    • I’m not setting up a straw man at all Craig. Yesterday on social media quite a few people were asking why if it’s possible to have an election during a pandemic we can’t have a referendum too. Perhaps you just didn’t notice. This post is designed to answer their question.

      “The date can be flexible with a year, but if they do not say that, we will know Nicola does not really mean it.”

      We will know no such thing Craig. Maybe you ought to think about your own straw men.

    • Meanwhile you could use your site to help ensure that we actually win Indyref2 Craig. I’ve not come across one whit of data, ever, that’s proven to be helpful for our cause. Far from it. Why’s that?

      • If a couple of blogs put as much effort into attacking the Union as they do attacking the SNP we would be in a much better position.
        We have very loud voices telling us what they don’t want. We have “experts” demanding the destruction of the SNP. However we never hear what the alternative political vehicle will be to gain Independence.
        I am sick of this campaign to destroy the ONLY political Party capable of winning Independence.

        Present me with the evidence of a Party who can win a Holyrood majority in 2021 other than the SNP.

        Why should I listen to those determined to destroy rather than build?

        No political party EVER matches an individual’s values. I am YES first, Scotland first. Independence first. The reality of getting there requires a political party winning seats at Holyrood…the majority of seats at Holyrood.

        The unfortunate thing is that the infection is spreading and the “pull down the walls” brigade now infest every site.

  33. Wow… So many people here saying that supporters sensing something isn’t right in SNP are tory infiltrators, they are demanding an election before we can win so they’re all 77th brigade, that Wings page is just a tory home etc. Do you HEAR YOURSELVES?? I could say the same thing about everyone here: You are advocating waiting till we reach some magic figure before going for Indy, the pandemic MUST come first, Nicola KNOWS what she is doing in waiting… Do you know what that sounds like? That sounds awfully like tory voices… you know, those people who ARE DOING THEIR BEST TO TALK US INTO NEVER HAVING AN INDYREF! You people are just a bunch of tories who have infiltrated the Yes supporting groups, calling everyone else tories & ‘so called YESSERS’. You’ve done the tories work for them.

    Have I pissed you off? I hope so! Because by calling the indy supporters who want clarity, who want INFORMATION, who are scared SICK at the idea of losing Holyrood through WM machinations, who fear there will be NO Scottish parliament if something is not done about it very soon, a bunch of tory infiltrators, you have done the VERY SAME THING. Pissed off a great lot of Indy supporting people who would normally go chapping doors, leafleting & voting YES and want the same thing as you, only they want it in a different time scale, and who are also capable of seeing problems in the SNP but apparently they aren’t allowed to talk about them. Apparantly they’re supposed to see everything YOUR way.

    So who are the REAL tory infiltraters here and who are the real indy supporters?? One side? Or the other side? Who knows… but my last word here: from the comments here, that is a really tough call! I honestly don’t know…

    • I don’t want a magic figure I just want Independence.

      When it matters and it’s safe I will chap on the doors, deliver leaflets, attend the meetings as I have been doing for over 40 years.

      I don’t need permission from a Lib Dem from Bath, England or some wannabees MSP’s from party x,y,z


    • I direct you to my posting above:

      It should prove far more conducive to an effective way forward than shouty mutual recrimination. The more we navel-gaze and talk about our differences, the less anyone else will listen. In general the approach that Paul has fostered here is (in the words of the classic song) to “accent-uate the positive, elim-inate the negative”, and it’s one that could usefully be copied elsewhere. Incessant griping and finger-pointing gets us absolutely nowhere.

      • Kate is a fiction.

        “Wow… So many people here saying that supporters sensing something isn’t right in SNP are tory infiltrators”

        Nope, never saw a single post on WGD ever saying anything even remotely similar to that.

        “they are demanding an election before we can win so they’re all 77th brigade, that Wings page is just a tory home etc.”

        Nope, haven’t seen anything like that posted either, yes we demand a referendum (not an election) though no one claims Wings is “tory home”. It just hasn’t happened other than in your imagination.

        I thought it might prove useful to go through “Kate’s” post a sentence at a time. Naw, I changed my mind because I would be wasting my time, it was a rant from someone that doesn’t know the difference between an election or a referendum. All of it was DRoss.

        Someone who felt the need to ask “Have I pissed you off?”

        Hahaha, not really you’ve just given us a laugh 🙂 Your next prize is a ballon, as you already won a coconut.

    • You may not like the hard reality of our World but it is reality! Only political pressure achieves change. That requires a majority of seats at Holyrood to be in favour of Independence. It has taken decades to get to the point of sustained support for Independence aligned with backing for a political party in striking distance of having a majority at Holyrood.

      Is the SNP perfect…NO!

      I would rather they shared all of my views but 4 million parties would make winning a majority challenging. However they align with one primary aim – Independence.

      Post Independence the people of Scotland will decide our political makeup at Holyrrod and that is the prize. We will get what we vote for instead of what England voted for.

      I don’t know what parties will put in their manifesto post Independence. However for the first time Scots will have the Government they voted for.

      • That’s it in a nutshell Julia and if people can’t see it there’s something far wrong. My view too as Independence is my sole priority right now. The ”rest” can come later.

        Stand together, support the SNP, hold a referendum and win it and then vote for your party of choice at the first Independent Scottish election. Simple!

  34. Well that was a load of old blah, blah, blah right enough, eh? 😀. The latest news makes a real erse of the man from Bath.

    PS A blogger on said site actually thinks that Nicola Sturgeon came up with all of this today (Programme for Government 2020-21) following reading Mr Campbell’s (the blockage and blah, blah, blah) articles 🙄 .


    Add to that Nicola Sturgeon is still getting on with the day job in a BIG way. Brilliant. How long before LBJ comes up with the same idea?

    ‘A moment to be bold’: First Minister evokes birth of NHS as she vows to create National Care Service.’

    ..”The first minister added: “This is a moment to be bold and to build a service fit for the future. The National Health Service was born out of the tragedy of the Second World War. Let us resolve that we will build out of this Covid crisis the lasting and positive legacy of a high-quality National Care Service.”

    • Back of fag packet stuff kind of thing if you get their meaning, nudge, nudge.
      The FM wrong footed them all today, that’s plain enough. I haven’t seen or read all of it yet, but what I have was impressive.

  35. Have you taken the Whingers over Scotland oath, you need to or you’ll be set upon if you try and post BTL.

    ‘I renounce the SNP, all their evil works and all their empty promises’.

        • Wings Over Scotland still deserves great respect for the work it has done for the Scottish independence campaign , nobody has done better but it has gone a bit strange this last year or so.
          Perhaps it’s nerves have got the better of it ?
          Who knows ?

          Anyway , it’s important we still keep a seat at the top table for WOS

          When a date for a Scottish independence referendum is announced I’m certain that WOS will be at the front of the queue ready to jump into action .

          We ALL need to be critically fair but also remember that we are on the same side
          It’s imperative that the door is always left open and a seat vacant for those who want it

          • Thing is Terence I don’t think that we’re on the same side at all now other than a small handful of genuine independence supporters on WoS and they’re disappearing as we speak. And as there’s some time to go I expect the situation to get worse. Much worse.

          • Hello Petra,
            What happens if SNP announce a date for a Scottish independence referendum and it’s in 2021
            Will WOS continue to be a critic of SNP ? …I don’t think they will

            It’s possible that Covid19 will prevent a Scottish independence referendum being announced for 2021 each day there are increases in the number of people getting it ,people have started to holiday overseas again there’s a lot can happen in a year , look at this year for example and it’s only the start of September .

            I hope there is a referendum next year but i accept the reality that covid19 might delay one
            I will be glad when it comes whether to next year or at a later date because of covid19 delay.

            I think WOS will support Scottish independence and support the SNP once a date for a Scottish independence referendum is announced.

            The perception of covid19 is very different in Bath compared to Dundee where I am , it appears that WOS thinks there is a sinister reason for SNP delaying the Scottish independence campaign they don’t appear to accept that covid19 is a good enough reason to delay it.

            When the time comes we will all pull together
            We don’t spend years and years of our life supporting and campaigning for Scottish independence just to give it all up because of a delay

  36. The draft bill setting out the date and the question for a second referendum that Nicola Sturgeon announced today is not just any old draft bill.

    The Scottish government on 29th Jan 2020 put into law the Referendums (Scotland) Bill which:

    “covers the technical aspects of holding a referendum. It prescribes the rules for voting and sets out the rules for how the poll should be conducted. The Bill also provides for campaign rules to regulate campaigning at the referendum.

    “All” that is remaining as far as putting in place the legislation for a referendum is the following:

    “The regulations must include the date on which the referendum is to be held, the referendum period, and the form of the ballot paper to be used (including the wording of the question or questions to be asked and the possible answers).”

    This is the part of the legislation that Westminster argues cannot be done without a Section 30 order passing the power to Holyrood enabling them to legislate for matters pertaining to “the Union” which is a reserved power.

    Looks like her plan is to start work on the legislation, and if no Section 30 order is forthcoming after a resounding victory for the Independence supporting parties in 2021 then she’s going to go ahead anyway. It will then be up to Westminster to challenge that legislation as outwith the competence of the Scottish parliament and is therefore unlawful.

    I’ve no idea if that is right but it seems to me that this is an open challenge to Westminster, has Nicola Sturgeon announced plan B? I doubt it, as we are still on plan A. You only need a plan B after failure and a need to regroup. Unlike many, I think the Independence movement has been ahead of Westminster ever since the first referendum.

    Admittedly, not as far ahead as we are now but some say that patience is a virtue and in this case, I think they might be right though it’s nowhere near over or a done deal that Yes will be victorious.

    Not by any stretch of the imagination but we are at least closer to our goal.

    • In her address she spoke of ‘ terms ‘ regards the referendum.
      Remember she has asked and received permission from the Scottish Parliament to ‘ agree terms ‘ with Westminster. It was significant inclusion in her speech.

  37. Poland, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Eire etc etc gained their emancipation during the great influenza outbreak of 2018-20.

    This killed 50 million.

    No more excuses please.

    • Can I refer you to Craig Murray? He thinks people like you who believe we should be going for a referendum during a pandemic don’t exist. Because what you are proposing is – to use a technical term – fucking insane.

      If you think that the covid-19 pandemic is just an “excuse” then you really are detached from all reason and sense.

      I’d also like to point out that all those countries you refer to achieved independence after a World War.

  38. When I said I didn’t have an answer to the conundrum about the (possibly neverending) pandemic and the difficulty of campaigning through it I didn’t mean I was giving up on it! Nor “getting a life” – campaigning IS a large part of my life and always will be.
    We just have to look for new ways to campaign within the pandemic rules. As new generations rely more on social media and online meetings it will become easier.
    Above all we have to keep climbing the false summits and facing the false dawns in hopes that one of them will be real.

    • I can agree with that Mary, it may actually be necessary to find new ways of campaigning. Independence supporters and activists can still meet people but not in the same old ways. It’s unlikely many will be chapping doors especially as a great many of the canvassers are getting on in years themselves.

      The ultimate focus must though remain on getting through the crisis that this pandemic has brought, it might yet get a whole lot tougher for a great many people after Sushak ends the furlough scheme despite the pleading of Nicola Sturgeon to do as Germany and France have done and extend it for another year.

      We will have our referendum, for now though, Covid-19 is far more important to the lives of huge numbers of people who have yet to feel the indirect effects of the economic damage that has been and continues to be caused by the virus. That’s why it has to remain the priority and the Scottish Government’s main focus for now.

    • Political progress is rarely linear. Frustrating as that can be, it’s in the nature of things and simply has to be endured. But the current situation is a whole other ball game compared, let’s say, to the doldrums of 2017, and it’s worth reflecting on why that is.

      It’s a fundamental mistake to assume that constitutional politics and the pandemic are somehow at odds. War and pandemics, though they wreak widespread unwanted carnage, have one useful effect in common, they very quickly sort the wheat from the chaff, the bluffers from the achievers. You can’t bluff a virus. And what it is doing is revealing to many in Scotland what the media have otherwise sought assiduously to obscure: a fair and very attractive idea of just what a capable, fully-empowered government of an independent country could achieve for all of us.

      So take heart in that. How we navigate our entire way forward isn’t yet certain, that’s true, but the next step is already crystal clear: to win a resounding electoral victory for the SNP next May. The rest will follow soon enough.

    • Spot on Mary. I too have been promoting Scotland’s need to return to independence for over half a century. I will NEVER give up except when my goal is achieved or my life is extinguished.

    • Scottish history is riven with facing natural adversity. The wars of Independence against a back drop of plague; the Montrose campaign against plague and famine; the Jacobite independence struggles against plague, famine and financial impoverishment. In fact, the natural struggles our ancestors faced seem to have been an incentive to seek independence not an impediment to it. Strange days.

        • I’m kinda gathering that.

          I think all are hearts are in the right place but we are now being failed by leadership to lead and divisiveness is now creeping in.

          Meantime our enemies coalesce around a protean right wing ideology that will cripple us all.

          • Meantime our enemies coalesce around a protean right wing ideology that will cripple us all.

            Did you learn that on the knee of Tony Blair or Alastair Darling? Nah, probably not, I guess maybe Strathallan or Fettes are the more likely candidates. It’s the way you tell em.

            Do you still choose to have the Yes movement and SNP banned from putting posters on your land? Has the Saltire been raised again since you flounced off and vowed to lower it from your flagpoles?

            Just wondering, I’m interested in how your support for Independence is going, and I’m nosy as well.

            Take care anyway, can’t chat all day, see you on the next march if we get the chance. Mind bring the Saltire if you can make it.

          • Are you still going on about my rant.

            Well remembered.

            No the flags remain. The cause is greater than the individual.

          • …and divisiveness is now creeping in.

            Ye dinna say! (rolls eyes) En whit wis that again aboot “failed by leadership”? Jist listen tae yersel’!

          • Mbiyd…I see what you are saying but I think you are overstating the condition of SNP leadership

            Maybe you are worrying about it too much….RELAX …Trust ..

            There is no worrying problem with SNP leadership , big organisations always have leadership battles taking place within, you just won’t get all the people agreeing all things all the time it’s okay to be like that, the organisation will survive and grow.

            As for divisiveness , it’s normal , it exists because people form differing opinions and tend to group with those who have opinions the same as their own.

            Sure there is divisiveness that causes trouble and disunites a cause but I’m pretty certain that has not happened to Scottish independence.

            We are still strong , we are focused and adept at seeing what the opposition are up to.

            We might be taking different routes forming differing opinions about the way forward but we are all still supporting Scottish independence
            Whether you think Nicola Sturgeon is quick enough in arranging a Scottish independence referendum or not we are all still on the same side and I firmly believe we all agree that is the case

      • Please stop comparing our current situation to ancient history. The Jacobites were so successful in Scotland (not) they just managed to get a lot of Scots killed not to mention the Highland way of life practically eradicated. Its 2020 Scotland is a forward democracy and moving forward democracy

        • Em…the last time I looked..the person responsible for getting ‘a lot of Scots killed’ and practically eradicating the Highland way of life was a particularly nasty piece of work even amongst fellow genocidal maniacs.
          Namely ‘William…Duke of Cumberland (Stinky Billy).

          You’re welcome.

          • Don’t agree with you on that, the Highland Chiefs should never followed the so called Bonnie Prince Charlie. Some of them had severe reservations in the first place and that was part of the reason they went no further than Derby then the long retreat back to the Highlands. Culloden was the worst place possible to fight a battle that shows poor leadership from the man in charge Bonnie Prince Charlie. Don’t get me started on the House of Stuart. They were a useless bunch.James 6 sold Scotland out for an English kingdom and of course created the plantation of Ireland and planted seeds of religious strife that followed. Lets not forget The Union of the Crowns was the precursor to Scotlands enslavement in this awful union. The greed, and self interest of the Stuart kings will never be forgotten or forgiven as far as I am concerned. Romanticized version of the not so bonnie Prince is absolute crap

    • Just another everyday situation for everyday folks everywhere then, politically-speaking. Merely a few grumbles at the usual imperial powers about “having to ask permission” for a change?

  39. Looking forward …

    57.(of 60.)

    Scott, Dr Sturgeon and Indyref Two Gel

    Scott walked into his doctor’s surgery in the town of Essennpee. He was a little anxious, but he had been feeling a pain in his right shoulder for some time and thought it best to visit his doctor. Dr. Sturgeon had quite a reputation for treating various ailments in town and was always ready to listen to her patients. “If anyone can cure my pain,” thought Scott, “It will be Dr. Sturgeon.” Scott then, like all the good townsfolk of Essennpee, felt he could trust Dr. Sturgeon, and she would be able to help alleviate his pain.

    “And what seems to be the problem today, Scott?” asked Dr. Sturgeon, when his turn came. The good doctor always adopted a very friendly manner and her patients were happy to be called by their first names. This did not diminish in any way from Dr. Sturgeon’s exemplary professional conduct.

    “Well,” replied Scott. “It’s just that I’ve been having this awful pain on my right shoulder. I think part of the affected area is inflamed and is causing me agony on a daily basis. I thought it right to come and see you about it.” He grimaced at the doctor.

    Dr. Sturgeon returned Scott’s smile.

    “Let me see if I can help you,” she said. “Please take off your shirt and I’ll examine you.”

    Scott did as he was asked and Dr. Sturgeon bent down to look at the shoulder. She noticed a large blue patch on the skin. Dr. Sturgeon frowned.

    “Hmmm. Just as I thought, really”, said the doctor. “You have a very unpleasant case of Unionitis there, Scott. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s of the D. Rossis Vulgaris strain. A lot of people are suffering from that at the moment.” She smiled, almost wistfully. “Too many, in fact.”

    “I’ve heard of that,” said Scott. He paused. “Is there any cure?” he added fearfully.

    “Unionitis is a strong and persistent condition,” replied Dr. Sturgeon. “I’ve seen it in many of my patients and in some cases it can indeed prove to be intractable. I’m sure you’re familiar with our neighbouring town of Orange City?”

    Scott nodded. Orange City had a reputation and any sensible inhabitant of Essennpee always gave the place a wide berth.

    “I’ve seen patients from there – and even beyond. They’re suffering from a particularly bad strain of Unionitis,” went on Dr. Sturgeon solemnly. “In fact, some are absolutely covered in a malignant blue rash. This form of Unionitis, which we in the medical profession have identified as being of the R. Davidsonii mutation, is particularly worrisome. It is also an awful irritant to those suffering from it. Sometimes, it is so ingrained nothing works to remove it.”

    She was silent for a while and the tension in the room bore down heavily on Scott.

    “But what about me?” he asked nervously.

    “Well, your case of Unionitis is not so well-advanced,” replied Dr. Sturgeon. “I’m pleased to tell you that I can prescribe something for you.” She was smiling. Scott couldn’t resist returning her smile and sighing a deep sigh of relief.

    “Oh, thank you. Thank you, Dr. Sturgeon!” he gushed. “What are you going to prescribe?”

    “I have the very thing,” smiled the doctor. She wrote on her prescription pad. Then she handed the paper to Scott. “I’m recommending that you apply this Indyref Two Gel to the affected areas. Apply it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I can assure you that Indyref Two Gel will work wonders on your Unionitis and that the irritation will clear up in a pretty short time. The pain will also go and you will be left with unblemished skin when the blue stain disappears.”

    Scott couldn’t thank Dr. Sturgeon enough.

    “You’ve made my day, doctor,” he beamed. “I’m going to the nearest pharmacy as soon as possible to get my prescription and apply Indyref Two Gel to my affected areas. You really are a marvellous doctor! I’m going to recommend you to all my friends, too!”

    “And thank you, Scott for your confidence in me,” replied Dr Sturgeon.

    “But you see, it’s not really me,” she added modestly. “It was really down to you coming to see me about your painful affliction. I am, as a doctor, only a facilitator in helping my patients get over their aches and pains.”

    “I can’t thank you enough though, doctor.” Scott smiled. “I want to get over this Unionitis as soon as possible – and I’m sure the good citizens of Essennpee do too. No more D. Rossis Vulgaris! You can keep your R. Davidsonii! Oh, what a wonderful day that will be!”

    “Go forth, my friend,” smiled Dr Sturgeon. “Go, and tell your fellow citizens suffering from Unionitis that they too can be free of it by applying Indyref Two Gel to their afflicted areas. Tell them that as you will feel far better as a result of taking it, that they can too. Face the future with confidence without pain, rashes and nasty irritants.”

    “You can be sure I will,” replied Scott, beaming from ear to ear.

    And with that, he strolled out of Dr. Sturgeon’s surgery into the sunshine.


    Parables for the New Politics

  40. It’s fairly clear we need to win over 50% of the vote at next years election to drive the message home that we want independence, failing this level will just bolster Westminster to keep resisting.

    This also has to be over 50% for those parties in Holyrood that support independence, votes for parties which don’t win any seats will be disregarded when it comes to totalling independence support. That is the danger of voting for parties which don’t take any seats, 5% could be spread across minor parties. Just imagine we achieved 49% and wasted 5% on parties with no seats.

    It would be better if this 50% could be achieved by the SNP alone, it removes any dubiety and stops any prevarication by the BritNats claiming the support has to be for the SNP alone.

    My opinion is a greater than 50% vote for the SNP should be enough to negotiate independence as long as the turnout is reasonable, I don’t think the SNP want to take this route though.

  41. O?T Murray wins the first round of the US Open after going 2-0 down in sets and a break in the third set he wins 3-2 against a top 50 player. Very impressive, for a guy coming back after so long on the sidelines.

  42. Be patient, trust Nicola whilst she busily reads out her daily pandemic status report, and is so too occupied with Covid to involve herself in politics.

    I’m older than all of the SNP MSPs who have declared that they are not standing for re-election. With independence imminent, within their grasp, via an imminent referendum, why oh why leave now? I wouldn’t unless I finally realised….

    Pandemic? With Brexit will come an economic-demic, and a political-demic, and all the control levers in the hands of the Tory party., no stabilising EU anymore. And lacking political leadership from the SNP we are all aimlessly munching the grass until 1st Jan 2021 hits, and wham!

    And note to readers,don’t mention WOS or you’ll get the WGD gatekeeper Petra on your tail. Eh Kenny?

    • Yeah well what you would do isn’t necessarily what someone else is going to do now is it. I really think you’re reading far too much into the fact that people of retirement age want to retire. Although of course it could just be that you’re looking for something which could just maybe confirm your preexisting bias.

      • Paul, that’s an unworthy response from you. We all have biases, or are you the only person on the planet free of them? I don’t think so, as your recent blog posts (including this one) demonstrate (in my opinion, anyway). But that’s OK, you’re entitled. But so is everyone else. So please don’t talk down to folk you disagree with, as here.

        • Where have I ever said I don’t have biases?

          I’m just getting pretty fed up with people who clutch at all sorts of unlikely straws in order to prove to themselves that the SNP “doesn’t really want independence”. They’re doing the job of the Tories for them, and frankly I’m tired of it. The greatest threat to independence is this defeatism.

          • Paul, my suggestion is to keep on blogging but stop responding to the comments afterwards; just leave folk to say what they want to say. It’s your choice to give them the opportunity to respond, so live with it. You can’t engage with everyone you disagree with, can you? And remember, there are eight more months of this ..

          • There is honest disagreement and there is outright defeatism, and it’s not just Paul who is becoming heartily sick of the latter when we’re right on the eve of a significant potential step forward. Maybe the very one which finally unlocks our future. Why then these increasingly frantic attempts now to foment disillusion? To what possible end? This surfeit of negativity is either mind-bogglingly lacking in self-confidence or it’s mischievously deliberate. (Some of the latter no doubt due to an excess of political jealousy.) Whatever, when the only possible consequence of this is to harm our prospects, some random claim (whether real or not) to “years of SNP membership” is justification for neither LMF nor devilment.

            This is a time when we need unity of purpose, and put our individual reservations aside for the common weal. The very last thing we need right now is a raggle-taggle chorus of amateur Nostradamuses whose only self-confidence appears to be in mind-reading the motives of people about whom they actually know zip-all. People who have already achieved far more on our behalf than these crystal-gazing moaners ever will.

            This is an open forum, so we can all have our say, and mischief-makers in particular can well expect serious pushback, whether from Paul or anyone else.

          • ” we’re right on the eve of a significant potential step forward. Maybe the very one which finally unlocks our future”.

            As you say, Grizebard, “maybe”. Or maybe not. Either is just a matter of opinion, nothing more.

            Folk will disagree on this, as on so many things. But of course what you want is for people who disagree with you just to shut the **** up, and leave you to it.

            How likely is that?

            Rage on all you like, it won’t get you or anyone else anywhere.

          • Any rage seems to be emanating from you, you’re the one that’s decided that WGD isn’t doing this blog “in the right manner” and have requested that he change his ways LOL. Seems to suit most of us the way it’s run now, well, other than you of course being the exception.

            if you want perfection why not start your own blog, that would give you the chance to show WGD how things should be done. I expect such a venture will be a success and run for as many years as this one has, after all, you’re the one with all the answers.

      • Pre-existing bias Paul? What life has taught me is to identify your objective, apply constancy of purpose, and don’t look for excuses to quit.

        And don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.Eh Nicola?

        • Yes, your pre-existing bias. You have already decided that the SNP don’t really want independence and you are looking for anything that you hope will confirm that idea.

          Life has taught me that if you seek to achieve an objective, you make sure that you have everything you need in order to achieve it well prepared in advance. That would include, just for an example, the realisation that it’s foolish to demand a referendum that can only be won with mass grassroots participation while we are in the middle of a pandemic that precludes mass grassroots participation.

          • Paul, I’ve been an SNP member for +30 years. I set up a Yes group in our town. I’ve leafletied, chapped doors,like so many others.
            The pandemic precludes grassroots participation – then we find another means.Ideas, discussion, and crowdfunding.
            What’s happening around us is much bigger than your view of my bias.

            AUOB Manny – 72 vindictive days in the clink for refusing to change an event time.
            Craig Murray – for reporting the truth;Mark Hirst – ditto;Alex Salmond.

            Julian Assange, to add some condiment to my wider concerns.

          • Take the old fart hat off, it really is clouding your judgment. Yes, I’m sure the majority of us agree that the attacks on Manny Singh and Craig Murray are politically motivated. In fact, of course they are are politically motivated as that is the game we are playing.

            Nobody really cares how long you’ve been in the SNP, I find it difficult to understand why you are in the SNP if you have so little faith in their ability to bring us Independence.

            A serious question, since you appear to have so little faith in Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP gaining our Independence then what’s your plan B without them? It doesn’t have to be “your” plan, you can tell us of any others you might have heard of along the way. I’d like to hear some.

            Would you consider resigning from the SNP and joining one of the new Independence parties?
            I doubt you take this stuff seriously else you would have left the SNP and joined one of the new parties to ensure we had more support for Independence in Holyrood or don’t you believe that?

            I really don’t think you actually know what you want, if I’m honest. Enlighten me if you think it might help.

    • You’re wearing that favourite “old fart hat” again velofello that really loves to moan and grumble. It really doesn’t suit you, it makes you look like a total loser. A big fearty.

      I don’t usually do therapy for free but try looking for the positives in your life for a change. Might make you feel better, inside, know what I mean.

      Feel free to do your own thing, your life, I’m just trying to help, as such negativity that you harbour and put on show for everyone here must poison the soul. It surely can’t make you feel good. Throw away the hat.

  43. My I see we are having another round of Invasion of the Body Snatchers on here tonight. Paul you need to stop writing positive articles and we all need to stop liking the Snp or their announcements. It’s just not on. Don’t we realise we are all in the wrong clique. Advanced sarcasm mode engaged.

    • Thanks for that. Fantastic Golfnut. Now to spread it far and wide 😀. As Colin MacKay said on STV tonight ” the game is on.”

  44. Increased moderation? Paul, ease off a little, let comments run free as reasonably fair. Insults no.
    Your contribution is much valued.

    • You mean like the “insult free” zone when I posted on Wings. I noticed you were quite happy joining the gang in their pull down the SNP rants.

      I’ll stay positive and leave the negative stuff to the whingers.

  45. OT radio 4 (Today in Parliament) tonight.

    Labour supports the tories in the fishing bill at Westminster. Tory Ross selling out to Grimsby , Hull and Fleetwood,(not Scottish ports)

    • The Tories are hypocrites, we all know that, but there’s nothing like a sanctimonious Labour hypocrite. When push comes to shove, they are just as much “England First” as the Tories, and it’s high time everyone in Scotland realised it.

  46. Nicola’s Sturgeon today in Holyrood revealing the proposal for a draft bill that will complete the necessary legislation for an Independence referendum that would be recognised by the International community is a game changer. She has announced this without a Section 30 order and shows she means business.

    The phony war is over and the fight has just begun, the Tories had better come up with a Plan B to stop her because they have just been gazumped.

  47. And on that welcome positive note:

    Indy’s in the air, everywhere I look around
    Indy’s in the air, every sight and every sound
    And I don’t know if I’m being foolish
    Don’t know if I’m being wise
    But it’s something that I must believe in
    And it’s there when I open my eyes


  48. They never seem to learn, do they?

    ‘Labour councillor repeats disgraceful lies about Covid-19 deaths in a published anti-SNP diatribe.’


    LBJ’s no too popular right now either!

    Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh:- ‘Jolly japes from bluffing Boris at PMQs, but the joke’s on us.’

    ..”Now Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser and founder of the Independent Scientific Advisory Group (SAGE), has waded back into the fray describing the Government’s official response to Covid as “a complete cock-up”, with Johnson’s team “consciously” allowing the virus to spread. “Consciously” allowing the deaths of more than 50,000 people is some accusation – and some legacy for Johnson to defend in Parliament.”..

    • Three Labour MSPs publicly call on Leonard to resign.
      Kelly states; “It is clear that after nearly THREE YEARS in charge you are not able to take the party forward.” Has it really been three years? That’s not bad for a leader of Scottish Labour. Perhaps anonymity was a useful survival strategy after all.
      Marra tells The Times that the party risked “catastrophe” if it did not change course. Catastrophe as opposed to the current position of 15% in the polls. How low can they go? LibDem levels of irrelevance beckon.

  49. Kaye Adams working hard to undermine public support for the new Covid-19 restrictions.
    Happy to read out ill-informed politically motivated texts.

    Undermining the Covid-19 messaging reduces public adherence to the required behaviour, INCREASES the spread of the virus. Does Kaye care?

    • Mike Rumbles, LibDem MSP, has just tried to undermine the Covid-19 message at Holyrood too. Looks as though some folks like Kaye Adams and Rumbles are toeing the Westminster line ….. to create confusion.

      • He just wants to know, he says, he doesn’t understand, he says, except he forgot to wiggle his pinky finger on his dimpled chin and look childlike bemused, ye just feel sorry for the bloke eh

        And everybody went *Aw OK we’re all daft Mikey boy*

  50. Pingback: Underwhelmed | Grumpy Scottish Man

  51. Hi Paul

    I just wanted to say that I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and increasingly you’re the only voice of reason, so thank you for being so!

    Nicola Sturgeon has always said when the effects of Brexit are clear. I doubt she envisaged that at the end of 2020 we were still waiting for those effects to take place in full.

    Those who’ve been advocating for a referendum over the last four years are misguided (to put it politely). If we’d had one it would have antagonised the folk who might have changed their minds and the YES team would have lost. And that really would have put the whole thing to bed for at least another decade or more.

    It’s only in the last few months things have turned around and I believe will continue to do so. NS always said she didn’t just want to hold another referendum she wanted to win it. Anyone who thinks her commitment to independence is not as total as it always has been needs to give their head a wobble. She wants to win. And will hold off until she believes that’s possible.

    2016-2020 wasn’t the time, Brexit was and still is an unknown quantity for many. And 2020 certainly isn’t the time because of the pandemic (anyone who thinks otherwise is bonkers imo).

    Thanks again Paul – please try not to get too dispirited by the nonsense, and getting someone else in to moderate would be a great idea imo, then you can concentrate on the great pieces and not be so stressed with the rubbish.

  52. They’re ganging up on Rupert Lepton but nobody else wants the job except for, well who?
    Funnily enough the Labour branch in Scotland’s most successful time recently in terms of polling numbers was when they had no leader at all in between Kezia Dugdale and Rupert Limpwrist who was parachuted in by Corbyn and that position of *interim* leader was filled by Alex Rowley
    So a guy who was never the leader did better than any of the actual leaders

    Maybe the Labour branch in Scotland shouldn’t go through the pretence of electing anyone to lead their group and they could just sit there doing nothing at all, that seems to work quite well for them
    They could do a Corbyn and just maintain a neutral position on everything, at least that way they couldn’t get themselves into even more trouble, or could they

    The problem for the Labour MSPs is they don’t get to have a choice about any decisions they might want to think about making or taking because their ultimate bosses in London make all the decisions in order to reflect the main party in London’s position, and London can’t be seen to be supporting democracy in Scotland or they lose votes in England, and because Labour in Scotland couldn’t raise much more than five bob between all their members in Scotland to support themselves financially as an Independent party they’re gubbed from every direction, so I guess their decision will be the usual positive one of hanging on as long as their fingernails hold out as they’re dragged inexorably to their doom blaming the SNP

    Of course their real bosses the Tory party could bail Labour in Scotland out, after all it was the Tories Bitter together plan that laughably helped propel them towards their demise even faster than they were doing all by themselves

    • Can’t help wondering if this is less about toppling Leotard and “saving” the Party than saving their own skins to survive in a replacement party in an Indy Scotland.
      Starmer etc won’t change position, so they’ll be gubbed in 2021 irrespective of who leads the branch office, same for the Tories.
      Amusing that Kelly should be first to resign, the only man who when he stands to speak, actually makes Leotard look better….

    • Leotard now on the attack!
      “those people are unsuitable to represent Labour at next years election”

      He has now forced others into picking a side.
      Bye-bye leotard.

  53. Not unsurprisingly the government have done another Uturn, this time over the decision to ease Covid-19 restrictions in Greater Manchester which were to be lifted from today. This was despite the local council, the Director of Public Health and Mayor Andy Burnham being against the easing of the restrictions.

    The Tories have changed their mind, again, and restrictions will not be eased after all.

    Health secretary Matt Hancock said following a “significant change” in the level of coronavirus infection rates in the last few days, Bolton and Trafford would remain under existing restrictions.

    It came after Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said easing the guidance restricting social gatherings in people’s homes would be “completely illogical”.

    And it came after the government overruled Trafford Council to lift the restrictions there, and was accused of pandering to Tory MPs with the plans to ease restrictions in certain areas.”

    The local MP for Trafford just happens to be Tory, Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee who thought the whole idea of the restrictions was ridiculous and had been pushing for them to be lifted.

  54. Bojo’s disastrous performance at today’s PMQs easily surpasses all previous disasters..

    At the end of PMQs when the speaker gave Ian Blackford the OK to ask a special question our pals at the BBC couldn’t switch back to the studio quickly enough as soon as he stood up.

    Does anybody know what the question was and the response thereto? Cockburn said that they would but they didn’t.

    • Ian Blackford was raising the point about him being falsely accused of leaking the Prime Ministers whereabouts during his holiday in Scotland which was in Blackford’s constituency. He said that these false accusations came from No 10 and revealed that he and his family had subsequently had threats made against them

      Johnson brushed it off and as he did so had the usual grin you often see him wear.

      This is a link of the exchange from parliament TV, be warned the sound is awaful somekind of double echo or at least it is when I listened.

      • That’s deliberate digital interference Alex, BBC were obviously in the analogue loop to divert broadcast, bluntly it stinks of collusion, the hand of the Mekon in #10…

  55. Just who will take over from the Labour Scottish branch office manager Peter Brady, aka Richard erm….something. Jackie Baillie has ruled herself out, Anas Sarwar is deflated after some nasty racist comments from within the party. James Kelly’s drooling monolouges at FMQs is likely to rule him out as well. Monica Lennon might take up the reins. however do we really care who becomes the branch office London lackey, SLAB are now so insignificant in Scotland they’re nothing more than popinjays or gadflys sniping from the fringes of Scottish politics at their Westminster leaders request.

    Speaking of gadflys its Sir Keir Starmer’s birthday today, the millionaire Knight of the Realm turns 58 today.

  56. Wings has totally flipped!

    Nicola is apparently keeping Covid19 active to prevent the need to pursuse Independence!

    His disciples are of course agreeing.

    Hard to believe ANYONE could buy that conspiracy theory.

    • Really scraping the bottom of the barrel now. Searching for the least wee thing to enable him to undermine Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. And then he tells his followers, those that he’s brainwashed into running Nicola Sturgeon down to the ground on a daily basis, that they have to stop calling her ”Wee Nippy.” 😀😀😀

      ”Much as I dislike her, I’m still not standing for “Wee Nippy” here. It stinks coming from Unionists and it stinks coming from us too. Don’t make me delete any more comments.”

      But it’s alright to call her the Dreghorn Dyke and so on. You coudnae make this stuff up and yet he has managed to do so.

      He’s alienated many, many genuine independence supporters and even more potential Indy voters from the Labour Party, so who’s left to vote for his list party? Work it out.

    • Hi Julia – they have misunderstood the WHO terms. “Elimination” is not “eradication”. Devi Sridhar explained this months ago and commended the Scottish Government’s approach i.e. pursuing elimination.

      Now that the schools are back there are going to be many flare up outbreaks which have to be suppressed.

      Of course, without control over our borders eradication is not possible.

    • What’s very sad and quite pathetic is that rather than looking at the media and finding out where it tells porkies, doesn’t actually quote the person, misrepresents them, as Wings used to, he now uses anything to support his extremities – the BBC, the Scotsman, and even the DM or DT. If BoJo said something bad about Sturgeon he’d probably quote him as an authority – or Mundell, Jack, Davidson, Ross, Loopylard …

      In this latest case, Tom Gordon.

  57. News just in, Ian Murray appears to be the latest suggested sacrifice for Scottish Labour leader
    In other words they get a Tory at the other end of a laptop Zoom call
    If they do this I’ll give Labour in Scotland until Christmas and it’s over done Kaput, a dead parrot

  58. Very interesting reading all of your comments to this article from Paul. We all have different slants and take on events based on our background, brain wiring, social environment etc. etc. At least we all agree on YES.

    I have views on the SNP that annoy a little sometimes and other times a lot. I get angry. But they are good at running Scotland compared to all that has gone before despite being hamstrung by the UK. They are also critical to us getting independence. So on some specific issues I will hold my nose and support them as overall I think they do OK.

    If they do what Nicola said yesterday and make a clear statement on indy for the 21 vote that is wonderful. We need to keep the Heid.

    I should say I am not a member of the party, infact any party.

  59. It’s only a draft they say

    There are folks complaining and or deliberately misunderstanding how the rules of parliamentary procedure work pertaining to the referendum bill, opponents of laws and governments love to do all this headline grabbing statement stuff then neglect to inform people of the rules just to make the government look bad, the Daily Express and Daily Mail are absolute culprits for this kind of reporting, many will see the same kind of misreporting online also, all bills are draft bills then come the amendments and debates, each bill must pass through parliamentary stages first before it becomes law otherwise just declaring stuff would be illegal and subject to challenge, the only parliament that gets away with that behaviour is Westminster

    There are folk demanding the FM just make a thing happen without the procedures and then if she did they’d be accusing her of not following procedures, so if you’re an opponent you either claim she’s too *slow* or she’s *forcing* through legislation, whichever attack takes their fancy depending on the timing of the circumstances, they just fail to mention the rest of it

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