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From the ground

Posted on June 12, 2017 by

NB The following article is the view of an SNP activist, not Wings Over Scotland. Although we do agree with large parts of it.

Let’s be clear on some things. In most of Scotland that unsatisfactory election result had little to do with Brexit, or with “we don’t want another referendum”. It had nothing to do with the potential merits or otherwise of independence.

What gave us the result were chiefly two things.

(1) The SNP’s strategy of getting pro-indy Labour votes was completely sunk by the Corbyn bounce. There was no time to do anything about this as our whole limited strategy was worked around this.

But our own strategy sank us. We got pulled into the binary choice between Labour or Tory in Westminster and implied that Labour would be better than Tory. I’m not blaming anyone. Nobody was to know that Corbyn would bounce and that her own political vacuity would destroy May. But we must understand: the only long term position of any advantage to us is that NO Westminster government is best for Scotland.

(2) In many constituencies (including Argyll & Bute) the Tories and Lib Dems came to an accommodation. Several of our losses, and some near-losses, show a massive and sudden transfer of Lib Dem votes to the Tories in seats where the Lib Dems have been dominant for decades with the Tories nowhere.

We were fortunate in Argyll & Bute – the Tories were starting from just too far behind the former Lib Dem MP Alan Reid to catch us from third place this time – but rest assured that if there’s another election soon the seat will be in grave danger.

(Also, quite the worst candidate that I have seen in any election anywhere – Labour’s Michael Kelly – still increased the Labour vote share by a fifth on the Corbyn bounce, probably at the SNP’s expense).

But the vast sums of money that were spent putting in Tory and Lib Dem candidates in SNP held seats needs to be flagged up. In unionist target seats we were faced by deluges of Tory or Lib Dem leaflets (not both) POSTED to every household.

The Lib Dems in particular have no money and virtually no members in Scotland but I received thirteen – yes thirteen – Lib Dem leaflets through the post and this was seen across the constituency. If this was the same in the other target seats – and I hear similar stories – there’s been a postal expenditure of over £100,000 in some of them. What we just faced was an expensive, London-funded campaign against Scotland.

It also has to be said that several seats we lost narrowly may have been lost because there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the SNP campaign. The SNP support and the SNP activist base marches to an independence beat. No matter whatever tactical choices are made or what other policies are offered, unless independence is included prominently we disincentivise our campaigns.

But what will happen now?

First of all our opponents will distort the result to say that it proves there’s no appetite for another referendum. This is rubbish. The result was all about whether we had a Labour or Tory Government in London this week. The fact is that there’s no appetite for another referendum from those who are frightened of the probable result of it.

There was of course no referendum on offer last Thursday. And I marched with over 20,000 people in Glasgow last week calling for one. But what will follow is that some on our side (and some who appear to be on our side but really aren’t) will call for the referendum to be taken off the table.

This of course is exactly what the unionists want – the referendum off the table with us arguing about it. The mandate remains and the sooner we appoint a team to lead a new independence campaign the better (there are one or two guys available now whose time might be better used doing that than having the limited effect that they could as Westminster MPs).

(And just an aside here: Not going to Westminster – working from home, as it were – doesn’t appear to have harmed Sinn Fein’s political progress in any way.)

If we take the referendum off the table we do exactly as our opponents want and signal capitulation. Politics change anyway and the next couple of months will see many twists and turns and all the while respect for London government dissipates. Boris for PM anyone?

Nicola’s leadership, and the position of her husband, will also be called into question. By some considerable way she is the best we have, but it’s happening already in the press, through the prism of unnamed “insiders” and “former advisers”.

I’ve been in the SNP for nearly sixty years and have not at any point agreed with everything the SNP has said or done or the direction it has taken. But I know if I value the organisation I belong to and fight for I don’t take my concerns to the papers. I go to the party. People who go to the media are not our friends.

A final point. We live in a democracy. To be a Tory is a democratic right in it – not one I’m likely to exercise, but I know many normal and decent people who would describe themselves as Tories. And I know of many Tories in parts of the country we have just lost who voted SNP for decades. Whoever got the bright idea that it would be a good idea to drive them away from us and make them hate us?

The absurd notion that we can win independence by muddling about in the quicksands of tactical voting is entirely flawed. We win independence when we persuade the majority of our people –and that includes our Tories – that independence is the best thing for their country and its future. To spend months attacking “Tories” instead of attacking “Unionists” is counter-productive in any long-term strategy.

We need to educate on the benefits of independence every day. I could go on.

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  1. 12 06 17 10:56

    From the ground | speymouth

  2. 14 06 17 12:26

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217 to “From the ground”

  1. aitchbee

    My suggestion would be to have Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson appointed to lead a think-tank on independence which could start producing solid proposals for an independent Scotland which would address the fears and worries of the soft No voters. The effects of this would be two-fold:

    1. Independence is very much back on the agenda and the campaign for votes begins

    2. It allows Nicola Sturgeon to concentrate on the ‘day job’ of running the Scottish government, thus removing the grounds for Ruth Davidson’s constant jibe

  2. David

    Excellent post. Its independence that counts. Not the flavour of someones politics otherwise.

  3. tartanfever

    My suggestion would be to dump Alex Salmond, Angus Robertson and Peter Murrell,and concentrate on making Tommy Sheppard leader in Westminster.

    These guys have had their time, they are pretty toxic and in the case of Angus Robertson, pretty much a Tory anyway. The SNP have just been out flanked on the left by Corbyn (or at least appear to have been by press reports, the truth is that they haven’t.)

    SNP should lay low just now, the emphasis should be on a new Yes campaign, getting people in place, particularly a new Youth movement. This should be supported by the SNP.

  4. Robert Roddick

    Thanks for that Dave. The campaign goes on.

  5. gerry parker

    Well said. The returning MP’s need to get on board a revitalised YES campaign, they can give the message that a Westminster government will always do Scotland down regardless of the number of MP’s we send there. I’m sure they have many examples they could cite. The YES campaign needs to bring it home to people that there alternatives. Get Our European friends to visit and host events for them so they can give their views and policies an airing in Scotland. Never mind it won’t get reported by the MSM, there are still committed YES people willing to man street stalls and get these messages out. Get a positive vision for independence out which is able to include everyone, compare the advantages with the disadvantages in a clear and logical way.

  6. Helen Yates

    aitchbee, I absolutely agree with you on this and the most important thing now is to be stronger and bolder in the arguments for Indy than has been the case through this abysmal election

  7. George

    At the end of the day, the SNP is a party of Independence – win or lose, they cannot pretend to be anything else.

  8. Vegan god

    There speaks a man who has given his life to the SNP and independence. I would be inclined to trust that assessment. Same Davie Hill who fought the Hamilton 67 by election?

  9. Nana

    Thank you for this Dave, I had 14 lib dem leaflets one of which was delivered on polling day. I queried this with the postie and was told the sorting office had tons of them and they were told to deliver them that day.

    I thought that was not allowed on the day of the vote?

  10. Joyce Linden

    The position of Peter Murrel as SNP chief exec SHOULD be questioned. Regardless of who is given as the official director of any campaign in the SNP, it’s him who’s really in charge. His strategy is a proven failure and his years of withholding support for local training of grassroots members has cost the party. His megalomaniacal control of party processes and message is hurting Nicola as much as it is the party. He was due more blame for 2014 than he got; he’ll lose us the next Indyref if he’s left in charge.

  11. Hugh Wallace

    The point about Sinn Feinn not taking its seats is one I have thought about for years. Why are the SNP, who claim to have no more liking for the authority of Westminster than SF do, taking their seats? Until very recently I can see why they did because if it hadn’t been for the likes of Alex Salmond standing up and speaking for Scotland in Westminster (and occasionally getting himself barred from the chamber) then I doubt we would be anywhere near where we are now. But now, why are we still taking part in Westminster politics when we are obviously a complete irrelevance to the proceedings? I happen to know a couple of MPs or former MPs and know they worked very hard indeed when they are/were in Westminster (so I don’t meant to denigrate them or their colleagues) but to what end in any way that really matters?

    And this goes hand in hand with the way in which the SNP interacts with the media, most especially the broadcast media. Others have said it better elsewhere already so I’m not going to reiterate the old arguments but if we (the SNP and the broader independence movement) keep playing the British establishment’s game by the rules they impose we are going to lose. I am struggling to think of any country that has secured its independence from Britain by using the British press to promote their aims or sending their political representatives to Westminster to argue for their freedom.

    I, and I suspect many others, have a red line where the SNP is concerned: if they stop talking about independence, stop campaigning for it or even appear to pull back on it, I am out of here. They will lose my membership and my vote, simple as that. And I don’t think I’ve ever voted for any other party when given the choice.

  12. Calum McKay

    The opposition had a simple message that could not be addressed with multiple policies, no matter their merit.

    People were persuaded that instaed of being given an opportunity to vote on their own future, the offer of a referendum was somehow devisive and negative. The liberals got away with saying OK for EU and not OK for Scotland, somehow this ws not challenged sufficiently.

    I’d agree that the only way to address the issue is to highlight the benefits of independence, again, again, etc. Match the opposition blow for blow.

    Also we need someone to front for the SNP in front of the media and to take on the media. Someon who can think on their feet and takes no prisoners!

  13. David Smyth

    The result was a shock and not least to members of my family who in the past thought about indy but voted otherwise. Only now do they question Brexit and I’m glad to converse but withhold the irony. Indy is now possibly the fall back position for folk who are unsure of independence: financial rather than ideological concerns seems to draw support. In which case, indy still has to be “on the table”.

  14. Kenny

    I said before the election was even called that since the Tories were refusing to allow democracy to function in Scotland and were (appearing to) openly ignore the vote of the Scottish Parliament, the SNP could resign all their seats and stand again on a “Section 30 Order or independence” manifesto. Let’s not forget that prior to devolution, the current allocation of seats would have been considered a mandate for independence negotiations to begin. In the end, the SNP fought a hopelessly defensive campaign because the narrative was set by Davidson that ANY losses would constitute an absolute rejection of independence. The SNP struggled to get out a message that a win in this election – and win they most certainly did – was a vote for Holyrood’s supremacy on this issue. “Mrs. May has forced us into this position. We wanted to pursue a referendum as the surest way of fairly measuring the will of the people, but if the Tories insist that Westminster holds sway over all in this country then we will beat them there.” I think that would have been enough to galvanise the SNP support and prevent leakage of pro-indy voters to Labour. The Tory bounce was nothing but a chunk of No voters screaming in terror.

    If another election does happen soon, I urge the party to follow that line or something similar. In the meantime, I disagree that Robertson and Salmond should be in a think tank. Robertson should be appointed as the chair of a reconstituted Yes Scotland and Salmond should be somewhere in the background, campaigning and strategising. The Unionists have been campaigning hard since 19/9/14 and we’ve not really campaigned for independence at all. We’ve told ourselves that the demographics were on our side and with 56 MPs at Westminster we couldn’t be ignored. That’s not enough. There needs to be an active pro-indy campaign going on ALL the time. It shouldn’t be the SNP doing it though. Their line should be “this is what Holyrood and WM voters supported and we will always back democracy.” Then they should get on with fixing some of the problems, particularly in education, that are losing them support. The newly redundant people like Salmond, Robertson, Nicholson and Kerevan have a lot to offer as campaigners and thinkers. Let them do the heavy lifting on indy (along with the likes of Robin McAlpine, Pat Kane, some Green reps and whoever else is qualified and willing) so that it becomes ever harder to equate independence with the SNP. They’re one important element of a wider and deeper campaign but they can’t do it alone.

  15. Grouse Beater

    This is what’s called a draft article awaiting a rewrite.

    Can’t find a single element to agree with; it’s too self-pitying and generalised. Other than the factual a penny-pinched Lib-Dems seemed to have oodles of cash for high quality literature full of mendacious carpology, there’s little I can see that makes sense. There’s a dislikeable whinging about the article, especially the bit about Sturgeon as ‘the best we have’.

    Sorry, I won’t be re-tweeting the piece.

  16. Willie Hogg

    I agree entirely, Nicola’s clique is entirely socialist and those of us who are more conservative are being driven away by their monopoly of the party. The issues raised by voters are only emotional props to justify voting for unionist parties. I also agree that Nicola is an impressive leader who I believe is capable of leading all strands within the party.

  17. donald anderson

    Even McLeish got it right, when he said many of the Yes camp voted Corbyn. During the Referendum many of them were half hearted, to say the least, and some of the groups spent more time attacking the SNP than promoting Independence.

    Harvey stood against the SNP in Glasgow North and could have let Labour in. Instead he lost his deposit, nor do I believe many of his followers would vote SNP. Former Green Leader, Robin Harper, of the NO campaign, supported the Nuclear terrorist, Iain Stewart n Embra South, claiming his green credentials were impeccable.

    Independence, to the Greens and others, is an issue and sometimes an opportunist tactic. To the SNP it is a CAUSE, not an an issue and a priority above all else which, arguably, have been made clearer during the GR campaign.

    The SNP may not be perfect on all counts. Who is, apart from myself? If Independence is YOUR priority then there is no other choice than to vote for them.

  18. Dr William Reynolds

    I agree wih most of this analysis.However,it is likely that leave voters in the EU referendum and voter fatigue also played a part in the result.I think that to keep pro independence people who want out of the EU onside,there is a need to emphasise that the SNP are arguing for Scotland’s right to make its own decisions,rather than telling people what to decide.I suspect that when Brexit” kicks in” voters will understand the implications more clearly.I do agree that there is a need to organise a team to plan the future strategy for promoting independence.Angus Robertson and Alec S almond should be members of that team.

  19. Socrates MacSporran

    Some parts of this may appear to be off-topic, but, bear with me, please.

    One of my school-mates went to London and rose to a fairly high position in the Civil Service. She has always maintained, when the Civil Service does its annual trawl round Oxbridge, there is a pecking order – the brightest and best get sent to the Treasury, then it’s a downward trajectory, until, the ones who only just make the cut are seent to the Home Office.

    In her words: “The Home Office gets the dregs”. Not a good place from which to start.

    Theresa May made what reputation she had, at the Home Office – maybe it’s the same with the Tory Party, and they don’t send anyone talented there – just a thought.

    This morning, in the Herald, Marianne Taylor has penned a piece about the horrors of working with Theresa May, Fiona Hill an Nick Timothy – Mrs May’s now sacked joint Chiefs of Staff. Ms Taylor has known, since 2010 what a trio of losers and misfits these three were, yet, only now, four days after it all went tits-up for them, does she feel ready to publish her account of how poor the two sacked spads and the now beleaguered PM are.

    Her piece is particularly scathing as regards Mrs May. She knew for at least seven years, this woman was not up to the job of Home Secretary, far-less Prime Minister, but, only now, when Mrs May seems fatally-wounded, does she feel able to, or is allowed to, print her conclusions.

    There we have it folks – the Unionist media in all its glory – she’s shite, we know she is, but, don’t tell the public.

    By the way, my old class-mate retired back to Scotland, since when, at every opportunity she moans about how poor our services are, about: “That Bloody Woman” – the First Minister, and about how much better things are in London.

    Finally, I plucked-up, from where I know not, the courage to tell her (she is not a lady to whom one would take home a broken pay), to fuck-off back to London, if it’s so-much better there.

    She’s not going, she would lose her free prescriptions, and all the other excellent social welfare benefits we enjoy up here, courtesy of “That Bloody Woman” and her useless SNP government and useless Scottish civil servants.

  20. fionan

    tartanfever, I don’t know where you got the impression that Angus Robertson is a tory. Angus is a true gentleman, he was a great MP, the best of them all, far superior to AS. He talks very well and really gave TM a run for her money. He is dignified, caring and helpful, and highly intelligent. He would be a huge loss to the snp and to the YES movement.

    People rave about Tamsina – she is the real tory, she has been a member of the tory party, she has switched sides constantly just to pursue a lucrative career.

    as for AS, for all his faults, we have him to thank for bringing the snp out of the dark ages and turning it into a genuine political force. For that we owe him big time, and shouldn’t be speaking about tossing him onto the rubbish heap as ‘toxic’.

  21. Sunniva

    Yes, the Corbyn bounce lost us seats to Labour. But note, in 2015, following the independence referendum, Sturgeon appealed to Labour voters to ‘lend us your votes’ to represent Scotland at Westminster whilst The Vow was being negotiated. So they did. It is presumptuous of us to assume we have captured those votes. They were on loan. The Vow negotiations – not that they achieved much – are now concluded.

    And in rural areas – it was the Brexit vote. 400,000 voted Leave, a great many of them in the NE, and this pretty much amounts to the total drop in our vote. Sturgeon’s championing of EU has alienated Leavers.

    Davidson has played a canny hand by appealing to fisherman and farmers and is now promising them that she will respresent their interests at Westminster.

  22. sensibledave

    On another thread, you asked where I was – and what I had to say (although I did make a comment the morning after which I summed up the result as a “clusterf**k”).

    Well, in terms of THE most important issue the country (UK) is facing, the great British electorate has contrived to produce the worst possible result in terms of our negotiating position. I voted Remain but, on the basis that “Brexit means Brexit” then, clearly, we needed to be in the best and strongest position to negotiate the best possible deal. As a result of the GE, we are now in a much weaker position and it doesn’t matter how each of us voted in the EU Ref’ or the GE (i.e. which party), we are all likely to be worse off as a result – which is very frustrating and damaging.

    On the big stuff to come out of the results, across the UK, we can probably all agree that Tories and the SNP won – but lost! The Labour party lost – but won. The Lib Dems are virtually irrelevant and the situation with NI is a disaster with the DUP, with around 300k voters (supporting a party with some very odd policies), seemingly in a position now of great influence.

    With regards to Brexit, over 80% of voters voted for parties supporting Brexit – but we are now in the worse possible position to get a good deal. On Scottish Independence, a big majority of voters voted for pro-Union parties – whilst confirming the SNP are the biggest party by far!

    As for May and Sturgeon, both of them cocked up badly. Ms Sturgeon (as I have previously written) painted herself into a corner by demanding indyref2. She claimed that there was increasing support of a referendum – clearly there is not. After their previous stunning results in the GE, the SNP, realistically, could do no better and there was only one way their vote could go. Ms Sturgeon had started to believe her own propaganda (and/or advisors) and thought that the SNP Brexit strategy was a winner – she was clearly wrong.

    Ms May had an absolutely awful campaign. Again, her advisors had obviously decided that this was a “Theresa May” election and all she had to do was hold position with a string of repeated banalities – then she would cruise home. And, whilst repeating regularly and often that Brexit was the most important issue facing the country, she produced a manifesto that managed to put her in “defence” mode and trying to explain things like the “dementia tax” to her core vote! We arrived at the situation where the Tories were introducing, effectively, huge increases in inheritance tax – with the Labour party against it! By the time she had realised that it was all going wrong, it was too late.

    That’s politicians for you. The power goes to their head, they stop listening and they do stupid things. Both of them have lost huge amounts of authority and respect. Both got it wrong. Both of them have moved from unassailable – to keeping their jobs only because to change leader would make the situation worse. Hardly a vote of confidence for either of them.

    With respect to the article above, Dave McEwan wrote: “A final point. We live in a democracy. To be a Tory is a democratic right in it – not one I’m likely to exercise, but I know many normal and decent people who would describe themselves as Tories. And I know of many Tories in parts of the country we have just lost who voted SNP for decades. Whoever got the bright idea that it would be a good idea to drive them away from us and make them hate us?”

    I have written many times that disrespecting people purely because of one’s views on the other person’s politics is not healthy nor likely to end well. Disagree by all means – but don’t vilify, because it only demonstrates a complete lack of thought and understanding.

  23. bob millar

    Hear, hear. I suggest we start immediately debunking two major Unionist myths.
    a) We are too wee and too poor,
    b) That the Union has been a continuous and unmitigated benefit to Scotland and showing how poorly it has performed for Scotland.
    Stewart has given us plenty of ammunition for both.

  24. galamcennalath

    I agree with everything said here, particularly ….

    The SNP support and the SNP activist base marches to an independence beat. No matter whatever tactical decisions are made or what other policies are offered, unless independence is included prominently we disincentivise our campaigns.

    Frankly, as an activist, I felt that activist turn out and enthusiasm has faltered somewhat.

    Yes, the Corbyn effect was unexpected. Those people are probably still potential Yes voters who have gone back to the ‘old way’ of supporting Labour at WM.

    Yes, there was collusion between Unionist parties in a number of target seats.

    One additional point I would make is that there was a concerted campaign to ensure this election was not allowed to be about WM! It was largely media driven where Brexit and the Tories’ WM was not to be discussed. Especially the Ruth Davidson One Policy No Referendum Party, which managed to complete disconnect with London HQ!

    The one exception to this ‘avoid WM’ approach was the voter driven Corbyn effect spilling over from England.

  25. schrodingers cat

    cant disagree with anything here

    although i think in the immediate future, we should take stu’s advice, sit back, have a beer, and watch the disaster that is brexit unfold

    i think treeza will reject nicola’s call for the devolved governments to be included in the brexit negs, i hope so. they are a poisoned chalice to whoever conducts them.

    it was treezas rejection of nicola’s offer in the 1st place that put indyref2 on the table, this looks like a very reasonable conditional offer from nicola to at least delay indyref2, all the while knowing it will be rejected.

    as for a national yes movement, we on wings have already seen how difficult to agree on who should lead it, indeed, within seconds of this post being published,tartanfever rejected alex salmond for leader.

    personally, i think alex is the obvious choice, a yes leader who could create a national yes group that we could all agree on.

    the yoons would just hate to see the yes movement coalesce and create a national yes group and the momentum that would bring 🙂

  26. Ewen

    I think we should stop being so bloody nice and cuddly and fight the unionists at their own game.

  27. fillofficer

    Our message will never get out because the majority of the electorate only use the MSM for info & they, the MSM, are openly hostile to us (half the population). The SNP must be wary of infiltration in the hierarchy (eg. alastair darling) who divert our course. It seemed to me that the GE was a final attempt to seriously fracture the SNP but we won, so the public are still behind us. Onwards

  28. tartanfever

    Fionan says:

    ‘I don’t know where you got the impression that Angus Robertson is a tory. Angus is a true gentleman’

    What the hell does social manners have to do with political allegiance ? Stupid comment.

    Angus favours a Tory business model. He likes the City of London, he likes Big Bank influence, he wants to cut Corporation Tax, he believes in the market and it’s forces and unfiltered trade agreements that benefit corporations not people. Alex Salmond is much the same.

    He may oppose Trident, and he may ask pertinent questions at PMQ’s about pensioners etc, but that is no proof whatsoever of being left wing, or even social democratic, leaning.

  29. Yerkitbreeks

    Moving forward-one of the revelations for the UK (which we all know up here from 2014) is the poisonous influence of the MSM.
    I suspect if it isn’t to wither fully it will have to reflect wider opinion – which could be beneficial to IndeRef 2

  30. Chick McGregor

    If indyref2 had been made a centre plank of the SNP campaign I do not think we would have lost as many seats.

    We would still have lost some, because of the new UK political reality where we have a more polarized scenario on offer than we have had for decades. That inevitably puts pressure on both ends of the soft SNP support.

    In addition, on the constitutional side, the effect of Ruth Davidson’s (and the BBC’s) Union support consolidation could well have been significant. Also, some hard Brexiteer SNP support will have been lost.

    I would like to see polls ASAP which discover what the indy friendly demograph is like for the new ‘Tory’, ‘SLAB’ support, ditto strong Brexit support, as this would go a long way to make clear what has actually happened.

    It would also be useful to know from whence that polling sample came (i.e. how they voted in 2015).

  31. Doug Daniel

    In Aberdeen, there were a whole host of reasons why folk were no longer voting for us, and none of them included “you’re not making independence prominent enough in your campaign.”

    Unless we as a party are honest with ourselves and take ownership of our own problems instead of trying to blame the media and other parties for everything, we can kiss goodbye to a fourth term in 2021. And that truly will put independence off the agenda for a generation.

  32. Valerie

    Great intellectual analysis, Dave. Clear and cogent, and I know you will feel as emotional as the rest of us.

    There is no question about the carve up by the other 3 parties, backed by dark money. They looked at what worked for Leave, it always boils down to money. Scot Tories have been reported for £100k spend, which can’t be transparently seen. However, the Electoral Commission is a chocolate teapot.

    Look what money has bought us. Brexit, and now this shitshow of a UK govt.

    What a lot don’t understand, even on here, is that politically aware/intellectual folk like us are a very small minority. The vast majority are far too busy, or too poor and depressed to give a shit about caring to learn or pay attention.

    Hence paid bombardment works. Dave has proven it here.

    It’s disgusting, but these new candidates are bought and paid for, and right now, I still can’t see a path out of this.

  33. aitchbee

    tartanfever says:

    ‘that is no proof whatsoever of being left wing, or even social democratic, leaning.’

    … neither of which are prerequisites for supporting independence.

  34. T.roz

    A more prominent yes movement is needed now, with obvious leaders and strategies with a multi party involvement. This would take pressure off Nicola and wrong foot Ruth.

    As for Westminster, my personal preference would be for us not to take our seats, I just can’t stomach the idea of us going along with this farce of a set up.

  35. Doug Bryce

    Don’t forget that Corbyn (unlike Scottish Lab) actually promised a second referendum! It is clear a number of YES voters did back Corbyn.

    SNP have 60% of Westminster seats – this is far from disaster. Sensible option is to take a deep breath and watch the brexit chaos unfold…

  36. Chick McGregor

    While I am sure we are all sorry for those SNP MPs who have lost their seats, it bears remembering that our Westminster contingent are effectively on a Kamikaze Mission anyway, i.e. they are all working to put themselves out of a job.

    There are no (or should not be) any ambitions for a life-long Westminster career, so that should soften the personal blow a little.

  37. Swami Backverandah

    I don’t read all the statistical breakdowns of the vote in Scotland, but if the SNP vote was down substantially, could this be as a result of the mandate for indyref2.

    The UKIP vote disappeared once Brexit articles had been triggered. They had what they wanted.

    SNP stand for Independence, and have much support.
    If the mandate for indyref2 is assured, the task is then to get the article from Westminster.

    You won’t get that from the current Tories, or from Labour refusing coalitions. And with Labour abstaining in favour of Tory policies, the SNP in Westminster has been rendered largely impotent. Voters know this. They clearly still prefer SNP compared to all other options, but see them as more effective in Holyrood and local councils.

    Perhaps they’ll bide their time till the Brexit fallout and vote for Independence. There must be Tories who want EU membership. and Labour, although who would know?

  38. Col

    Just tuned into Kaye, the first thing I hear is a caller stating that Alex Salmond lied about having legal advice on Europe during the first indy ref. Total silence from Kaye of course. A reminder of what we are up against.

  39. schrodingers cat

    Doug Bryce says
    Sensible option is to take a deep breath and watch the brexit chaos unfold…


    ditto, 8 days and counting

  40. Proud Cybernat

    If an IndyReferendum via the Scottish Parliament is now the chosen route for progressing indy, why does the SNP even bother contesting WM GEs? What’s the point? Sure, there is the outside chance that, on the very very odd occasion, the SNP might hold the balance of power and, as such, could possibly extract some concessions from London.

    So many ifs, buts and mibbees.

    Most likely is that the SNP will win a barrel-load of WM seats for precisely nought impact. SNP should get the hell away from WM. By being there we are essentially driving down the importance of our own parliament here in Scotland. We are effectively saying that our own parliament is second fiddle. Why? Why should we do that?

    There’s simply no point to SNP contesting WM elections and it just wastes much of the party’s resources. SNP should concentrate wholly on Scotland and building the consensus for Indy from here.


  41. Bob Mack

    Corbyns campaign was the only one which felt energised. Boosted by the young ,(often indifferent vote), which came to fall in behind him and almost brought him to power.

    The SNP campaign was utterly flat. Its indecision on the Europe stance shone through. Will we won’t we? Full members ? single market?

    We have to enthuse people with clear unambiguous messages. They must be consistent and authoritative. If the SNP wavers then how can others who vote for them not end up the with the same mindset ?

    Time to change strategy.

  42. Johnny

    Excellent piece, Dave.

    Agree with pretty much every word.

    The bit at the end is something a lot of us must accept too. I’d very much identify as on the working class or ‘left’ side of things and obviously, I would like to see Scotland do things which aimed at making the country a little more egalitarian.

    However, *all* societies have ‘business interests’ and an independent Scotland would be no different. Where’s the sense in alienating one section of a society we know will exist from the very idea of independence?

    In the run-up to 2014, I saw a lot of people saying a Yes vote would be ‘the end of the Tories’. This was always muddled thinking. It would signify that we wouldn’t have to undergo *Westminster* Tory rule again, certainly something I would consider an unalloyed good.

    However, if there were no ‘business political party’ in an early independent Scotland one would have to spring up to represent the people who have that kind of concern – because that’s how political systems work.

    What we have to hope is that those of a Tory persuasion who are minded to independence will co-operate with us after independence to create a society which we can be proud of and is fair to all.

    But thanks again for a sparkling and insightful piece, Dave. Much needed at this time.


    Proud cybernat, well said.

  44. Clydebuilt

    A young aquintance (SNP member) has many face book friends who voted for Corbyn. They were attracted by the hope he offered.
    Obviously they didn’t feel they were getting a message of hope from the SNP this time round. Whereas they had voted YES for hope in the future during Indy Ref.

    IMHO Jezza handled interviewers very well, with a pleasant demeanour. The guy became very likeable as the election progressed.
    Our representatives need to rethink the way they handle interviews.

    Corbyn turned down a last day interview from Jon Snow…… He was too busy njoying himself……. He exerted control over the media.

  45. ScotsRenewables

    The SNP support and the SNP activist base marches to an independence beat. No matter whatever tactical decisions are made or what other policies are offered, unless independence is included prominently we disincentivise our campaigns.

    So true. I would count myself as a disincentivised member of the party right now, who was delighted to go on the big march in Glasgow but this time round couldn’t be bothered sticking turgid leaflets through the doors locally and haven’t been to a branch meeting for ages.

  46. annie

    Your definitely right about the money spend in various target seats by the Libdems. They won the Caithness & Sutherland one. My husband had at least 6 personally addressed leaflets/letters from them. Looking forward to learning how much was spent in these seats.

  47. Peter McCulloch

    We should have taken the fight to both Labour and the Tories here in Scotland, unfortunately we didn’t.

  48. Macart

    Neatly done Mr Hill. 🙂

    That was needed.

  49. Sher Shon Shez

    Good piece Dave, many thanks for that. Going to mull it over.

    Thanks for highlighting the extraordinary funding going to the Unionists. Clearly in 2014 we caught them on the hop and they got scared. This time they were prepared, well-funded and well co-ordinated – including the propaganda wing AKA the BBC. This was definitely a fight-back by the British State, and they still lost. But they won’t be caught off-guard again.

    I’m not sure you’re acknowledging the genuine resistance to a second indyref in some quarters, which has been highlighted by Footsoldier’s comments on Wings, as well as by others whose monickers I shamefully forget.

    /We/ know the grounds for a second indyref after the Brexit vote are absolutely solid, as would anyone with a little knowledge, a dose of common sense, and the ability to detach themselves from their own political beliefs. But most people don’t pay much attention to politics, except as a form of entertainment, and what they know is gained from the MSM.

    When I was chairing a jury, I found that after three and a half days of evidence and half a day’s deliberation there were some who had come to an opinion and simply would not shift it, despite that we still had more points of the case to consider. In the end it took another morning, and most folk simply couldn’t stay the course. Some were feeling physically unwell. It was proof that sustained thinking is actually hard work, and most people don’t have either the training or the capacity to do it.

    The point I’m lurching towards is that a lacklustre SNP campaign, a biased media and a co-ordinated Unionist campaign don’t mask the fact that there are a lot of people out there who simply don’t want a second indyref because they’ve had enough of politics.

    That doesn’t mean, though, that indyref#2 should be abandoned or rolled back. We need to push for it while acknowledging from time to time that, yes, politics is hard, it takes attention, it takes effort, it requires stamina. But the stakes are too high to give way to those who don’t have what it takes to see it through. The principle is sound and the cause is just.

    Moreover, Brexit is a train wreck, and the rUK has swung far right (Tory % of vote went /up/ in UK, remember). This is now a fight not just for Scotland’s nationhood but for belief in a civilized society and reason itself.

  50. ScottishPsyche

    My own experience absolutely confirms this.

    While there was always a strong Tory presence where I live, they were everywhere this time. Interesting that the previous MP before Brendan seems to have accepted his role as the third place mopper upper of what was once a strong Lib Dem seat. The Tory candidate is a councillor who from being a previous nonentity with a penchant for whining about nothing is now a rabid Unionist.

    Every time the SNP are accused of being obsessed with Independence the counter argument of Slab/LibDem/Tory being absolutely and utterly consumed by the idea of preserving the Union over anything else should be thrown back at them. No policies, no vision, just stagnation and preserving the status quo.

    The Unionist party (for they are one) needs to be made to defend their position which is to have polarised Scotland into 2 positions with the loss of democratic choice and the hardening of the division they supposedly despise.

  51. Sher Shon Shez

    Proud C –

    I know what you’re saying, and I’m really surprised SLab didn’t use a ‘feeble 56’ line (for younger readers, Labour MPs were called the feeble 50 because Scotland voted Labour and still got Tory govt in the 1980s).

    But as my dad said, someone still needs to go down to Westminster to keep an eye on what the bastards are up to.

  52. Breeks

    But Dave, we do not live in a democracy. The principle of democracy is holed below the water line while one side in a legitimate constitutional debate is denied even a neutral broadcasting platform to put forward its agenda, and the other side is free to perform eye watering contortions and paradoxes on policy without even rudimentary challenge or condemnation. It can lie at will with self righteous impunity. That is not democracy, that is subjugation by propaganda.

    Everybody knows the 2014 Referendum was a con, with a godlike Gordon Brown promising all sorts of vows, Fiscal Autonomy and other “inducements” to stay in the Union, bare faced lies about pensions, and being kicked out of Europe, and he was catapulted into the referendum narrative in flagrant violation of the Purdah restrictions by a BritNat Media on all out attack mode to defeat Independence. A splendid point I remember from Wee Ginger Dug, we’ll respect the result of 2014 when the Unionists respect the vows and promises they made to win it.

    I don’t contest the result of the 2014 vote. They won. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to call it democracy.

    Think back to Nigel Farage coming to Scotland, running away to hide in a pub from an “SNP lynch mob”. It was British media fabricated bullshit, but the BBC smeared the SNP, raised the profile of an erstwhile wholly irrelevant UKIP footprint in Scotland to the extent that Scotland suffered the humiliation of returning a UKIP MEP to Brussels.

    Now we have another election we actually won, but we are told that we’ve lost, and that winning 13 seats of 59 is a stunning victory for the Tories. Every time Scotland turns on a TV we are stepping through the looking glass and entering a fanciful Wonderland as finely crafted as any other BBC fictional production.

    SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, for the love of Scotland, please, please, recognise the parlous state of our dysfunctional broadcasting network throughout Scotland, and given its biased and malevolent influence over votes and elections we have had to date, and the seminal referendum we are about to have, recognise that we have a state of emergency in political news and broadcasting.

    I call on you to secure a Judicial Review from the Court of Session to underwrite and declare that that legitimate the nature of constitutional sovereignty in Scotland rests with the people. Then, I call upon you to cite such sovereignty as the more than adequate mandate you require to instigate an emergency broadcasting network to provide an objective, dispassionate, and apolitical narrative of the vital constitutional issues and the dangers which will damage Scotland if we lose our place in Europe.

    Take the powers you need from our Scottish constitutional sovereignty and invite our European brothers to lend us a delegation of their political and constitutional Press agencies, bring them to a facility we provide for them in Edinburgh or Glasgow, and let us form a European coalition of broadcast media which Scotland can access through its television set, and thus we might shepherd home the constitutional alterations and appropriate public awareness we require to secure Scotland’s right to remain in Europe, and end the political affiliation with England before it suffers such calamitous injury on Scotland’s interests.

    We do not need to silence the BBC or suppress it. Let it rage in impotence that it cannot suppress the truth.

    Another warning too, while you’re on. If we continue to dawdle over Brexit, and remain passive if not catatonic in expecting the dangers of Brexit to reveal themselves, then not only do we allow the BBC the freedom to sugarcoat the perils of Brexit and turn black into white, but we further compromise our interests by allowing a possible resurgence of Remainer and soft Brexit rhetoric which would on outer appearance weaken the constitutional necessity of Scottish Independence. We know however that a soft Brexit is not something in the UK’s capacity to deliver, just as Remainer aspirations are vocal but disorganised and uncoordinated. This is a futile dynamic, but could leach support and urgency from the ScotRef campaign.

    If we want Independence, and Independence in Europe, then only a bold, confident, and meaningful initiative can make this secure. Put an end to this “wait and see” pregnant inaction. We know enough already to move ourselves into a much stronger constitutional position, and we have everything to lose if we do not do so.

  53. Dr Jim

    It really doesn’t matter which side of the May Corbyn argument you’re on
    FACT: If England votes for a monkey on a stick that’s what the rest of us get whether we like it or not
    Scotland no matter how it votes has no say and never will have and the dummies who vote otherwise thinking it will are completely and totally self delusional

    2014 Dummies voted NO, had they voted YES we wouldn’t even be having this conversation about the mess that once again England has created and now backed up once again by the dummies who bought into the Jeremy Corbyns stolen SNP policy bounce

    The Tories were always going to make sure this time they got their vote out on pain of death on an issue that wasn’t even happening and they could have said NO if it did
    So why did the Tories in Scotland collectively turn into the SS, well Ruth Davidson screamed sectarian bile at them and they went for it, but in doing so that bolt is now shot by creating the absolute and total them and us country

    Vote Labour get Tory how many times do we have to say it, yet over and over again the dummies fall for it and stupidly vote Labour in the hope of times gone past that never really were that Labour would save the day for them
    They Feckin wont

    Now we’ve got the DUP! and have you heard the media make a fuss about it? well no not really, so Jeremy Corbyn talks to an IRA guy in the 80s and all hell breaks loose in the media but the Tories are signing up with the DUP and all they can mention is some crap about gay rights but it’s OK because Ruth Davidson’s sorted it,
    I mean WHIT? Is that all then?

    So let’s all keep discussing something we should and could have avoided by doing the thing the only party in Scotland advised us to do when the SNP told us time and again

    Don’t vote for the monkey on Englands stick because we can tell you where that stick is going to end up

    Scotlands Arse!

  54. BJ

    Just a comment on the leaflets in Argyll and Bute. Over the course of 2 weeks I had:-

    One leaflet from Labour
    Two letters in the post from RD
    Lost count of the LibDem flyers, definitely in the late teens, sometimes 2 folded up together.

    I could have papered my hall with Wee Willie Wanks face!!!

  55. Fireproofjim

    Your argument that anyone who is to the right of your pure socialist ideal is to be “dumped” is the very best way to ensure that the Yes campaign will wither away to some splinter group constantly arguing among its members as to who is the most Marxist.
    The Yes group is not political party. It a movement of all political views including socialist, capitalist, republican or monarchist. In fact anyone who has Scotland’s interests at heart.
    To dismiss those like Alex Salmond or Angus Robertson as “toxic” because they do not agree with your ultra-pure extreme left views is foolish in the extreme.
    When you were arguing about the Judean Popular Front they were doing the hard work in building up both the SNP and the Yes campaign to where it is now – the major force in Scottish politics.

  56. Col

    Kaye just starting a phone in promoting Ruth Davidson and the Tories. Get calling

  57. Ken500

    The electoral expense sheets will be extremely interested. Any criminal activity should be called out and cautioned. It happens time and time again and the Law is no unforced. Swept under the carpet. Unionists lies already being found out. They will face the backlash for criminal behaviour.

    In some areas less people came out to vote. They are sick of May, Westminster, Tory/Unionist etc. Who can blame them. Voter fatigue. The constant Unionist lies and corruption at every level. Council, Holyrood, Westminster. The Law never enforced. Swept under the carpet by Unionists in illegal control.

    A reminder to use It or lose it. Already people, voter regret in many places. The NE in shock, horror and disbelief. Losing one of the best politician in the world who has done so much for the NE, Scotland and the world. For a second rate candidate. 3rd rate reject lies. Voters remorse big time. The backlash against the Unionist lies starts now. The vote will come out when necessary for what people believe in.

  58. jfngw

    The problem of running a government whilst trying to win independence is possibly being exposed as extremely difficult. The policies adopted will attract some and repel others, you cannot have policies that satisfy both left and right wing views. Also the longer you are in government the more ammunition your opponent has since things will go wrong and no party is infallible.

    The SNP therefore has to make the case for an independent Scotland, not just be a competent government. In fact being a competent government may not help them if many believe they are doing a good job so why should we change it.

    They have to accept and promote that the choice after independence is not just themselves but all the other parties. This seems obvious but I have seen numerous comments, not on wings, about perpetual SNP rule after independence. As numerous people have said in the past, this is about independence not the SNP, they are a vehicle and should be judged on their policies after independence.

  59. Chick McGregor

    Doug Daniel
    “In Aberdeen, there were a whole host of reasons why folk were no longer voting for us, and none of them included “you’re not making independence prominent enough in your campaign.””

    Of course not. It was a Westminster election.

    I doubt whether any Unionist canvassers were told “I’m no longer supporting you because your anti referendum position is too prominent.” either.

  60. Dr Jim

    I forgot something
    Anybody heard anything about eh that other country eh I’m trying to remember their name, somewhere on the West coast of England eh, Oh Aye, Wales
    See how they’ve been relegated to a complete non entity village in all this drivel, they must just love being dismissed altogether
    Don’t worry though Wales if the dummies keep doing what they’re doing Scotland will be just as meaningless as you

  61. gerry parker

    You haven’t been to a branch meeting in ages?

    You’re lucky to have that choice, our branch is still suspended because HQ are afraid to tackle the problem head on. I would hope some of the talent returning from Westminster is absorbed into HQ to deal with tHe problem (But not Tasmin- she made an utter shambles of her attempt)

  62. Doug Daniel

    “So true. I would count myself as a disincentivised member of the party right now, who was delighted to go on the big march in Glasgow but this time round couldn’t be bothered sticking turgid leaflets through the doors locally and haven’t been to a branch meeting for ages.”

    Aye, why bother doing the boring stuff that needs to be done when we could all just fanny about waving flags instead?

    Why are we even bothering contesting elections at all? All we need to do to win independence is march through Glasgow a few times.

  63. Neil Ralley

    Excellent article, Dave. You are right about it being a General Election about London and not an IndyRef and IMO this significantly affected voter turnout which cost the SNP far more than it did the other parties. Don’t let anyone forget that change of mind of IndyRef votes is by far mostly a one-way street. Ask yourself, how many “Yes” voters do you know who are now going to vote “No”?

  64. Stéphane Séchaud

    Tories are only interested in one thing, the opportunity to enrich themselves to the exclusion of others. If we are to debase our goals to make it seem appealing to them then we have already lost. The goal for an independent nation was to create a place where Tories would be an anathema, because the nation would enshrine in it’s constitution the rights of citizens to be protected from the exploitation by private interests through which the Tory vampires thrive from. If we are only wanting to create our own nation for our own sharks to feed in then I want no part of it.

  65. Ken500

    No Party wins 50% of the vote all the time. A big ask. A statistical fact. Now the Tory/Unionists have to deliver an impossible task because they lied. The lies will be exposed. It will put the SNP/Independence support up. Everything is lining up. Just as (Alex) predicted. It is uncanny. It just needs Boris Johnstone as PM. The Independence vote 60%+++? Get ready to go. The next Indy campaign.

    Criminal Murdoch’s mate Gove is back. Puke. Never interrupt the enemy when they are making a mistake. The extravagant, greedy egos. Psycho bastards. They will find out Davidson’s unprincipled lies and corruption. Disorder and chaos.

  66. Craig P

    The static position of the polls with respect to independence has maybe discouraged the SNP leadership. The impression I have is they are becalmed, waiting for polls to move before firing up the indywagon again. At least in public: behind the scenes there has been some work around addressing some of 2014’s weaknesses, Andrew Wilson’s paper on de-emphasising oil revenues for example – but you’d only know that if you went looking for it.

    So effectively there has been no Yes campaign since 2014. But the No campaigning from the press has never stopped. On top of that, the unionists, with a large amount of non-Scottish money behind them, have regained the IT initiative that the SNP had back in 2007 with Activate.

    And despite all that, the polls have remained static.

    I did think after 2014 that maybe we just have to endure a generation of crap, let the Tories do their worst, decimate the Scottish economy and emasculate our democracy, the BBC laughing in our faces, before the Scottish electorate began to get the message.

    But no. We need to simplify and refocus. Provide compelling stories in easily disseminated formats (why aren’t there shareable infographics on the SNP website?). Provide media training and training in handling objections for all elected members. Provide unionist meme rebuttals for everyone. And above all we need to get facts in the faces of unionist voters. Here’s a benchmark that is worth polling. How many punters have ever even heard of the McCrone report? Instead they all ‘know’ that Scotland is subsidised by England… an idea that is insidious, all-pervasive, and false.

  67. Col

    Breeks, with the BBC in Scotland’s approval ratings below 50% we should just come out and say that we demand our own broadcasting ability. They clearly only cater for the unionist half of the country.
    It’s a broadcasting deficit and along with the democratic one we suffer has to be fixed somehow.

  68. Votadini Jeannie

    I’ve not posted here for some time however this election has driven me to get involved again. Two voters ‘ views:

    One former Labour, now Green voter who has always hated both the Tories and the SNP, but supports independence. Was so disgusted by Ruth Davidson and the apparent rise of the Tories he decided to tactically vote SNP for the first time ever. However he caught an SNP party political broadcast just a few days before, and actually phoned me to complain about it (no idea why, I’m not a member of the SNP). He thought it was lazy, complacent, a bit too “tartan”, told him nothing about why it would be a good idea to vote SNP, and altogether had made him change his mind about voting for them.

    I persuaded him to look at the MP’s record in the last parliament rather than go by a PPB, and he did reluctantly vote SNP, but complained bitterly that they had done nothing to deserve it. (MP still lost his seat).

    I’m not SNP (I have no idea what I am, to be honest) but I will vote SNP until independence is achieved. But I was rather alarmed at the change of tone in the leaflets I received this time round. I found them quite negative, very Tory-bashing, and seemed to focus on keeping the Tories out rather than what the SNP could do for me. The tone was more like a Tory or Labour SNP-bashing leaflet in reverse, full of unionist-like negativity rather than the positivity I’ve come to expect from the SNP. They all made for quite despondent reading. It didn’t change my vote in any way – nothing will – but it did make wonder if it would turn others off.

    I do think a new strategy is needed. Something that is more forceful and hard-hitting in getting the message over, without descending into the negativity that my ex-MP employed. And we really need some kind of mainstream media support. There are still plenty people in Scotland who have no idea how much good the SNP have done, and the media are quite happy not to educate them.

  69. Capella

    West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine also fits the pattern. It’s a traditionally Liberal constituency which was won by the SNP in 2015.

    This year the Liberals put up an unknown candidate who looked about 12 and did not campaign. One leaflet arrived about 3 days before the election. If it hadn’t, nobody would have known that there was a Liberal campaigning.

    By contrast, umpteen glossy Tory “No Referendum” Ruth Davidson Party leaflets arrived by Royal Mail. Fields were littered with Vote Ruth Davidson placards.

    The Tories came second in 2015, so many Liberals were already voting tactically. But not enough. So in 2017 they produced a paper candidate.

    There are many prominent Liberal candidates who would have gained many more votes. For example, Rosemary Bruce, wife of former Gordon MP Malcolm Bruce, would have been an obvious choice of candidate had the Liberals been actively campaigning.

    My conclusion is that this was not a “snap” election at all. There appears to have been collusion between Unionist parties to deceive the electorate. That may be illegal under British electoral law. The source of funding for the Tory glossy leaflets should be interesting. Let’s hope their friends, the DUP, are not involved.

  70. Ken500

    The SNP still won by a sizeable, competent majority. In any case.

    The political process in Scotland is being undermined by Unionist activity. . Threatening Democracy. A backlash is entirely forseeable.

  71. slackshoe

    I’m nodding my head at pretty much every word here. The SNP have found themselves backed into a difficult corner, but it’s not hopeless, far from it.

  72. louis.b.argyll

    Get your points Dave,

    Crucially..this was a snap election, with the Tories narrow appeal having strategic advantage.

    The SNP’s ‘campaigning’ style and strategies had to go with the flow, to a large extent, with most voters not being engaged deeply enough to identify spin vs truth.

    Why no big rally? Because TV makes it so bloody boring all the time, never mind the bias.

    Scotland already has a ‘corbyn’, we’ve already had our youth engage..AND maybe ignored them a little at branch level.

    The future must be a positive destination, getting there can be frustrating, 300 years in the waiting.

    Ps..we got a Lib Dems leaflet ON SATURDAY, two days after the election.

  73. Street Andrew

    I really don’t think it’s either fair or helpful to castigate Nicola Sturgeon for leading a party which contrary to media BS has just won a resounding election victory.

    Jeremy Corbyn ran a very successful election campaign, but he did it almost single handed because a significant portion of the PLP a) didn’t think he had any credibility with the electorate and b)they don’t support his socialist left of centre philosophy.

    The Labour Party still contains a large rump of Blairite MPs (Thatcher’s children) who really don’t belong in a left leaning party. Labour cannot and will not implement the Corbyn vision.

    Theresa May’s Conservative party is similarly split in twain . Who knows what sort of Brexit she could deliver or even what she would have on her shopping list. The election victory she hoped for would have clarified for her what her negotiating strategy would look like.

    The Lib Dems have always presented no more than a confusing home for the ‘don’t know’ middle class pinkish intellectual vote.

    Nicola Sturgeon leads the only party in the UK that has any coherence. The SNP is not easily pinned to left or right. Its perceived leftward leaning is reflective of the fact that Scots are more social-ist and communitarian than their English brethren.

    If you suspect she has feet of clay don’t idolise her, but feet of clay are a small price to pay for a party leader who has sentient organic matter from the neck up.

  74. Alex Beveridge

    While it’s essential to have this conversation amongst those of us who want an independent Scotland, we should be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    People more able than I will no doubt come up with various theories about why we lost twenty one M.Ps, and why our campaign wasn’t as effective as it could have been, but I’m sure our leadership are as concerned as the rest of us as to the reasons why this occurred.
    O.K to have a discussion on the reasons why we weren’t as successful as we have been in the past, but please, don’t let it deteriorate into tearing ourselves apart, because that is exactly what the unionists want, and if that happens it will set back our goal of an independent Scotland for many years to come.
    I still believe Nicola is the best leader we could possibly have, and I have complete confidence in her to pursue the correct strategy to make sure we not only have a second independence referendum, but to win, and make us a truly independent nation once again.

  75. Sunniva

    Totally agree on the need for political education.

    In particular people need to understand what devolution is and can never deliver.

    People don’t understand the difference between devolution and sovereignty. Our Parliament is devolved, it is not sovereign.

    The NE has seen an economic downturn which the SG cannot really mitigate. Yet the complaint in the NE, ‘they’ve been in power ten years and have done nothing’ is allowed to go unchallenged and unanswered.

    It’s the Tory trap. Turn off the money tap and watch the SG fail, and eventually, collapse. People will cease to see any point in it if the money comes from London and is controlled by London.

  76. Isabel Cooney

    Excellent article. I do think we need to stop beating about the bush and “apologising” for wanting a referendum. I am an SNP member and think their campaign was lacklustre by allowing the media and Tories to dictate the agenda. We need to stop playing by their rules . Brexit’s probable disastrous outcome should be our message and why we must avoid it!
    I think Angus and Alex working in the background devising a strategy would be great.

  77. schrodingers cat

    we have a very volatile electorate at the moment, most people were focused on brexit and didnt want this ge, they also thought that adding indyref2 into the mix was a step too far.

    on a brighter note, the brexit negs start in 8 days, at which point all of the waffle
    (lol at corbyn yesterday saying he wanted free access to the single market)
    will end.

    once people know what brexit means, and they will, very soon, their focus will be on the damage that leaving the single market will be doing to the uk economy.

    then the offer of an indyref2 will be more appealing

  78. Grafter

    Don’t give the BBC your money. Actions speak louder than words.

  79. Stan Wilson

    Agree wholeheartedly with the post of “Breeks”, would definitely strengthen the “Yes” campaign’s stance and agenda. Anything that allows wider dissemination of the honest facts must be good for any cause or party and show the blatantly biased MSM that they are not untouchable.

  80. Tony Little

    I wrote this over on WGD’s site in response to a poster who wants specific details on Economy, currency, Taxes, and spending BEFORE we pursue another IndyRef vote.

    “I don’t agree. That is trying to fight on the enemies turf and they will not release the information necessary to build this “business case” and can snipe and undermine continuously – as they did with IndyRef1. They focused on minutiae and allowed the core principle of self-determination to be obscured.

    In my opinion the YES movement needs a different “front” rather than the political SNP. This is for the simple reason that Independence is NOT Party Political. It is National. Therefore the drive fro Independence should be led by a non-political (or apolitical, if you like) organisation.

    In an Independent Scotland I can answer your questions like this:
    Economic plan: This will be determined by who the Electorate in Scotland vote for at a given time and place, and this economic policy will be enacted FOR Scotland, BY Scotland. It will not be governed from London. The economic plan might favour more socialist policy at any one time, or more capitalist policy at another time. That will be the choice of the Scottish electorate, who retain the right to throw out a government they don’t like.

    Currency: Scotland will have a currency. Every newly independent state in the world (approximately 150 since the end of WW2) has a currency, Scotland will be no different. The specific currency options are well known, and if the rUK don’t see the benefit of having a common currency in the immediate aftermath of Independence, then Scotland will have its own. This is really NOT a significant issue, but it was inflated into one by an anti-Independence media.

    Taxes: As with the economy, this will be determined by which government Scots chose to lead their country. Taxes will be collected in exactly the way they are now, unless there is a proposed radical change.

    Spending: That will be determined IN Scotland by a Scottish Parliament with ALL the powers of an independent state. The call for Independence is NOT so that there will only ever by one social-economic policy, but that Scots will choose who makes those decisions, and not Westminster.

    Independence is NOT about specific policies or parties, it hAD to be about the principle of who decides for Scotland; Edinburgh or London. The rest is up to the electorate.”

  81. Iona

    I think the SNP need to get on with building a better Scotland. Sharing that vision and making sure that the Scottish electorate understand the difference between devolved and Westminster driven policy. Sit back and watch the Brexit negotiations progress and never ever take the option of Indyref2 off the table until they are sure that Brexit has not diminished Scotland’s prosperity. If it does, as seems likely, Indyref2 must be our exit option.

  82. Sher Shon Shez

    Capella 10.48am

    ‘My conclusion is that this was not a “snap” election at all.’

    You may be right – I honestly don’t know. My own impression is that it happened because TM’s a control freak. But the /preparation/ for the anti-SNP, anti-indy campaign will have been in train for some time.

    In the early 1980s (pre-’84) the Tories ducked a conflict with the miners because their plans for beating a strike weren’t ready. The SNP present a far greater threat than the NUM.

  83. Breeks

    Col says:
    12 June, 2017 at 10:44 am
    “Breeks, with the BBC in Scotland’s approval ratings below 50% we should just come out and say that we demand our own broadcasting ability. They clearly only cater for the unionist half of the country.
    It’s a broadcasting deficit and along with the democratic one we suffer has to be fixed somehow.”

    Yes Col. But if we want broadcasting capacity to exist in time to inform the public in good time for Brexit analysis and ScotRef campaigning, it’s has got to start now.

    As for the BBC being required to mend their errant ways, I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could spit, but a trial run and inevitable betrayal would waste valuable time revealing itself. Besides, the two ideas are not incompatible. The one does not preclude the other. Let the BBC zip up its flies and catch up if it likes. I won’t be watching, but good luck to them.

    That’s why I say EU Press. Get a few of their outside broadcast vehicles parked up in Edinburgh and Glasgow running bulletins and domestic news about Brexit negotiations and a pro-Eu campaign we are pushing for Scotland. Air the Jouney to Yes clips. London Calling. FMQ’s and a post FMQ debriefing. Host new debates. Analyse the material issues of Brexit and Independence, but do it properly, objectively, and from the perspective that people might learn enough to form their own conclusions.

    Being “foreign” but European, it might be easier to detect interference, but add a European dimension to any resistance from Westminster. If equipment is being seized, it won’t be “British” property.

    Supposing it took 6 months to organise, that could leave it with less than a year to actually operate and build an audience, but it could be an immense year.

    But picture yourself in late 2018, the summer is over, and curtain is closing on the Brexit drama. The UK will soon be out. Do you feel comfortable that Scotland’s voting population will have a good grasp of what Independence in Europe actually means before signing on the dotted line to leave or stay? Or do you think we’ll be better prepared and informed by the BBC’s bullshit narrative that we should all be pulling together behind the Union Jack and not pandering to divisive hatefests introduced by separatist cranks and tyrannical egotists like Wee Jimmie Krankie?

    I know which briefing I’d find more informative…

  84. starlaw

    It is vital that we get respect shown to our leaders on Televised or radio interviews. The leaders being interviewed should be prepared to walk as soon as the nonsense starts. Saw G Galloway do this and he gets better treatment now. If asked a question they don’t get to answer either walk. or have it out with said interviewer on air, the nonsense will stop. EG. ” Have I been aske to an interview .. or just to listen to you spouting off”
    As my old granddad would say “time to get the pit boots on to these people”

  85. Johnny

    Street Andrew @ 10:56am:

    I think this is an important point.

    Corbyn was not asked anywhere like as often as I would have expected how he would do most of what he proposed with the majority of the PLP biding their time to stick a knife in his back. This does kind of suggest that interviewers decided to soft-pedal on that one thing….because someone somewhere decided he was acceptable now because they’d worked out he’d be hamstrung.

    It’s important also to note that most of the best people we have promoting independence have been found after decades of effort in that direction.

    Corbynism is not new (in the sense that it’s the revival of ‘old’ Labour) but it could take him and his ilk some time to ensure they have capable people en masse at the top of the UK Labour party with that vision…..if, in fact, they ever achieve that at all. I think one reason your Coopers etc have decided to get back into the tent is to prevent this.

  86. Alison Brown

    Agree! Agree! Agree! Great piece and it’s my thoughts too — there are now several top Scots out of a job in London — hope they can lead a new, much needed campaign for Independence — aligned but affiliated to the SNP. The desire for Indy has NOT dissipated — we just need a slightly new approach.

  87. schrodingers cat

    negative campaign leaflets?????

    aye right, next time we should knit them out of wool and plaster them with fluffy bunnies

  88. Dorothy Devine

    Capella , I agree there was nothing snap about this election. Preparations had been made well in advance, geared up and ready to go.

    I have recovered from my glum , down at the mouth reaction to this GE because I realised that the 56 SNP MPs were due to a big bounce of disappointed Yessers and they sent a message on the wings of their damaged euphoria.

    35 SNP MPs is a big win and far more ‘normal’?

    As for the Ruth Davidson Party it may yet hit the buffers when someone actually asks her policy questions – same applies to the lovely Liberal Labour party .

  89. Capella

    Mearns leader article on the Liberal Democrat choice of candidate for WAK.

    The 25 year old, from Banchory, works in the Westhill office for North East MSP Mike Rumbles as a caseworker – helping constituents and communities raise and resolve local issues.

    He may be a perfectly nice chap. But it does look as if the Liberals are not trying very hard. He stood in the 2016 Holyrood elections and came 4th in Aberdeen South and North Kincardine.

    Over in Argyll and Bute it was the Liberals who were given a clear run. In WAK it is the Tories. A remarkable stroke of luck for them.

  90. Flower of Scotland

    Sorry Dave but I agree with Breeks@10.14

    We need to do something about broadcasting and the media in general. The BBC and STV are another Unionist party. Even wee Catalonia has its own TV stations and radio stations.

    Beside everything, we won!

    What we don’t need is the Jim Sillars of the world moaning and groaning about the SNP. I’m sure the SNP are taking time to reflect and some should take the opportunity to do the same, Dave M Hill!

  91. bookie from hell

    just to back up mail shots

    I’ve lived in my property 25 years

    1st personal mail shot I’ve ever received

    from the tory party

  92. schrodingers cat

    we cannot beat the unionists, not while the entire msm is against us, but the unionists can lose

    see robert harris article in the times

    “the brexit negs are going to be awful and the tories will cop the blame for it all…”

    that is when we should bring indyref2 to the front of our campaign. we will by that time have scotlands future2 ready for distribution, including a promise that following a yes vote, scotland will immediately apply to re- enter the single market (via efta/eea membership)

    win win

  93. Sidewinder

    No. Can’t even begin to agree with Dave – or in fact many of the commenters here, bar Tartanfever with whom I do agree. Last Thursday was a reality check – and the SNP can’t be all things to all people, left, right and centre, and still be the core of a successful independence movement. Surely it was obvious (with hindsight!) when a sizeable number of 2014 Yes voters then voted No to the EU, but the SNP focused on joining the EU after independence? So they then voted SNP anyway? No. Hence the reduced vote. sorry, but the SNP will have to decide left or right. And to the person here who regards the SNP and Sturgeon as socialist?? I mean – how can I vote for a party that someone like this also votes for. I mean, come on.

  94. ben madigan

    @ galamcennalath who said:
    “Yes, the Corbyn effect was unexpected. Those people are probably still potential Yes voters who have gone back to the ‘old way’ of supporting Labour at WM”.

    I think it’s a question of Labour policies now trumping Independence maybe sometime in the future.

    Perhaps many Labour voters shifted to SNP because after years of Tory governments that Scotland never voted for, they saw the SNP and independence as a vehicle and a chance to implement some of the left wing policies they suppported.

    When Labour under Mr Corbyn finally put forward a true left manifesto, maybe they felt their chances of getting what they wanted sooner were greater with British Labour.

    In any case I am sure we can agree these voters want to improve living/working conditions for the people of Scotland.

    So it’s up to the SNP and the Independence movement to convince them Independence is the best vehicle to further their policies and that, with their support, it’s likely to happen soon –

    PS if anyone is interested in the effects DUP-ing the british people and government will have on the irish have a look here

  95. colin alexander

    There is now no time for an indi-ref before the 2012 Scot Govt election, if the SNP continue to accept it requires the UK Govt’s permission. It was never going to happen anyway. That was just bait for YES supporters to back the SNP.

    YES supporters like myself watched the SNP refuse co-operation with other YES supporters like the Greens, close down the YES campaign. Make it: it’s the SNP way or the highway.

    It worked spectacularly well for them – in the short term.

    Now, people like myself, see the SNP full of empty posturing but failing to establish Scottish Sovereignty within the Union, by establishing we don’t need permission from WM Govt to hold referendums.

    Don’t need UK permission to be part of talks affecting Scotland. It’s our right as equal partners in the Union.

    If, the UK rejects those reforms, then they aren’t respecting Scottish sovereignty, so the Scottish Govt should refuse to recognise UK sovereignty in Scottish matters.

    They could debate and vote on this in Holyrood. I asked the Scottish Parliament and they confirm any topic can be debated and voted on.

    The SNP have been complacent. Acquiescent to the UK Govt. Scared to do anything when Scottish sovereignty has been rejected. Scared to talk independence. No wonder people won’t vote for them as much now.

    They just wanted votes as the anti-Tory Party. Corbyn’s Labour now fulfils that role. The SNP should be the party for Scottish sovereignty and Scottish independence, if they won’t do that, then what’s the point? It’s like Labour without socialism: a party with no core values, a waste of space.

  96. Artyhetty


    Money. Media power. Unionist spin. And vice versa.

    Nicola Sturgeon is an excellent FM, who has so far worked her socks off for Scotland. Fighting off 100% of the media, fighting off horrendous austerity that the UKGov impose on our most vulnerable, wow. How many here think they could do the job of FM at this point in time?

    Scotland is at a crossroads. Choices? Go back to being a region, called, North Britain, or function as a country, Scotland.

    The current Scottish government are under constant unionist attack and criticism. The unionists will do anything to unseat them and take charge. Now I can’t see anything that the unionists are offering Scotland that is good. Maybe I am blind.

    Are the SNP mitigating tory austerity on steroids, or not? Do we think they should abandon their socially responsible policies? Just wait and see what the Tories have in store now. They will ruin Scotland, economically, environmentally, culturally, socially. Look at who May has in her cabinet, Gove, environment! Ffs,

    People in Scotland are too complacent and do not recognise that they are cushioned from tory austerity. They don’t call it that in the media anymore, funny that.

    With coherent aims and objectives we will need to expose the unionists’ lies somehow. We are certainly up against it. Having some of our best politicians back in Scotland could be a very good thing for Scotland. As a friend keeps saying to me, ‘but we send them to WM, and they are respected, are they any use to us there?’

    Yes, for now they are, and yes, for now, Scotland needs to have a Holyrood government that can cushion the UKGov blows and reject the devastation of their destructive, backward political ideology.

  97. geeo

    I am bloody sick of unionists saying the SNP should wait until the next Holyrood election to “seek a mandate” for indyref2.

    They are ALREADY trying to ignore and DENY the current democratic mandate the SNP have.

    Why on earth would they suddenly decide that a mandate in 2021 was any more legitimate than the one already in place ????

    They want to delay until 2021 for one reason and one reason only.

    They hope the SNP fail to win that election.

    They hope that there is not a pro indy majority.

    Any Yes minded people who want to walk into that unionist agenda are, frankly, fucking arseholes.

  98. Kevin meina

    The simple fact of the matter is most of us are suffering from activist fatigue.
    We have been campaigning practically non stop for 3.5 years.Its got to the stage if one more guy sticks his finger in my face and spits saliva all over my face again his finger is getting broke.

  99. schrodingers cat

    Flower of Scotland says:
    Sorry Dave but I agree with Breeks@10.14
    We need to do something about broadcasting and the media in general. The BBC and STV are another Unionist party. Even wee Catalonia has its own TV stations and radio stations.

    while i agree, im not sure we can set up such broadcast media in the time we have, (indyref2 spring or autumn next year)

    we can try, but on limited funds, realistically, bbc bias is what we will face during indyref2

  100. galamcennalath

    My worries and other issues that don’t worry me …

    1 BritNats and committed Brexiteers rally to the Tories. Probably not a bad thing.

    2 Corbyn effect. Perhaps this is just a manifestation of the historical fluidity on a number of voters between SNP for Holyrood and Labour for WM. They will still be inclined to vote Yes is the case is good.

    3 Strong Labour in WM is bad for Indy, strong Tory is good. Labour have a long way to go to replace the Tories. Another early election could change things though.

    4 Faltering SNP core enthusiasm. I, like others, believe Indy needs to be more prominent.

    5 Media. They had a successful election. They kept the debate in Scotland totally away from WM issues like the Brexit chaos and Tory policies. The SNP must develop a more effect strategy to prevent the media always having the initiative. The SNP must make the running instead of reacting to the media agenda.

    6 Unionist collusion to engineer tactical voting. I suspect a lot of voters didn’t see how they were being manipulated. If this is made clear, they may not take kindly to being herded to one party. Though, we may just need to accept a more united Unionist front.

    7 How WM government plays out. Hard right Brexiteers in charge with a crash and burn Brexit is good for the Indy cause. Moves to a softer Brexit will be good for the UK as a whole, but make for a poorer Indy case.

  101. Artyhetty

    Meant ‘not respected’ second last para, in my last comment there.

  102. Mike

    Again no mention of the biggest beast in the fight the Main stream UK media.
    All political fights are fought in the media but it isn’t a fight if the media takes sides its a rout.

  103. Ray Campbell Lupton

    It’s laughable to suggest that people like Salmond, Robertson etc are jettisoned because they’re “toxic”. The opposition tries to render them toxic because they’re so effective.

  104. McBoxheid

    But I know if I value the organisation I belong to and fight for I don’t take my concerns to the papers. I go to the party. People who go to the media are not our friends.

    The unionist media, or the ERSE (England Rewriting Scottish Events) will always twist a story or lie outright to promote their side. They claim an overwhelming victory for the Tories. Fact is it was never really likely that the SNP would repeat their Great Tsunami of 95% of Scottish Westminster seats. lots of reasons for that, that others can explain better than I can, but the the 2% drop in voter numbers meant that many did not bother to turn out when their vote was necessary to get the tsunami of 2 years ago. You can bet your right arm that it wasn’t the Tories who failed to turn out.

    Still, Great Tsunami aside, this was a great success at seeing 35 SNP MPs being returned to Westminster. That is just short of 60%. Cetainly not a Tory victory.

    What is worrying though, is the 30% drop in voters supporting the SNP.

  105. Scott

    Ewen says:

    12 June, 2017 at 9:43 am

    I think we should stop being so bloody nice and cuddly and fight the unionists at their own game.

    I agree with this and at the same time get angry with BBC they are the enemy as far as I am concerned I know people will say sour grapes because we lost many seats.
    I would like some SNP MSP or MP accuse the likes of Robertson Brewer and the Bird of being Unionist ask them a direct question who they vote for.

  106. Ken500

    The Unionists find it hard to get acceptable competent candidates because people will not join their toxic Parties because of their malicious, often criminal behaviour. Uncaring, lying often attacking the less fortunate etc. Wasting public money. Causing distress in the society. Above the Law. Criminal behaviour swept under the carpet. Absolutely no principles except ego, greed and self remuneration. Major liars, They are held in contempt by the majority. The Unionists find it hard to find candidates even from their membership. That is why they are so dire. A laughing stock. It is about time the complaints were taken more seriously with Police involvement. They put enough people in cells that could never come to Court because of Unionist corrupt politicians. The corrupt Unionist politicians get away with criminal behaviour. It bring politics system into disrepute.

    The only one pushed into a corner by lying is Davidson. Now she has to deliver. Her position could become untenable. Exposed. A new candidate.

  107. Capella

    Ha Ha – BBC Live website 11.41

    I am announcing my candidacy for UKIP Leader this time to stop Entryists Diletantes and Single issue loonies i have had enough

    David Coburn MEP. This should be fun.

  108. Dr Jim

    Environment Secretary Michael Gove, that’s the man to pass on the good news to

    Fishing Farming Fracking = F….d

    Right man for the job there eh

  109. Artyhetty

    geeo@11.37 am

    Spot on.

  110. Dave McEwan Hill

    Can I point out that most of the people who say they don’t want another independence referendum didn’t want the first referendum either.

    It is just that the unionist campaign has articulated loudly that and they can now boldly agree whereas before they were a bit timid about expressing a fundamentally antidemocratic position.It also supplies them a good reason (because they can think of very few) to justify their opposition to the SNP and independence.

    Those who want independence want another referendum. I have no idea why we would even consider capitulation on this issue to the Unionists.

    But that is what they want us to do.

    Some of us need to sharpen up a bit.

    We merely have to set about persuading more people that they want independence – and go for IndyRef2.

  111. Desimond

    yesterday saw Gordon Brewer ask about limited impact from SNP Mps now the numbers reduced in Westnminster.

    What impact have they ever had even when 56 turned up.
    They made it a little harder for folk to get the seats they wanted, that was it, basically hee-haw.

    Westminster is playing the opponents game on the opponents ground. It makes no sense to take part in a rigged game, only one outcome..SNP lose.

    Reject Westminster and concentrate on attacking Unionist parties here ( yes cite their leaders actions in London byt all means) but forget about arguing there and that includes Nicola down there today making noises about “fairness in Northern Ireland talks”..leave that to Sinn Fein for now at least..lets direct our fire, this shotgun approach has only resulted in us getting sore feet!

  112. Ken500

    The media did not win. The SNP did. The message must have got across. The Media did not win in England. Corbyn increased support. Tory/Unionist support decline. The message must have got across. The media did not win in the US. Trump. The media (Le Pen) did not win in France. Macron did. The message must have got across. The Media did not win in England. UKIP is finished. The message must have got across. A different choice was made in every time from Media propganda.

  113. Frank Kemp


    If she puts Scotlands interests first and can get a soft Brexit then INDEYREF2 is off the table.


    If she puts Scotlands interests first and can get a soft Brexit then INDEYREF2 is off the table.

    The focus for the SNP is what is best for Scotland.

  114. Dr Jim

    I want Independence but

    There’s a question mark or a hyphen or a semi colon or one policy I don’t agree on so I’m not voting SNP I’m going to vote Peoples front of Judea party instead who can deliver nothing but my conscience will be clear as I slump to ignominious defeat and stand tall in a dark corner of my house hating the world for not listening to me, So there!

    How many times for God sake, take a look at the Tories they’re united behind a Zombie woman with even less personality, but they don’t care as long as they win
    Scotland has to learn that lesson, get what you want and sort it out later

  115. Ken500

    The Unionists are lying and actually manipulating the electoral process. Threatening democracy. A criminal offence as some of them will find out in the backlash. The vote turnout was lower than before re in some areas. Voter fatigue etc. People’s – voter’s remorse at the outcome will now play a part. Inducing a higher turnout in future?

    The result show the Indy Ref support Is still unaffected. Independence support will increase as expected because of a continuing Tory/Unionist administration at Westminster? The Unionist shambles as reported. Indy support among non voters. GE average 50%ish turnout. No 16/17 year olds etc. Higher remainder support for Indy etc. IndyRef turn out 85%+ much higher.

  116. bjsalba

    Your mistake is to assume that the Tories are the party of business. They are not. They are the party of the multinationals and billionaires.

    All you have to do is look at who funds them.

  117. Cal

    Gotta laugh at all these articles appearing in the press saying it will now be a “soft” Brexit.

    1. In the customs union (and thus the single market) = UK not able to do trade deals with 3rd party countries + free movevement of people stays

    2. In the single market only (like Norway) = Big yearly payment for access + free movement of people stays

    Neither of these two positions are supported by the leadership of the two main parties who got 82.4% of the popular vote. In addition, a significant minority of the public in England and Wales will never accept free movement of people. Will this large body of people quietly accept what for them would be a reversal of brexit?

    People calling for another election now that Cornyn is ahead in the polls should be careful what they wish for. Somebody else quite recently called an election based on their polling results and it didn’t go quite how they expected. I suspect there was lots of tactical voting for Labour last week in an attempt to stop a hard brexit. Those folks didn’t vote for Corbyn’s manifesto and they’re about to find out that the “hard” and “soft” brexit terms are meaningless. There’s only one kind of brexit possible and there won’t be anything soft about it.

    Even if there was some mass capitulation/feeling of remorse on the part of the public they can forget about the idea that the UK will be able to reverse Brexit and become an EU member again. No one wants that. The EU 27 would (quite rightly) screw the UK for every last concession imaginable in that scenario. Besides, the EU is moving on apace with its plans for its own defence in response to Trump’s pronouncements on NATO. No, the EU is not the same beast it was on 23rd June 2016.

    In my view the SNP group at Westminster should abstain if there’s a call for another election. I think Hestletine’s right. Natural attrition of the DUP/Tory government through by-election losses will eventually give the SNP mps real power. We may not get an indyref for years but we can squeeze them for more (substantive) powers for our parliament in Edinburgh. Softly, softly catchy monkey.

    Meanwhile in Scotland, as I said before the election that’s just gone, supporters of independence are in charge at Hollyrood and, if the time and the mood is right they can and should organise that 2nd indyref. Everything depends on how badly and how quickly the economy suffers from Brexit. Alternatively, and perhaps this would add legitamacy, the SNP could turn the next Hollyrood election in 2021 into a referendum by standing on a manifesto with only one sentence in it, “Vote for the SNP and we will declare independence for Scotland”.

    I think the SNP government have not completely miscalculated Brexit but they just jumped too soon. They bought into the idea that the economy would go south quickly. They didn’t anticipate that the UK gov would take so bloody long to deliver the Art 50 letter. The UK economy is big and like the Titanic it’ll take a long time to sink. But once it starts to go down it’ll be damn near impossible to stop it. We must wait.

    Right now, and for the foreseeable future, we have a Tory Westminster government that 82% of Scots didn’t want and we’re leaving the EU which 62% of Scots didn’t want. It was ever thus.

  118. desimond

    @Dr Jim

    The latest House of Cards has a nice speech from the vile Kevin Spacey character Frank Underwood who says “You no longer care WHAT I say, you just want to hear someone strongly say SOMETHING!…the age of reason is over!”

    It perfectly sums up the rise of wee Ruth. That women should have been chased fro that horrid Rape Clause yet she flew on the wings of it…some Scots people are sheep, with apologies to sheep who are no doubt better judges of character.

  119. Stoker

    Excellent article DMH, thank you!

    There’s nobody enjoys the Rev’s work more than i but it is always refreshing to read good articles from other contributors. It also makes it very clear that, in the way of talent, WOS is oozing!

    There is one small correction to your article i’d like to make for my own pleasure, you wrote; ” But I know if I value the organisation I belong to and fight for I don’t take my concerns to the papers. I go to the party. People who go to the media are not our friends.”

    Correction; ” But I know if I value the organisation I belong to and fight for I don’t take my concerns to the media. I go to the party. People who go to the enemy are not our friends.”

    Are you reading this Mr.MacAskill

    In other news: Some reports are circulating that the DUP don’t want policy influence, they want financial support. Very dangerous situation if true.

    OH, and lest we forget, the SNP now has a triple-lock-mandate.

  120. Stoker

    To Desimond on 12 June, 2017 at 11:59 am:

    Never a truer word spoken, well said!

    Bring them all home on the grounds that we refuse to sit in any house controlled by bigots, racists, criminals and murderers, not to mention its association with paedophile networks etc etc etc.

  121. Chick McGregor

    OT Big dilemma for the British Bulwarking Corporation in Scotland is do they now switch their propaganda effort back to SLAB?

    Hope they get it wrong for the third time in a row.

  122. Murray McCallum

    Elections are best fought on consistent long term objectives. Sure, there are highs and lows, but ultimately trust is earned over time.

    The Tories will rip up their 2017 manifesto and return to their long term support base and vote-winning areas of interest. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Brexit turned on its head with the Tories softening their stance as economic reality threatens our longer term financial security.

    Everything is fluid.

    Personally, I would focus on the long term benefits of Single Market membership and the appeal of a Scotland nation state in Europe.

    I would also look to avoid to be a direct part of the EU negotiations but rather be seen to be influencing them through public debate. For me, there is a massive downside to being part of the team that ultimately signs the EU exit agreement. The only upside is you may sign a deal that is far worse than previous, but not disastrous.

    We also need to stop with the Tory v Labour rhetoric. Why frame the debate in a language that suits your opponents?

  123. Dave McEwan Hill

    I am surprised how much traffic there is on this post on this and on Facebook but encouraged.

    We must factor in the short term that the SNP had to react to an election called which I am now absolutely sure was planned by our opponents some time ago and we must not to overreact or be hypercritical of the SNP.

    What I suspect we did to an extent was what is often done in politics almost subconsciously at short notice – we tried to make our message suit a target audience rather than make a target audience move to our message.

    The fact is that every person that we persuade of the need of independence will want a referendum and that is the key.

    I also feel very strongly the huge or in fact vast expenditure on the unionist target seats should be followed up with great vigour to establish a massive London funded plot against Scotland of the sort of funding no organisation in Scotland could match.

  124. ronald alexander mcdonald

    I think we’re in danger of rushing to conclusions without being aware of all the facts.

    The huge constitutional issue right now is chaotic. That is Brexit
    negotiations will begin in 10 days time. The big question is, what is the UK’s position?

    Is it still leaving the single market and customs union? The tories and labour party are clearly divided. Yesterday McDonell stated we would have to leave the single market. This morning Barry Gardiner came out with some drivel about an amended single market agreement?!

    There could be civil war in both main parties. The position is an absolute farce.

  125. Johnny

    bjsalba @ 12:18pm:


    I am not talking about ‘Tories’ as multinationals or even their politicians.

    If that was all ‘Tories’ were they’d get about 3000 votes in all of Scotland or something.

    I am talking about people who are small and medium business owners or are of that mindset where they are not default lefties. Some people of that bent vote Tory, and their support and votes for indy would help.

    You may say that you wouldn’t hold out much hope that they’d co-operate for a better Scotland. But some avowed Conservatives (think M Fry) have clearly indicated they do not like the direction UK society is taking. That’s a positive start.

    And please do not infer things I didn’t write in future….I am not stupid and know how the Conservative party itself is funded.

  126. Breeks

    Just a add-on to an earlier point about why, in an 80 year evlong history of SNP campaigning for independence, has nobody tried to clarify the issue of Scotland’s inalienable sovereighty? Isn’t that something of an oversight?

    And the other thing that leaves me incredulous is that Unionism and the media can contest the issue of Independence without ever once having to articulate the progressive case for the Union to exist. Rigorous analysis my arse.

    Even now, NO TO A SECOND REFERENDUM doesn’t even try to promote any positive vision of a constructive consensual Union. Shut up and eat your porridge.

    How I ache to see these Unionist charlatans roasted alive on an “old school” Panorama type probing documentary which gets to the heart of an issue and then keeps going.

    “If the Union didn’t exist, why would you have to invent it?…. Minister?”

    “If there WAS sense for political Union, why should that Union have to compel Scotland to forfeit its distinct sovereignty, and its power to say no or withdraw? Why not a respectful consensual Union like The EU where member states retain their sovereign independence and veto, and reach agreement through mutuality and consensus?… Minister?”

    “Why should Westminster expect the right to block a Scottish Independence Referendum but deny the EU the right of the to block a Brexit referendum?… Minister?

  127. gus1940

    It is to be hoped that when The GE Expenses for the seats into which the Bad Guys poured money are published that they are examined with a fine toothcomb.

  128. manandboy

    Let’s work this out.

    Theresa May, for months, emphatically insists there will be no General Election, and then suddenly and without warning, she announces that she’s changed her mind.

    Fast forward to the Election and the highly financed and amazingly well coordinated and orchestrated Alliance of the three Unionist parties in Scotland, featuring paper candidates and huge numbers of Unionist voters shifting to a pre-arranged party so as to avoid splitting the unionist vote.
    Such careful organisation takes time, a lot more time than was available after the announcement of GE17 by Theresa May. And yet, the three Unionist parties were more than ready.

    They knew from the start what the plan was when Theresa May first declared there will be no General Election, that this was to lull the SNP into inactivity. Not so Labour, they knew. Jeremy Corbyn announced 6 months ago that he ‘thought’ there would be a General election soon.

    The Unionist organisation in Scotland could only have been possible with prior warning.

    In other words, the whole thing was a set up to damage the Independence movement in Scotland. Keeping the SNP in the dark about the GE, while the Unionist parties could do all the necessary planning in secret. Treachery from Westminster against the Independence movement.

    It must be highly questionable that the election was legal. I’m being polite.

    And then it backfired. Almost – thanks to Jeremy Corbyn.

    May isnt bovvered by the DUP’s history or it’s policies, or its association with the UDA terror group. She is only interested in securing power at Westminster SO THAT THE BRITISH ESTABLISHMENT CAN CONTINUE WITH THEIR EFFORTS TO CRUSH THE MOVEMENT FOR SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE.

    This their top priority.

  129. Desimond

    Im gonna admit something here.

    I don’t understand what Brexit has to do with Independence.

    If some see it as a means to an end, then youre wrong.

    If some see it as a fork in the road that needs assessing before progressing, then youre wrong.

    Independence is the only goal in itself. It doesn’t matter what trade deals exist, it doesn’t matter what economic levers exist. Only Independence in itself matters.
    the rest shall follow.

    Economics and monetary advantage is exactly how the Lords back in 1700s got us in this mess in the first place.

    We must sell Independence ABOVE Brexit.

    Make it about the bigger picture, do not reduce it to “You’ll have shorter passport queues and cheaper melons!”. That’s the small stuff that Unionists are banking we concentrate on.

    Simplistic I know, but in the end, I believe its binary( and as someone noted before..the calls to end indyref2 from unionists are just the wont end at “for next few years”…they see binary in the same way only in reverse) and everything else is fluff and procrastination. For every Brexit that passes there will be another economic reason arising to just wait.

    No nation ever voted for Independence for a few shillings. We must win hearts not wallets.

    We have to go big or go home.

  130. algae pondlife

    I don’t believe the libdems gave up on Argyll&Bute. We (in Helensburgh) got at least as many leaflets from them as from the Ruth party. (plus an extra on the 10th apparently delivered by PO). This heartened us at the time as we knew it would split the unionist vote; and it kept our hope alive through he night.

    I have heard (from people in a better position to possibly know than most) that there were significant defections lab->tory and snp->lab; and, fairly obviously, soft libdems must have switched to tory.

    Since 2014 I have always voted SNP and will continue to do so whenever other choices could possibly harm or delay the chances of independence (and I’m terribly grateful for the constant reminders from the tiresome trio (ruth, kez and willie).

  131. tatu3

    We must absolutely NOT wait until 2021 for IndyRef2. Now is the time. While Westminster is tied up with negotiating with the EU, then it won’t have so much time to concentrate on scuppering our referendum

  132. colin alexander

    Breeks1:02 pm

    I’ve had dog’s abuse and accused of being some sort of fifth columnist for basically saying the same as you.

    Scottish sovereignty should be asserted as part of the Union, as we are still in the Union until whenever the majority support leaving it.

    It puts the unionists in a tricky position. They can oppose independence as “proud unionist Scots”

    Can they support subservience to WM within the Union as proud Scots?

    I suppose they would, but it would shown to be mince.

    If Scotland establishes sovereignty. There is no need to beg for the right to hold referendums. We can decide what powers we need at Holyrood, instead of getting told what we are getting – or more often not getting.

    If all is thrown back in our faces, then we can appeal to current unionists saying: the union is rotten, even when we seek democracy in the Union, it’s rejected.

  133. Cath

    Sturgeon has had an incredibly tough hand to play since the Brexit vote. She’s had to balance people being fed up with politics and no real demand for a 2nd referendum too soon (even among many SNP and Yes voters) with trying to ensure Scotland has a voice in the Brexit process and leave open a chance to escape via a second referendum before it happens. I think she played that tough hand very well and tried to find that balance. But with the unionist tactic of making the election all about nothing but a 2nd indyref (a disgrace, considering what this election was really about – trying to crush opposition to May and Brexit) that hand was made much harder, and I think it was a mistake, in hindsight, to try to play independence down while it was clearly being made an issue.

    Also, I think meekly allowing the debate to be played out mainly on devolved issues was a mistake. The SNP should have been hammering home that this election is about Westminster, about Brexit, about empowering May, about Trident etc. The public in Scotland are hideously unaware of what powers are devolved and what are reserved, and many believe we have far more power than we do. Campaigns still need to be about educating people on that, and debates need to be used to do that as well.

    I think now, given that tactic that’s being used, the only thing to do is step up and fight back. We’re basically in an independence campaign, whether we want to be or not, and the only way to deal with that is to fight an independence campaign. The Tories have probably reached the peak they can reach with out and out unionism now. Corbyn could still quite easily pull a lot of left wing voters, especially ones who’s key aim is change rather than independence. So the big question if there’s another election soon will be where all those 2015 SNP voters who didn’t vote this time round will go. Will they go with Labour in the belief it can now form a UK government; or can they be re-energised by the SNP? If they’re to be re-energised by the SNP, that has to be around the constitution. It doesn’t have to be independence entirely, it could be around genuine constitutional change, which only the SNP is willing to fight for. That’s the one thing it really does have in its armoury: all 3 Westminster parties are unionist to the core, and a vote for Labour is just another “unionist vote” in Scotland.

    I agree entirely, we shouldn’t be fighting Tories and Labour anymore, we should be fighting unionism and fighting for constitutional change. Any party which isn’t for some kind of constitutional change in the UK can’t possibly be considered genuinely progressive, and the polls in Scotland have always shown a majority for real powers to be in Scotland. So we all need to be educating people about how many powers are reserved, the SNP campaigning as the only party that isn’t out and out unionist and supports constitutional change (including ending the HoL, Trident etc, which Labour don’t support). At the moment all 3 WM unionist parties are fighting an anti-independence campaign and the independence side isn’t even being defended.

  134. gus1940

    Is it not ironic that, after relentlessly attacking Corbyn, Dugdale whose goose was sitting in the oven and nearly cooked will now be bummed up by the media as the saviour of The Scottish Branch Office when in reality it was The Corbyn Surge which saved Murray and won several seats for Labour.

    It had sod all to do with anything The Branch Office said or did.

  135. Robert Kerr


    Well said. I have wasted my time reading a large number of comments on WoS in the last several days. I almost gave up on this post=mortem on the GE.

    Brexit soft hard or none is ONLY an excuse.

    Only Independence matters. The SNP have betrayed the YES cause. Have they been successfully infiltrated and neutered by the Establishment? Looks like that.


  136. yesindyref2

    If we take the referendum off the table we do exactly as our opponents want and signal capitulation.

    Absolutely, and though Sturgeon hiccupped by “admitting” Indy Ref 2 had something to do with the result, she seems to have got it right now – which is to concentrate on Brexit, and not even mention Indy Ref 2 for a while. Let that die down in the media, there’ll be plenty of time when Westminster falls apart which will be real soon now.

    But Indy Ref 2 off the table? No chance.

  137. yesindyref2

    As a point here, there are YES supporters voted Labour, there are YES supporters even voted Tory, and probably some who voted LibDem.

    This means as someone pointed out in a previous thread, that Labour for instance now has Indy supporters back in its ranks. And perhaps even in the Tories and LibDems.


  138. cearc

    Hugh Wallace,

    It is not taking their seats that is the problem for Sinn Feinn. It is that in order to do so they must swear allegiance to the Queen. That they will not do.

    It is different for the SNP, whether you are a repuclican or not, as the Queen currently is Queen of Scots quite apart from being Queen of England and all its bits of colonies and conquests etc.

  139. yesindyref2

    @colin alexander
    I used to be the top upvoted poster in the Herald, but speaking to the converted using the mantra doesn’t win over people to YES. I’m critical, and put different points of view, empathise with NO voters, so I probably get half the upvotes I used to.

    Good. It means I’m doing what I want to do – upsetting the apple-cart a little.

    Independence is not a popularity contest, it’s about Indy, not ourselves. I like it when “unionists” agree with me, it’s finding common ground, and moving on from there.

  140. colin alexander

    Help! The sky is falling down.

    21 MPs that had no useful purpose – no personal disrespect meant- won’t be going to WM. Only 35 more to go.

    Labour gave us the feeble 50. Voting SNP in 2015 gave us 56 hardworking but totally ineffective MPs. The SNP asked for: same again please.

    And people are shocked the SNP lost loads of votes. Typical political “entitlement” attitude . Labour were the masters at that, now it’s the SNPs turn.

    With such a rubbish manifesto, reliance on empty rhetoric, with no real reason to vote to send MPs to WM, one MP would have been a good result for the SNP.

    If Corbyn remains in charge, offer to stand aside in Scotland at GE’s. Support Corbyn and ask him to back Scottish self-determination, Scottish sovereignty. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Indpependence, devolution etc would then be for Scotland to decide, not WM. Holyrood and Scotland could be sovereign.

    The British political establishment that seeks to destroy the independence movement would itself be under threat of being dismantled by Corbyn and the UK’s socialists.

  141. Tam the Bam.

    @Schrodingers Cat … 9-42am

    “…it was treezas rejection of Nicola’s offer in the 1st place that put Indyref2 on the table”

    No it wasn’t.The SNP manifesto for the 2016 Holyrood Election included the clause…’In the event of a MATERIAL CHANGE in circumstances such as Scotland being removed (as part of the UK) from the EU…etc.,

    These events have come to pass and so this clause has been enacted resulting in #Scotref being ‘back on the table’ and with a Mandate from The Scottish Parliament still the case.

  142. Breeks

    2 more things to consider before you decide to postpone ScotRef.

    If Scotland exits the EU, it then has to rejoin. Rejoining can be vetoed, but just as challenging would be a post Brexit Scotland trying to meet the joining criteria. We currently do meet those criteria, but after a few months of Brexit Britain, our standards, attitudes towards employment law and human rights, our manufacturing processes and strategic Planning will have been adapted and administered by Tories in Westminster who value Dickensian principles which put lead in your paint above than the European Standards which took it out.

    The other thing is that if we delay our Referendum for any period of time beyond Brexit, we risk compromising our vote by the “status quo” factor; people will acclimatise very quickly to the austerity of Brexit Britain, and grim though life may be, it will become their “known” and the unknown and uncertainty of Independence will be something to fear. Our ScotRef should stay exactly where it is in our things to do list, where is no status quo option for fearties to hide behind.

  143. Liz g

    Colin Alexander @ 2.16
    Are you seriously suggesting that the yes movement trust Corbin and his labour party to deliver Independence ?
    I don’t even know where to start with that.
    I thought we all knew better by now.
    Eh that’ll be a Naw far me then.

    If anything they will have Corbin win the next Election and the Scots will be lead to Believe in Labour all over again.
    And told there’s no need for this independance nonsense anymore.
    The “Stolen” Labour seats have been returned for Westminster,and Holyrood will be fixed shortly.

  144. Dan Huil

    There’s still a lot of dust to settle. Thankfully, deservedly, most of it is falling on Westminster. Let’s enjoy Westminster’s discomfort. Don’t forget the pre-GE poll which said pro-indy support would increase if the tories were to stay in charge at Westminster. Well they are doing so, not only that, they are doing so with the help of orange-order extremists.

  145. mike cassidy


    I’m far too old to have been aware of this

  146. David

    After a weekend having a great time in a field was tempted to ease up when told that Scotland had voted Tory.

    SNP seem to be following the Yes and Labour tactic of ‘vote for us to get rid of Tories’ rather than focusing on what they’d do and .

    Indy will not get rid of the Tories however if we do have them then it’ll be down to voters in Scotland.

  147. Petra

    Good post Dave. Thanks for that and then we’re back to a number of people on here castigating Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. Unbelievable. Unbelievable when you take into account how hard she and her team have worked on our behalf. I nearly choked in fact when I read derogatory comments on here about Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson.

    We lost seats because it was a General Election not a Referendum. Many people who voted for Corbyn will go on to vote for Independence. We lost seats due to tactical voting, the use of dark money, the Corbyn surge (straight Labour / Tory battle) and more than anything the MSM propaganda machine. As one example I was watching the news earlier today and when it came to a reporter voicing what Nicola Sturgeon had to say in London not one sound emanated from his moving lips. Hellish, eh? No doubt they’ll all be having a laugh about that.

    Many people in Scotland voted for the Tories. How do they feel now in relation to the Tory alliance with the DUP? How do they feel about the DUP’s demands for Farage being part of the team (if that’s the case?). How do they feel about Gove being reinstated? How will they feel as time goes on and they see our fisheries and agricultural sectors being sold down the swanny? How will Labour voters feel about politicians in NIreland calling the shots for us? How will people feel when Orange Order marches become a weekly / monthly event?

    Sein Fein holds all constituencies across the border. Their popular vote plus SDLP votes and ‘neutral’ parties who supported remain supersedes the Unionist votes by around 15,000 already. Let’s see how this is going to pan out.

    Meanwhile let’s all support Nicola Sturgeon. She’s a brilliant politician who should carry on with her plans with full backing from all of us.

  148. Dan Huil

    Well said, Petra.

    Also, Britnat Westminster’s arrogance, ignorance and incompetence guarantees another independence referendum will happen. God bless their Butcher’s Aprons on their wee manky socks. Oh, and a deal between rabid britnats in Westminster and rabid britnats in Ireland is bound to save the so-called united kingdom – ha ha ha. What larks!

  149. colin alexander


    Thanks for that.

    Blair’s Labour thought Holyrood would end the desire for Scottish self-determination. It didn’t. It has increased it.

    It made the desire for independence stronger.

    If the majority clearly support independence, then aye go for it.
    Till then, I don’t see why it has to be all or nothing.

    Like a Bridge Too Far or The Battle of the Bulge. Critics warned that a better strategy was making an advance that can safely be achieved and held, instead of overreaching.

    The SNP’s only strategy since 2014 has been digging in and holding position, then going for a mad do-or-die charge ( indy-ref 2).

    There could be progress by strengthening Holyrood further, well beyond Smith’s crumbs.

    Establishing Scotland is sovereign in the Union – it could be attempted without harming the future chance of independence for Scotland.

    WE decide what powers are devolved or retained – not WM. We can veto WM decisions about Scotland, instead of WM vetoing our decisions at Holyrood.

    If WM find it unacceptable then they can kick us out of the Union.

    That position may find support well over 50%. It would be progress for those who believe in Scottish sovereignty.

    Screaming F*****g fifth columnist or ("Tractor" - Ed) to those who say an independence vote should be delayed until it appears the majority would vote YES, does nothing to encourage support for independence.

    Screaming abuse at someone who says the SNP are getting it wrong, does not help anyone.

    Going into despair or constantly analysing losing seats at WM, that served no purpose anyway, is a waste of time too.

    We already knew from Wikileaks, the UK state and right-wing element conspire. Interesting to read it’s still happening, but nobody is surprised.

    Independence is their common enemy.

    The right-wing British establishment hate Corbyn even more. That’s why I’m saying we should support him. Their enemy could be our ally.

    If there is one thing that scares the right-wing establishment more than YES, it’s socialism in England. And the worst horror of all:

    A socialist Labour leader in England that appears to respect Scotland’s right to self-determination – and is popular with the people.


    I think Ruth Davison will be of to Westminister when the opportunity arises and get the top job. What does that say for the peopel in the North East i think she will sell them out. She has already lied about Brexit and has gone back to being a remainer and demanding a soft Brexit becasue she know a hard Brexit may bring on inderef. Indiref should be put on the back burner for a while to let the tories screw Scotland whiich i think they will.

  151. Breeks

    colin alexander says:
    12 June, 2017 at 1:52 pm
    Breeks1:02 pm

    “If Scotland establishes sovereignty. There is no need to beg for the right to hold referendums. We can decide what powers we need at Holyrood, instead of getting told what we are getting – or more often not getting”.

    Yes and No Colin. If we assert our Sovereignty in that way, it’s an arbitrary and de facto UDI, and it becomes a non democratic initiative which flies in the face of the 2014 Referendum democratic result. It would thus be considered undemocratic, and would sew a vociferous rejection both locally and internationally, leading to civil unrest and probably bloodshed. Furthermore, when you seize such control in order to hold a referendum, is it not then redundant to have a referendum about seizing control?

    The assertion of sovereignty which I describe is the careful preamble of making sure of the ground beneath our feet before we challenge anything. Get it writing, and signed by a lawyer, and then we keep it in our pocket until the time is right.

    What I propose is in essence a very limited “UDI” which is very narrow and exclusive to broadcasting. It does not test the Act of Union to its destruction, and does nothing to impinge upon the BBC continuing to broadcast its propaganda, it simply allows our own broadcasting to co-exist, (and in my head it becomes justified given the clear and unambiguous dereliction of impartiality which the BBC is guilty of). It is also a reasonable expectation that Scotland should properly have its own broadcasting, and while its hardly democratic to seize control of broadcasting, it is hardly democratic to abuse broadcasting to pump out propaganda. If and when Scottish broadcasting was challenged in law, I can see a reasonable chance of winning the case.

    It’s a matter of interpretation I agree, but your use of our Sovereignty would be an all out assault on the Union. My use of our Sovereignty would be an act of defence to protect Scotland’s interests. You’re quite correct Colin, it is the same Sovereignty, it’s the same principle, but the reaction it would provoke be altogether different.

    But the thing is, if you were to be successful in tucking away an affirmation of legitimacy for Scottish sovereignty, then use that constitutional device to wrestle some limited control away from Westminster, then you are quietly securing de facto recognition that Scottish sovereignty is not merely some archaic curiosity, but is a current legal principle which Westminster will have already conceded.

    For there on, we still don’t need to seize control using the blunt instrument of sovereign muscle. We have merely used a little of that strength to secure a level playing field in Broadcasting, and can then hopefully augment the bare boned skeleton of Scottish sovereignty with the flesh of a democratic majority thoroughly persuaded that voting for independence is the right thing to do.

  152. colin alexander

    Liz g @2.37pm

    I never said Corbyn would deliver independence. Only Scotland’s people can do that.

    They were given the option just three years ago and turned it down. Nothing indicates YES – up to this point in time- would win IF there were a next time.

    If it looks like YES would win another indi-ref – and it’s up to WM to decide if we can get a referendum – then it will be refused. Simple as that.

    Corbyn can say: it’s up to the Scottish people to democratically decide what’s best for Scotland. That’s what a Scottish Parliament is for – if there is another election and Scotland’s pro-Scottish sovereignty supporters – Home Rulers and pro-indy – all backed Corbyn, IF he guaranteed Scottish Sovereignty, if elected.

    If he reneges, the SNP MPs gave up seats for nowt. So what? They served no useful purpose anyway.

  153. Fairliered

    Nicola is without doubt the best person to lead the SNP. However, questions need to be asked of those advising her. The unionists have pulled on their tacketty boots. We need to pull on ours. In particular, we need to look at who we put forward for interviews. We need to see more of bruisers like Kenneth Gibson and Pete Wishart, and less of the more wishy washy characters that seem to be put forward to be outshouted by unionists and BBC liggers.

    We also need to shout from the rooftops that the unionists don’t want Indyref 2 only because they know they will lose. If they were confident of winning they would be happy to hold Indyref 2 at any time. They don’t want Indyref 2 because they are chicken.

    We also need to remember that the number one reason for most members joining the SNP was because we want Independence for Scotland. All other policies and views are, and will remain, secondary. The SNP have taken their eye off the ball because of the day to day management at Holyrood. Although Holyrood policies are important, they are less important than gaining Independence. The time for detailed positions on everything else is after we are free.

  154. colin alexander

    If Scottish Sovereignty was established while part of the Union,

    The Union would no longer exist in its current form. Without the gamble of an independence referendum. The hated undemocratic Union would be over.

    Because, the heart of the Unionist power base: WM is sovereign.

    If it’s no longer sovereign OVER Scotland, we have a sort of federal situation. A sort of Home Rule. But one where Scotland is sovereign. It takes precedence OVER WM in matters Scotland decides is pertaining to Scotland.

    No need for an independence referendum to end the Union. That can be achieved without independence.

    If at a later date, Scotland does prefer independence, then that’s for Scotland to deal with. Scotland would be sovereign in constitutional matters. None of WM’s business.

    It’s a win / win situation.

  155. Robert J. Sutherland

    Liz g @ 14:37,

    You and me both, Liz. As confused a suggestion as I have ever seen.

    Cede your representation to another party that’s dyed-in-the-wool Unionist then ask people to believe you’re opposing Unionism. Duh.

  156. Robert J. Sutherland

    colin alexander @ 15:39:

    If it’s no longer sovereign OVER Scotland, we have a sort of federal situation. A sort of Home Rule.

    You are Gordon Brown and I claim my £5!

    How are you aiming to achieve this wonderful outcome? By waving your magic wand? Sheesh.

  157. Liz g

    Colin Alexander
    Yer confusing me.
    You said that you weren’t arguing for Corbin and his labour party to deliver Independence!
    Then went on to describe the deal which ment Corbin and his Labour party deliver Independence.

    Then in the next post you are saying how we establish Sovereignty and become independent that way.
    Which would/wouldn’t give Corbin a role?

    And just as an FYI….we already have legal Sovereignty, that’s not and never has been in dispute….
    It’s political Sovereignty we don’t have in Scotland, we keep handing it to Westminster.

    But Political Sovereignty is a very different beast to legal Sovereignty.
    Think about it as Maritime Law,the Courts will confirm that the water’s are indeed yours,but the only way that you can practically claim the water’s is by force or agreement.

    Hope that helps you frame what you are trying to say about Sovereignty.

  158. Robert Peffers

    @Posted on June 12, 2017 by Dave McEwan Hill

    ” … To spend months attacking “Tories” instead of attacking “Unionists” is counter-productive in any long-term strategy”.

    Just one small point, Dave, they are, after all, The Conservative & Unionist Party”, and as long as their title, and their main policies, are the maintenance of the vile union then I reserve the right to attack them at every opportunity.

  159. Al-Stuart

    Dave McEwan Hill is clearly passionate about his views. I’ve been at the abrupt end of them in The National, so am a little reticent at replying to him for risk of being labelled “one of them”. A non convert or whatever. I genuinely care about this, so here we go….

    A couple of points that the understandable navel gazing missed a year ago and continues to be lost.

    I agree with Dave McEwan Hill 100% on his view that we are not well governed from Westminster. I switched my vote back to the SNP in 2007 and it has been there every election since. With the exception of the most recent local elections in Angus where I voted for an Independent. On 8th June I would have voted Green, but there was no candidate of this flavour on the ballot, so with great reluctance I voted for Stewart Hosie.

    Why this change? The SNP were brilliant and pulled a masterstroke when getting into government by one seat. THE SNP RAN THE ECONOMY WELL.

    Yesterday I was speaking with a friend from Montrose – she voted SNP from 2007 for the same reason as me. On 8the June she voted for the Tory, Mrs Hair. The SNP’s Mike Weir lost his seat and my own MP Stewart Hosie was returned with a substantially decreased majority.

    There are around 16% of electors such as my Montrose friend and I. We are NOT wedded to IndyRef. Good if it happens. But what ranks way above this is the fact that the SNP has lost it’s way on the economy and much else</b.

    My best friend in Dundee also switched away from the SNP. I asked him why? The econonmy McStupid was the reply.

    Now before any bright spark comes back with the rejoinder that the economy is not devolved, a significant part if it is. Enough to make a difference.

    My Dundonian friend creates jobs. I never thought he would vote SNP, but that SNP wirtschaftswunder of 2007 persuaded him to go that way. He has donated a decent amount to the SNP over the years to boot! More recently, the fact that Stewart Hosie fails to answer his emails, whilst Graeme Dey is as much use as a chocolate teapot in helping pesuade Fiona Hyslop MSP to help with a massive cultural project that will create 40 jobs from a charity my friend helped establish in 2012 has come home to roost. Just ONE small anecdote, but all of us who inhabit the real world get thoroughly pi55ed off with politicians who get arrogant and fail to deliver.

    Right now, that manifests itself with sufficient numbers of my friends and I looking to lend our votes away from the SNP – that it can be extrapolated into the electoral post mortem.

    Many ordinary folk have no problem with IndyRef. They DO have a problem when MPs and MSPs fail to support economic growth projects that create jobs….


    If the SNP work on getting that right, then the SNP will get the AWOL voters back, and the SNP will deserve to win IndyRef2.

  160. Northern Pict

    For me, there is only one road: it leads straight to Independence.
    To me, Nicola has enticed us onto a little side path, at the end of which she dangles Indyref2 as a teaser, always just out of reach. This is a long windy path with lots of pitfalls. Within the ranks there is confusion, fatigue and growing apathy.
    Her rallying words are complex with mixed messages. Now she & J Sweeney are ‘reflecting’ on the bad ‘factor of Indyref2’ in the election results.
    Well, if we’re not even on the path to Indyref2, then we’re surely lost and getting too bogged down in reflection!
    We need a leader who is not going to lie low and see what happens next. Another snap election might wipe us out. We need a solid & forceful attack. And we need it now.
    If Nicola is tired/not able/badly advised, then we have to have the guts to say ‘thank you’ but enough is enough, let someone else try. We need to get back on track. We support the SNP for Independence.

  161. Proud Cybernat

    “…as long as their title, and their main policies, are the maintenance of the vile union then I reserve the right to attack them at every opportunity.”

    I get that POV. However, I do think it is a fair point that the SNP over-attack the domestic policies of Lib/Lab/Con parties thereby stoking resentment from the supporters of all these parties. And because the SNP (rightly or wrongly) is too closely identified with the Indy process, it will be harder for us to get Lib/Lab/Con voters to ‘lend their vote’ to a party they regard as being the ‘Indy Party’ when that is the very same party they battle with week in, week out on domestic issues.

    Yes – WE know that an IndyRef is a separate question and should stand and be answered on its own merit. But many do not see it that way. By engaging in domestic policies the SNP inevitably make themselves an ‘enemy’ of these voters who support the domestic policies of the other parties. As a result our rotten media will be able to stir and manufacture dislike and even hatred among these voters towards the SNP (and by extension, to its core policy of independence).

    I don’t know what the answer is. But I think with the SNP being the public ‘face’ of the Indy movement comes with a price. We all see how easy it was for the corrupt media to demonise Salmond in IndyRef1. They are trying to do the very same now with Sturgeon before IndyRef2.

    Perhaps we need a separate ‘all party and none’ movement to become the public face of the indy movement. The SNP can then get on with running the country and dealing with the political process of the Indy movement i.e. dealings with WM etc. The public face of the indy movement being a-political will make it much more difficult for the media to demonise the movement – they’ll be demonising ordinary people.


  162. Desimond

    To all these people saying “Great to see Nicola back concentrating on Brexit”

    Its a waste of her time.

    The public, especially the Scottish Public, don’t care.
    They simply don’t. That should be clear to everyone by now.

    They don’t have the brains or patience to work true impacts out. They just want things done, whatever, they don’t care what gets foisted upon them. They will accept it and no romantic thoughts of brave scots with their own minds will make it a reality.

    Its who shouts loudest these days in love and war.

    Don’t believe me…think Rape Cause..think Dementia Tax…and then remember Ruth is down in Nbr 10 playing the big shot.

    SNP and the Greens need to get together and go on the attack, forget Brexit, forget everything bar those people who dare stop Scottish people being better.

    Lets be honest, SNP wont ever get to be involved in any meaningful way whatsoever with the Brexit talks and so should harness all energy into highlighting our Enemies mistakes and faults from up here.

    Sorry to repeat myself but I just think the caring sharing SNP, while trying their best, need to be a bit more selfish and remember whats really in their own best interest and ultimately all of ours.

  163. Robert J. Sutherland

    Al-Stuart @ 16:28,

    That’s exactly the same thinking as behind the recent anti-SNP media campaign: denigrate the SNP over devolved issues and ignore the plain fact that without independence we are all just fiddling around the edges.

    You may or may not have legitimate grumbles about specific MPs or MSPs or projects, which is fair enough, but the Scottish Government isn’t a cornucopia, and indyref2 is not going to come about because the SG gets ever better at mitigating the barrage of cuts bequeathed to it by London.

    You seem to be swallowing the Unionist fake “bad management” line wholesale. If you expect the SG to deal with every little thing caused by the UK’s self-inflicted austerity regime, the obvious and logical conclusion of your high expectation is to give the SG full powers to act, and get us completely out of this plainly malfunctioning Union!

  164. Hamish100

    Well done Dave. As for its the economy stupid. If your pal’s are so upset about it surely they would blame brown Blair darling then the continued austerity on Cameron Osborne and May. Don’t you know the economy drivers ain’t devolved. Tell the mcstupid tagg lies with them and you for not enlightening them.
    No offence

  165. colin Alexander

    It’s the SNP and others here that keep saying have indyref2.

    How can you if it’s accepted WM is sovereign? That it’s impossible for Scotland’s parliament to exercise sovereignty – unless first independent.

    But that means you must get WM’s permission to hold a valid referendum – and WM says NAW to an indi-ref, as YES has a higher ( but still unlikely) chance of winning than in 2014.

    For self-defeating contradictions, I think youse are the champions there.

  166. colin Alexander

    For all the indi-strategists who think they are going to secure independence by indyref2. Explain how you do that, please. I’m happy to be educated.

    The way I see it, is you’ve nae chance of an indi-ref if the Tories remain in power. The Tories will keep saying NAW. Do you think the SNP losing 21 MPs and much of their vote, that that will now force TM to change her mind?

    So, how are you going to do it?

  167. colin Alexander

    If this GE was conducted by PR, as the next Scottish Govt election will, the SNP would be outnumbered 2 to 1 by Unionist MSPs.

    You don’t have to be a genius to see Unionist strategy. They only need to say not now to an indi-ref till 2021 and on current trend, youse are fooked.

    Where is your Scottish sovereignty gained by independence, independence achieved by indi-ref?

    It’s a pipe dream based on current SNP strategy and current SNP levels of support in the last THREE elections.

  168. yesindyref2

    Great hard-hitting post, please keep them coming, even in the face of hostility.

    I’ve seen similar comments from people I think are genuine.

    The SNP started taking the electorate for granted, and got a swift boot up the jacksie for it. Their communication is dire, and their earplugs are stuck in with sound-deadening cement.

  169. Liz g

    Colin Alexander
    There’s only Westminster and you saying that Westminster is sovereign
    I think I can safely say that most wingers, hold the Scottish people as the ultimate Sovereign authority
    Also you need to read up on what a section 30 order actually is
    Holyrood doesn’t need permission it never did and it certainly never asked for any such thing
    That’s a British press invention

  170. Al-Stuart

    For Robert J. Sutherland @ 5.00pm: Says: You seem to be swallowing the Unionist fake “bad management” line wholesale.

    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for reply. Much appreciated.

    I wish I were swallowing the Unionist “bad management” line.

    This is really a crux of my point. Bu66er the Unionist-vs-Independence tribal thing. Stuff the tribal stuff on buying this line or that.

    I’m much more concerned that on the ground (to paraphrase Dave McEwan Hill’s article), real life matters are being handled less well by the current SNP management than back 7 to 10 years ago.

    I have actually seen first hand what an utter balls-up has come out of Fiona Hyslop’s devolved department. For obvious reasons I am not going to broadcast something here that the Unionist tribe will seize upon. But I GUARANTEE you, it is more than just a grumble as you phrase it…

    “You may or may not have legitimate grumbles about specific MPs or MSPs or projects, which is fair enough, but the Scottish Government isn’t a cornucopia”.

    I know that SG is not a cornucopia. But it does have budgets and can – indeed should be helping Scottish projects that create Scottish jobs.

    There is an entirely understandable bunker mentality at many SNP branches given the disgraceful bias at the BBC and MSM. But that leads to an incredibly toxic mix. When things genuinely do go wrong at our SNP SG, many of us daren’t voice concerns because social media opprobrium will descend on us.

    Ordinary punters, the ones that are not political anoraks – the ones that vote in droves tend to switch off of many forensic minutia political debates. But I for one do care about the these matters. Not least the economy.

    I promise you that Fiona Hyslop and my MSP, plus my own MP have screwed up and compromised 40 jobs. It is to do with an issue which straddles devolved/non-devolved areas.

    My point, before I get further castigated on here for writing too much, is that before anyone focuses too much on IndyRef or Brexit, there has been a grumbling appendix of a problem.

    REAL life cases at real SNP constituency offices have gone unattended to.

    The result, people protest and vote the other way – away from the SNP.

    To sum up in a nutshell…


    For those unfamiliar with the term, it is one of the reasons credited with winning President Bill Clinton two terms in office in the USA.

    Just saying: if the SNP make best efforts to get what levels of control it has to get the economy moving, then votes will follow.

    They can start by getting Stewart Hosie to answer his mail, and someone really needs to have a word with Fiona Hyslop. For a devolved department of Culture and Tourism to treat an iconic project run by a charity which is the exemplar of Scottish culture and tourism with virtual contempt – and risk losing 40 new jobs in the process is much more than a grumble.

    There are a LOT of people supporting the charity, and many of them have been turned away from the SNP. I merely posit the point that if folk are looking for ways to reverse the 16% swing away from the SNP, then it might be worth considering the economy, and also the problem where anyone who questions an SNP department risks having the wrath of hell dropped on their head.

  171. yesindyref2

    @Liz g
    I’ve seen this gaining ground, but it’s not actually true.

    The UK Government legislated and called for the EU Referendum – but THAT could ahve been challenged in court. The result of it could ahve been challenged in court. And as we see May’s attempt to sbypass Westminster under the Prerogative was challenged in court – successfuly.

    Under the Scotland Act 1998 and amended, “Matters of the Constitution ar reserved”. So according to that Scotland can not hold a Referendum, but even that could be challenged in court. Or Scotland could attempt to hold a referendum, but that could be challenged in court.

    Basically speaking, anyone can try anything, but in the end it’s the courts would determine, if the issue was taken to court.

  172. Dave McEwan Hill

    Robert J. Sutherland at 5.00

    Thank you Robert. Al-Stuart’s comments were so irrelevant I can’t be bothered answering them. Its your friends, Al-Stuart,swallowing unionist media pish that is the problem,not the SNP

  173. Maria F

    It is my personal opinion that the independence referendum should never under any circumstance (unless de facto independence is given) be taken away from the table, no matter how much noise and how desperate the three unionist parties get. In fact, I think it should be mandatory that until the day Scotland becomes independent, the threat of an independence referendum should be permanently on the table.

    The more desperate and the more noise the hypocritical unionist branches make to take it out of the table, the more we should drag our heels deep down in the ground and demand it to be kept just where it is.


    1. Because it is only the fear of that bloody independence referendum what keeps the minds of the backstabbing unionist politicians in Scotland focused on toeing the line and in doing their day job: to work for Scotland.

    2. Because that independence referendum is what reminds them that Scotland is not a region of England and therefore it can leave this abusive marriage whenever it wants.

    3. Because that independence referendum reminds the establishment that Scotland’s assets are not there to the disposal of a few English MPs down south to use as bargaining chips in exchange for concessions for their beloved London’s banksters.

    4. Because it is that ‘annoying’ referendum what reminds them that it is not Scotland who depends on the UK to survive, but the other way round

    5. Because it is that ‘irritating’ referendum what reminds them that remaining in the UK or not is a matter for Scotland and Scotland only to decide.

    6. Because it is that ‘evil’ referendum what reminds all of us that we do not have to settle for bad UK politics designed to benefit others to the detriment of Scotland when we can choose our own political path.

    7. Because you reap what you sow: if you promised Devo Max and you didn’t deliver it, you have to be prepared to face up to the consequences.

    The more I hear these self-serving hypocrites to demand the referendum to be taken out of the table, the more convinced I am that this last GE pantomime was the only way the british establishment could stop Scotland to become independent without showing their cards. I hope it backfires badly.

    I think we should fight back with all we got and demand this bloody referendum to be kept on the table and we should throw to Slab their dirty game back day in day out:

    1. We should hammer the senior SLabs by saying that if it was not because of the dirty game of Senior Slab politicians asking for the electorate to vote to the tories rather than labour we would be now under a Labour government instead to having to endure this coalition of hell relying on a party of bigots stuck in a time warp, who while in the second decade of the 21st century still believe in creationism, hate Catholics and believe that gay people ‘can be cured’. This is ladies and gentlemen the ‘strong and stable’ government that is going to drag Scotland through the most important negotiations for its economic future in the century so far.

    So if any senior Slab person is reading this thanks a lot for nothing. I hope that in the same way you had the nerve to ask for a tory vote, you have now the guts to come out clean with the electorate and the members of the party in Scotland, Wales and England and take responsibility for denying them and your voters a go at a labour government. How does it feel betraying your own party?

    2. We should hammer the Tories because they run a dual campaign. 2 manifestos from the same party. How does that work? If you voted for tory, what did you vote for, Ruth’s manifesto or May’s manifesto? For instance, the winter fuel allowance: if Scotland gets this without means testing and England does mean testing, how is this going to be reflected in the Barnett formula?

    3. We should hammer the labour party, because it run different campaigns in different constituencies. We know from the wonderful information the Rev gives us in this site that Ms Dugdale was asking for a tory vote in certain constituencies.
    Well, not in mine, the only tory leaflet I got for the GE asked our vote to fight against the tories. So, how ethical is it to run different campaigns in different constituencies? What is it? Didn’t senior SLab think that the manifesto presented by Mr Corbyn was good enough for some constituencies but good enough for others?

    4. We should demand all those senior SLabs to respect their own party rules and be dismissed from the party for asking the electorate to vote tory rather than labour in some constituencies. Several people down south were expelled from the Labour party for asking the vote for a non labour, non tory Doctor that was on course to unseat Jeremy Hunt. Why should the Scottish SLabs be treated any differently? Why should they be any special? How can we trust Labour being good on equality if it doesn’t even apply its own rules to everybody?

    By the way, isn’t it a bit coincidental that now the Tories are forming an alliance with DUP when almost 500,000 pounds were funneled into the UK mainland leave campaign via DUP and while donated to DUP, the money was spent in the UK mainland and not in NI?

    Isn’t a bit coincidental that the money seemed to have links with some Tory linked to Scotland, with very strong brexit and unionist views?

    Isn’t a bit coincidental that Ruth DAvidson’s OO soldiers numbers and presence seem to have grown exponentially since the Brexit referendum?

    What on earth was Ms May doing in that homophobic Christian Fundamentalist Church right during the middle of the GE campaign?

    We have been bombarded for weeks before the election with articles about Alex and Angus being about to lose their seats to the tories. So, in light of the accuracy of these articles one has to ask, how did they know weeks in advance that this was going to be the case? How did they know that a lot of people was not going to come out and vote that day for the SNP? how did they know how the people was going to vote?

    Are we being duped here by the establishment by being given an illusion of choice at the polls?

  174. colin Alexander

    @Liz g You said Scotland has legal sovereignty. I’m no legal expert, but the recent Brexit court case decided Scotland’s Govt has NO LEGAL BASIS to exert influence on Brexit. It ruled WM is sovereign.

    I agree Scotland’s people are sovereign. That’s my point. English law ruled WM is sovereign.

    Theoretically, the Scot Govt could hold an indi-ref, and it can be legally challenged. It could drag on for years.

    The SNP should assert Holyrood is sovereign ( as the political representatives of Scotland’s people). Hold a vote on Scottish sovereignty – NOT Scottish independence.

    Win that one, without talk of independence. The Union as it is would be over.

    WM has to accept Holyrood is sovereign on Scottish matters (effectively ending WM sovereignty)and change the law to reflect that or tell Scotland’s people, that Scotland’s electorate is being overruled by English law. Scottish democracy is being denied.

    My answer to how Scottish sovereignty can be established. The YES campaign’s greatest asset, not the SNP big shots: Scotland’s people.

  175. yesindyref2

    @colin Alexander: “I’m no legal expert, but the recent Brexit court case decided Scotland’s Govt has NO LEGAL BASIS to exert influence on Brexit. It ruled WM is sovereign.

    Not true Colin, what the court ruled was that the Sewell Convention was not enforceable, so that whether or not the Scottish Government was consulted was optional. It didn’t touch the issue of Scottish sovereignty.

    As far as WM being sovereign, that was about May trying to exercise the royal prerogative, the court ruled that because of the wordings of the EU Ref Bill, and the original Communities Act, WM had to be given the final decision. So even there it didn;t rule on WN sovereignty either, just the letter of the Law.

  176. Di Forrester

    Interesting point re spend & targeted communications. In Aberdeen South, I received 1 Lib Dem & 1 Labour leaflet through the door. 2 from SNP. And 13 from the Tories! A mixture of via the post & hand delivered with some generic, some from Ruth & some from the (winning) Tory candidate. No question the seat was targeted by the Tories, big time. And pockets were deep.

  177. colin Alexander


    Ta for the clarification.

    So, what it established is the Sewell Convention has no legal basis. The Smith Commission has already admitted Holyrood can be disbanded by WM.

    So, regarding Scottish sovereignty within the Union? Craig Murray calls Holyrood a regional council.

    That suggests that currently Scottish sovereignty has no legal basis in English law. Politically.

    The SNP could seek to establish Scottish sovereignty – legally. If the law rules against Scottish sovereignty. Then there’s a good reason to vote SNP.
    A good reason to say this Union – as it is currently constructed – is constructed to deny Scotland sovereignty as part of the Union. (It’s also a good argument for independence.)

  178. Al-Stuart

    The ignorant, intolerant abuse from Dave McEwan Hill is precisely why so many ordinary voters stay away from trying to have a rational debate.

    David, please remove your head from the sand, or in your own case, your martyrdom SNP bunker and realise this is NOT your personal political paranoia-fest.

    Not everyone who dares to venture a point of view or opinion is your bogeyman.

    Some of us are ordinary people who do care what way our country goes.

    Your incredibly intolerant and abusive reply is a disgrace.

    You have completely and utterly ruined your credibility.

    Thank Heavens you were not knocking on the doors in this constituency. Otherwise Stewart Hosie MP would have gone the way of Mike Weir ex-MP.



    I still find this hard to believe you are so arrogant as to post this….

    Dave McEwan Hill says:
    12 June, 2017 at 6:29 pm
    Robert J. Sutherland at 5.00

    Thank you Robert. Al-Stuart’s comments were so irrelevant I can’t be bothered answering them. Its your friends, Al-Stuart,swallowing unionist media pish that is the problem,not the SNP

  179. yesindyref2

    @colin Alexander
    We do have Scots Law, so on those issues English law is irrelevant. Scots Law is enshrined as a part of the Act of Union. It’s one of the reasons the UK Supreme Court – even though it had two Scottish Judges, was no doubt delighted it could stay away from issues of our Sovereignty, and just rule on the Scotland Act as amended in 2016.

    I think what the Scottish Government’s Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC might have been doing rather than going all out, was establishing a base which could be referred to in future. If the ScotGov did call a referendum and some body appealed against it, I think it would first go to the Court of Sessions – Scotland’s highest court – and then if the appellants lost so the Ref stood, they could appeal to the UK Supreme Court.

    But the first thing the Supreme Court would have to do is rule on its own competency to hear such an appeal, and that’s where the Sovereignty issue would be tested.

    That’s my reading of it anyway. Alex Salmond never accepted the UK “Supreme Court”, and he knows a thing or two.

  180. Andy-B

    Well said Dave, independence should NEVER be taken off the table.

  181. colin Alexander


    “‘Devolution Issues’ under the Scotland Act 1998” is within the competency of the Supreme Court, is how it reads to me, after a quick perusal of “The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court”.

    The Supreme Court is a court in England.

    That suggests to me, not only politically, but in law, in the Scottish legal system, Scotland is not sovereign: it is subservient within the Union.

  182. yesindyref2

    @colin Alexander
    Yes, devolution issues may be, hence the two Scottish Judges (though Salmond disputed the UKSC had any jurisdiction at all).

    But the Act of Union itself, and indeed the Scottish legal system is NOT devolved, they existed long before the 1998 Act, and you can’t legislate backwards in time.

    The location of the court is practically irrelevant. The UKSC could be on the far side of the moon, it would still be the UKSC. Might be a bit expensive getting witnesses and QCs there all the same.

  183. Rock

    “In most of Scotland that unsatisfactory election result had little to do with Brexit, or with “we don’t want another referendum”. It had nothing to do with the potential merits or otherwise of independence.”

    Where it mattered, it was everything to do with Brexit and independence.

    The Tories gained seats purely because of pro-Brexit and anti-independence voters.

  184. Rock

    And the “independence supporting” The National almost certainly had zero positive effect on the SNP and pro-independence vote.

  185. Rock

    “But we must understand: the only long term position of any advantage to us is that NO Westminster government is best for Scotland.”

    The SNP had the perfect opportunity to strike when the iron was hot with 56 out of 59 MPs immediately after the Brexit vote but missed it spectacularly.

    Nicola wasted months flogging a dead horse – a separate deal for Scotland which was never going to happen.

    And allowed the unionists to re-group.

    She should have prepared the people of Scotland for independence by stating in very clear terms that the only way for Scotland to be in the EU was by becoming independent.

    Forget about a seat at the Brexit negotiating table.

    Prepare for independence.

  186. Rock

    “What we just faced was an expensive, London-funded campaign against Scotland.”

    Is there any surprise in that? Didn’t the SNP anticipate that?

    The only reason for Saint Theresa calling an election was to thwart Scottish independence.

    Dave McEwan Hill,

    “But it is easy to be wise after the event.”


    “Some of us were wise before the event but were laughed off by the pompous and clueless armchair pundits posting on this website.”

  187. Rock

    “But what will follow is that some on our side (and some who appear to be on our side but really aren’t) will call for the referendum to be taken off the table.”

    What will follow is will Nicola and the SNP have the spine to go ahead with a referendum according to their timetable after Saint Theresa refuses permission to hold one before Brexit has been completed?

    Don’t blame anyone from “our side”. We are ready for a referendum at any time.

    I just hope the SNP leadership doesn’t bottle it.

  188. Rock

    “We win independence when we persuade the majority of our people –and that includes our Tories – that independence is the best thing for their country and its future.”

    Be ready to wait at least another 310 years then.

    SNP activists must be complete fools and idiots if they are going to waste limited resources in convincing Tories to vote Yes.

  189. Rock

    schrodingers cat,

    “personally, i think alex is the obvious choice, a yes leader who could create a national yes group that we could all agree on.”

    I have the highest respect for Alex Salmond.

    But have you forgotten how the unionists tricked voters into voting No because “they couldn’t stand Alex Salmond”?

    Alex Salmond is best suited as a politician taking on unionist politicians. He is the best and most sincere politician around.

  190. colin Alexander


    Fair enough, but Holyrood in it’s current configuration is a creation of devolution. It’s through Holyrood devolution that the SNP are seeking the indyref. They don’t attempt it by the election of MPs at Westminster.

    Hence my other argument that we should back Corbyn if there is another election, as electing SNP MPs is a pointless exercise ( apologies to Carol Monaghan MP et al).

    If the SNP are so sure they don’t need a Section 30, why formally ask for one? Why haven’t they declared they don’t need one? It’s almost three months since NS wrote to TM formally requesting an indyref. The response has not changed: Not now. Brexit first.

    So,so far, nobody can explain how indi is achieved by indi-ref, if it is refused by the UK Govt.

    The Scot Govt could hold an indy-ref, but the UK Govt can say it’s not a legally binding one if YES won. If YES loses, they would recognise that result, I’m sure.

    If Yes won, the Scot Govt could only make it binding by declaring UDI – so if we are forced to use UDI, why not just stand for UDI in GE’s or Scot Govt elections in the first place?

    That then begs the question ( again): if we have to use UDI as a means of achieving Scottish self determination – Independence- which is less popular,

    Why not use a UD of Scottish sovereignty within the Union: Scotland is sovereign within the Union?

    If Westminster rejects that change to the terms of the Union, they are the ones making people choose Westminster sovereignty vs Scottish Sovereignty.

    The question then would be: Should Scotland’s parliament be sovereign or Westminster sovereign in matters affecting Scotland? I think a question on those terms would be more effective.

    Scotland’s people decided in 2014 they didn’t want independence then. They were never asked which parliament should be sovereign within the Union. It’s not true to say No was a vote for the status quo, as further powers were devolved following 2014 and Smith.

  191. davidbsb

    Some sense in the article and comments, but just a couple of points

    Many of us fawn over every point in an opinion poll. We entered the fight on mid 40’s polling Just as we have all year. A few days before it we suddenly started to haemorrhage support. The message that voters responded to at all was not ours. That message was May is crap, is beatable, and is on the slide. Oh and the wind is with Corbyn. So Jezza got a pile of our votes and we polled 37% on the day. Even with that we could have taken several more seats but for the Yoon collusion. It would not likely have mattered what we said about anything. Corbyn shone. But hell I expect even Geeky Ed could have taken votes against May.

    The only person who should be sacked is Kezia. She engaged willingly in a disreputable dalliance with a party which has meted out cruelty and barbarity to the type of people that her own party was set up by and for in the first place. She is frankly a disgrace to the Labour Movement.

    Everyone knew the optimal position was a hung Parliament and that Corbyn would have done an accommodation with the SNP. Kez personally fuc’ed that up.

    And as to the SNP. I hear some wards where we lost very very good MP’s could not muster more than a single person for GOTV. You really cannot shelter from the rain and pretend its Nicola’s fault when you don’t get out there and do the legwork. The way we fight the media lies is by knocking doors, and knocking up. As I’ve noted before, this site has a surfeit of armchair warriors on it.

  192. Maria F

    @Colin Alexander
    “The question then would be: Should Scotland’s parliament be sovereign or Westminster sovereign in matters affecting Scotland?”

    This is a really interesting and, in my view, a very important topic that should be brought up to the surface over and over again, because that could help us to know a bit more as to where Scotland stands.

    I do not know anything about law, but what I have been wondering for quite a while now is in the event that ‘Westminster’ is considered legally sovereign (I would like to be shown legal proof that this is the case, as as far as I know there is not a written constitution), ‘what part of Westminster’ would hold Scotland’s sovereignty?

    The reason why I ask this is because the UK is not an unified country as such, but a state that resulted from the union of 2 kingdoms encompassing 4 countries. I do not see how anybody can claim that an MP elected by the constituents of the country of England or for instance, an MP elected in Northern Ireland by the people living in Northern Ireland holds the sovereignty of Scotland when the people of Scotland will never be allowed to entrust that MP or not with the mandate of their vote for as long as the Scottish people live in Scotland. I would understand this to be the case if the UK was a unified country and Scotland and England were not countries anymore but simply regions of a bigger country. But they are not. They are countries, both of them.

    If Westminster is sovereign, shouldn’t it be just those 59 Scottish MPs who actually hold the Scottish sovereignty? and the 533 MPs elected by the English constituents who hold England’s sovereignty? If that case, shouldn’t those 59 MPs be the ones that should actually decide if a referendum takes place or not?

    Let’s go back in time 310 years ago:

    Who ultimately decided if Scotland would be part of the union or not? Was that the English MPs in the Parliament of England? No, they decided that England would be part of that Union. It was the Scottish MPs in the Parliament of Scotland who decided that Scotland would be part of the union.

    So if it was enough for the MPs in the Parliament of Scotland in 1706 to decide that Scotland would be part of the Union, it should be sufficient for the Scottish MPs today to decide that Scotland is not longer part of the Union. This to me supports that it should be those 59 Mps and not the 533 MPs from England who decide if a referendum takes place or not.

    If this is not acceptable, and the ‘whole’ of Westminster is Sovereign and English MPs hold the sovereignty of Scotland even when the people of Scotland is not allowed to decide if those MPs get a seat or not and considering the tremendous disproportion of Scottish MPs compared with the English ones, doesn’t at all effects Scotland count as an occupied territory where the MPs elected by the constituents of another country decide its own constitutional matters? Wouldn’t then the international right to self-determination of occupied territories kick in?

    Is there any legal document that marks the moment in time that Scotland became a region of England? At what moment in time, Scotland’s law became an accessory of English law? And where is the written constitution that proves all of this?

  193. colin alexander

    “McCormick v Lord Advocate 1953 SC 396 Lord President Cooper, admittedly obiter, observed that the principle of the unlimited sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament was a distinctively English principle which had no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law.”

  194. heedtracker

    We need to educate on the benefits of independence every day. I could go on.”

    Experienced politicos should have seen the rise of JC coming.

    Brexit was already a massive NO in half of England at least.

    Each day passes, Brexit looks worse and worse. LibDems were nt worth a vote at all.

    So this was JC’s great triumph. Acting like he’s the sane thoughtful pragmatist, to take the Brits to a better Brexit tomorrow, as opposed to the real horror of Mayhem’s “NO deal is better than a bad deal.” And she clearly flops under pressure. JC doesn’t.

    Also, we just have to accept that the spectacular year or so BBC Scotland led battering away at us all, “WE SAID NO, WE MEANT NO” style no to indyref2, has in fact made some Scots go ok, sorry, we wont have indyref2 then, if you will just please just shut up about it all.

    Its a huge mistake to underestimate the power of persuasion that sustained BBC attack propaganda can have on people, especially young Scots, who just want to fit in and get along, and who are a core YES demographic.

    It’s likely its the young Scots vote that didn’t show up last week.

  195. yesindyref2

    I had my doubts about that huge Tory majority, well, thought the election would be close long ago, and thought Corbyn did a great job in PMQ, sticking to his point in the face of May turning to her bench and getting laughs and jeers but on nothing to do with the question. He’s a bit mixed up at times, but genuine – a refereshing change. Anyone who underestimated him was blind as a bat. No exceptions!

    And perhaps the young Scots voted for him as well, same as the young English voters did.

    In the end the BBC didn’t prevail, though perhaps they denied him a majority.

  196. Li g

    Maria F @ 9.58
    The document you are asking about is the 1707 Treaty of the Union.
    It was signed by the accepted law makers of that time.
    There has always been an argument that the populace of Scotland were not consulted,and would not have given consent to it if they had been.
    At least that used to be the case till 2014 when the people of Scotland RATIFIED the Treaty.
    Now it has taken 300 odd years to get consent and it’s looking like that consent will only last for 4 years.
    But as things stand we are governed under the Westminster system because we consented to be
    But the Sovereignty itself remains with us.
    We knew going in that our MPs only carried one vote some would argue that’s mad we could never be an equal partner,others talk of tail wagging the dog ext.
    But the reality is the union can’t ever work for a democracy.

  197. JimD

    Totaly agree with Breeks. It is time to go beyond complaining about the BBC. We need a TV station to break their monopoly and counter their lies.

  198. heedtracker

    yesindyref2 says:
    12 June, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    I thought the BBC eased a bit on JC after they destroyed him on the radio phone in thing, where he couldn’t give stats on child care costs. I think they thought they’d destroyed his chances but they didn’t want to enrage half of England too much, so they eased off a bit. Its Dianne Abbot that they clearly thought would win it for them.

    If it all goes tits up for the crew in Pacific Quay, they leg it back to London. If the BBC go too far in England, there’s nowhere to run.

    Next GE is certainly going to be interesting to watch tory BBC attack propaganda in England and Scotland.

  199. colin Alexander

    @Maria F

    So much of this Union is convention,legally unchallenged. Assumptions,taken as a matter of fact, when the legality has never been defined.

    The Supreme Court recently ruled the Sewell Convention is worthless, a goodwill gesture.

    Why should Scotland have to leave the Union to have sovereignty? Independence is a clear way of defining sovereignty, but is it the only way? Scotland was never abolished.

    Where does Scottish sovereignty lie now? The SNP and others say the people of Scotland.

    Clearly, it’s not Holyrood via devolution,the 1998 Scotland Act for Holyrood seems to me to have established the current Holyrood is subservient to WM.

    So why does the SNP nowadays seek to establish Scottish sovereignty only via a Holyrood independence referendum? It’s the SNP that creates the situation where TM says No via devolution legislation.

    Do we need to be independent to be sovereign? If we became independent, then join the EU or EEA, we again cede some sovereignty.

    Ah,but only some sovereignty, we are told. Westminster rules over more issues than the EU does.

    Then, tell WM, we aren’t seeking independence, but Scotland will decide on which matters it cedes some sovereignty to WM. Joint UK legislation must be agreed on by both parliaments: WM and Holyrood. Not your rUK hundreds of MPs vs our 59 Scottish MPs. In effect, England dominates by weight of numbers of constituency MPs.

    The Union when established didn’t say one parliament was superior. It was a treaty ratified by separate equal parliaments.

    Why can’t Scotland be sovereign without totally leaving the Union?

    Why can’t we enjoy the benefits of a pooling and sharing of some resources while having Scottish political sovereignty?

    Why can’t devolution be turned on its head, so Scotland decides what WM can legislate on for Scotland?

    Why can’t we decide for ourselves and be part of the UK Union?

    I agree independence would be simpler and give greatest autonomy, but many independists do want a union of some sort.

    Scotland voted 55% for the UK Union, 62% for the EU – another Union.

    But many independists want a repeat of 2014. Asking the same question.

    Should Scotland be an independent country?

    Really, we should be asking: should Scotland’s parliament be sovereign?

    To be part of a union involves ceding of some sovereignty. But ultimate sovereignty means you can say: No, I don’t accept this anymore, change it or I end it.

    The UK decided the ceding of sovereignty was unacceptable it had the power to say no to the EU.

    Yet, the UK Govt tells Scotland, in effect: you don’t have the power to decide if you want to leave the Union, until we lend you that power (a Section 30).

    The SNP, till date have accepted that assertion of WM power.

    What’s wrong with establishing if Scotland’s parliament should be sovereign by asking the people of Scotland?

    As sovereign Scotland we can decide to be part of any union or leave any union, whenever we want.

    Why can’t we exercise our sovereignty without full independence?. A Union needs mutual agreement. True. Negotiating indi would also require mutual agreement.

    I say, we vote for YES for Scottish sovereignty, so Holyrood and WM clearly establishes in legislation, Scotland is sovereign. WM is not sovereign over Scotland.

    If rUK, won’t accept Scottish sovereignty within the Union, it is they who end the Union, not Scotland.

    If it’s true “they need us more than we need them” then they will have no option but to agree to Scottish sovereignty.

  200. Kestral

    @Stu glad to see your disclaimer at the top

    Here’s a thought for every one of you who didn’t go out and leaflet

    What’s the magic number where you start to loose seats rapidly

    It’s 40%

    Or approx 4000 lost votes sure Stu worked it out

    Now pray tell me how many votes we might’ve just have got with 25,000people * 2 hours of chapping doors, talking to the voters, encouraging them to get out there and vote

    Just sit and think it through people, because you did this to yourselves

    if you for one second think that this is gonna be as easy as turning up at marches, we may as well forget it now

    It,s taken 30 years and longer of people slogging their guts out year in year out to build the party and of course some very astute and competent councillors,mps and msp,s.

    People voted for us because we chapped their doors and talked with passion about our belief that only a party for Scotland and only Scotland was going to be best to run Scotland

    This is gonna take your blood, sweat and tears for a couple of years or if your not very careful it could take the next 30

  201. twathater

    Breeks continuously

    I agree wholeheartedly with your many comments re sovereignty and broadcasting, 8 days to go to begin negs for brexshit, does anyone seriously believe the UK broadcasters will tell the public the truth of what is happening at these negs

    Previously mayhem stated that the negs would not be publicised or leaked to the public , the EU said they would conduct them openly and publically to keep citizens aware

    As you stated Nicola should openly provide , without referring to wastemonster a Scottish broadcast entity to inform and educate the Scottish people re the clusterf**ck of these negs, she should as you said request a European TV link to be based in Scotland to enlighten and ensure transparency of what is reported. The (BBC ) Biased broadcasting corporation and their cohorts will do everything in their power to lie ,obfuscate , misinform and spin everything to show blighty in a good light

    Nicola as FM is duty bound to do everything to protect the people and sovereignty of Scotland

  202. Maria F

    @Colin Alexander

    Colin, Scotland may well be entitled to sovereignty within the UK but the truth is that for over 300 years that has not been respected. I think it is very naive of you now to even think for a second that after 310 years of being treated like a colony to the disposal of England things are going to change. That after 310 years when Scotland’s natural and human resources have been exploited and abused for the benefit of the South, decades of Scotland providing most of the natural resources to this union but yet being treated as the poor brother and deemed as benefit scrounger living from the handouts of England, things are going to change now and they are really going to ‘pool and share’ resources. What resources Colin? Scotland’s resources?
    It is my opinion that this horse has bolted.

    The only way forward is independence and the writing was on the wall the day the Better Together on the voice of Gordon Brown had the audacity to break purdah to offer an undeliverable phony, the Devo Max to the Max, the Home Rule.

    The 19th September 2014 the British establishment let the mask slip with EVEL and then later on with Labour, the main instigators of this Devo Max in the person of Brown, it ratified it had no intention in delivering it. The last nail on the coffin was the EU referendum result proving them as liars, prepared to say anything to keep Scotland in this undemocratic union.

    It is only so much the people of Scotland can take of deception, lies and being undermined Colin, when many of us realise that that monumental hole in the deficit of external trade of England can only be patched up by having Scotland firmly under their heel. I believe the time to believe in Devo Max and pooling and sharing resources for the benefit of us all is now gone. It is away with the fairies. Time to get real Colin.

  203. Northern Pict

    I have backed the SNP for 47 years. when my husband had his Liberal Party cronies round, my SNP poster was still large in the front window.

    You can say I have been more than patiently waiting for Independence.

    Why doesn’t more people on this site have the guts to say we need a new leader and deputy? A big thank you to NS for your part in the fight, but the fight is bigger than you and you must now step aside. What’s so wrong with that?

    As I see it, the SNP risks losing even more seats in another snap UK election. How will that advance Independence?

    You can’t forward the cause of Independence by sitting on your hands. NS and JS’s position of blaming Indyref2 + saying nothing about Independence, and everything about Brexit, is frankly unforgiveable.

    The SNP should be a loud voice just now when the UK govt is in a state of confusion.

  204. Robert Louis

    Fairliered yesterday at 325 pm

    I completely agree with what you say, and a few others (aside from the obvious troll/sh*t stirrers) posting on here. NS is fine, but the strategy is somewhat lacking. And we urgently need some key 2 or 3 hard hitters to max the press over and over again, day in day out. And for heavens sake just stop the lightweights who are terribly nice, but couldn’t debate their way out a paper bag, from getting near a camera or microphone. That really needs stopped.

    I understand what people tell me, when they explain the current strategy of trying to get a seat in brexit negotiations etc, but I really think it is misguided. All it does is give London yet another chance to sneer at NS and make her look foolish. You want some proof, just look at how they are allowing Ruth Davidson to speak and act for Scotland on Brexit. It is real and it is happening. Sniff the coffee folks.

    I do understand the thinking behind the strategy, but I do not think it will work. Here is why, in 8 or 9 months time, the belief is that people will be so utterly horrified with what brexit means, they will then demand independence, but that is NOT how matters will play out. The public become immune to these things over time. Bit by bit their rights are eroded, but they will not notice. They become accustomed to it. In eight months time they just won’t care.

    So, once the brexit agreement comes out, people will likely shrug their shoulders and resign themselves to it, whilst also muttering how much they hate the Tories AND how the SNP Scot Gov let them down. You see, the day of the EU referendum result, the Scot Gov had the absolute clearest mandate on god’s earth to take action, but they did not. They said things, then did not follow through.

    Now, we are in a perpetual ‘let’s wait and see’ situation, which means the ScotGov is NOT leading, but following. And the opponents to independence are making hay.

    We do not need to wait for anything, the Scottish electorate made it abundantly clear as day they do not want to leave the EU. They did not say, we want to the Scot gov to ‘get us a brexit deal’, they said they did not want brexit. Period. You will NEVER get a stronger mandate.

    I have spoken to many people following the EU referendum, and all want to stay in the EU. They are so frustrated at the SNP/Scot Gov for not following through on what they said the day after the EU ref result.

    So now we are where we are. We have a pro independence First Minister of Scotland, who has more MSP’s, MP’s, councillors and members than any other party in Scotland, who seems terrified to actually defend her beliefs in independence. When people like Ruth davidson accuse her of being obsessed with independence, the response should not be denial, but should be a robust response along the lines of, ‘I am not obsessed with independence, but I and many, many Scots now realise it is the only way to end the brexit madness coming from London. The people of Scotland said they did not want brexit, and as FM it is my DUTY, my ‘day-job’ even, to stand up for that, and if that includes independence then that is what we shall do.

    Right now, the SNP have fallen into a terrible trap of thinking they have to deny independence. And, with each day that policy continues, all the public hear is negativity about independence, over and over again. Their is nobody standing up and arguing the merits of independence. Nobody.

    In many ways you might say the unionists (rightly or wrongly) have been fighting indyref2 for the last two years. So just one side of the argument has been heard. Nothing positive being said about independence to the public at all. So let me make a prediction, that I have hoped would not happen, but I think will. Gradually, very gradually support for indy WILL fall. Once that starts, the unionist press will be all over it. And it WILL BE TOO LATE TO TAKE ACTION.

    That is why the campaign for independence needs to start ASAP. That is why the SNP need to start telling Scots why it and the EU are so important. In short, START LEADING. The defensive ill-founded nonsense of not mentioning independence plays straight into unionist hands, and if nobody in the SNP leadership can see that then I think we are all set to fail.

    You are either attacking or defending in politics, and right now all the SNP are doing is defending, mixed with a very large dose of utterly pointless fence sitting. It needs to stop.

  205. Grouse Beater

    Why doesn’t more people on this site have the guts to say we need a new leader and deputy?

    Oh, for god’s sake.

    One setback and suddenly it’s time to shoot our elected representatives. Get off you knees, stop shivering. Close ranks. How ‘loud’ does our government have to be before the right-wing media decide to allow its voice to be heard?

  206. Grouse Beater

    Published by Richard Murphy, economist

    “I am bemused by the widespread feeling, at least south of the border, that the general election has knocked discussion on Scottish independence into the long grass for all time to come. I am quite sure that this is not true.

    Has anyone noticed, for example, that the new Scottish Tory MPs are acting as a quasi-independent group? There is not going to be an assimilation into the pack for them.

    I suspect this might also be true, to a lesser degree, for Labour. And even, dare I say it, the four LibDems from Scotland.

    Something has changed irrevocably. The fact is that the separate identity of Scotland and Scottish political interests is now clear. And Ruth Davidson, the supposed chief exponent of the Union, is if anything in reality the chief exponent of that distinct difference.

    This matters, and nor should it be ignored. EVEL (English votes for English laws) makes it a real part of the UK parliamentary DNA now. More than that though, this division is real.

    The Scottish general election was very obviously different to that in the rest of the UK. And it’s only possible to pretend that a place with a different culture, economy and political ethos is subordinate to its neighbour for so long. Then the differences become intolerable to both (as Northern Ireland is at risk of finding as a result of a DUP alliance).

    Far from independence being off the agenda in Scotland that country has re-discovered a healthy pluralism that is essential for its well-being. But all of it is grounded in Scottish identity. I don’t see independence soon. But I definitely think it will happen. In fact, I can’t really see how it could be otherwise.”

  207. Dave McEwan Hill

    Robert Louis at 8.42pm

    Excellent post

  208. Frank Kemp


    If she can pressure the Tories to a soft Brexit then Indeyref2 is of the table.

    You won’t get agreement on Independence but you may get agreement on what is best for Scotland.

    Maybe Kezia Dugdale can agree on that too (for 5 minutes).

  209. Dave McEwan Hill

    This Brexit debate is becoming a complicating diversion. Our position of EU full membership came with risk but was a simple straightforward one (albeit not shared by all our support). But it did its job and established a democratic deficit (which we are now not using in any useful manner).

    The issue is now dominating our existence when in fact we should be campaigning for independence above all else at all times.

    The position that the best body to make a decision on the EU for Scotland is an independent Scotland should be paramount.

  210. Abulhaq

    We have red, blue and LidDem Unionists now. They are united by their singular fetishism. an unsavoury addiction to the dubious charms of the UK. The condition is psychological, although they will protest, being ‘Scotch’ that it is a matter of ‘common sense’. If that were the case, common sense might lead Union fetishists to the conclusion that national ‘independence’ being normative in this world since the old colonial empires collapsed, why should Scotland not follow suit?
    Unionists generally have no answer other than the fall back pose of ‘we’re better together, however circumstances have connived to make that stance somewhat less alluring,

  211. Abulhaq

    @Frank Kemp
    It is a British exceptionalist conceit that the hardness or softness of Brexit will be decided by Westminster. As the UK is quitting the EU club it will be in no position to dictate terms. Ukania will get what Brussels is prepared to offer. May & co may yet leave with nothing. That’s the price you pay for having been a fairweather member.

  212. yesindyref2

    @Grouse Beater – Murphy – “Something has changed irrevocably. The fact is that the separate identity of Scotland and Scottish political interests is now clear.

    Murphy has it spot on. I would say no longer can a large group of Labour MPs, and now Tory MPs, go down to Westminster and vote with their party, regardless.

    If the re-use of the SNP slogan this election “Stronger for Scotland” had any effect, it was that it could well force all the other parties to adopt the same, for arguably the first time in Scotland’s history.

    There will be consequences for them, and that might in time include having to move over to support for at least FFA, and perhaps as far as Indy. In time.

    This really is new politics for Scotland with multi-party representation, and personally I think it’s good for Indy, not bad.

  213. Iain

    As a new campaign – why not an organised mass non-payment of the TV licence? Individual non-payment attracts no attention.

  214. Iain

    (continuing) It’s what millions want anyway, and would serve BBC Scotland right.

  215. Doog

    I certainly agree about the ludicrous leafleting campaign. I decided to keep every leaflet I received, knowing full well that the Lib Dems would be completely over the top. I’m in North East Fife and the count is as follows – Lib Dem-25, SNP-7, Tory-3, Labour-2, Ind-1. How much must this have cost the Lib Dems? An interesting side note, Willie Rennie was pictured on 14 of the 25, obviously he rather overestimated his appeal. Oddly enough Alex Salmond was pictured on 5 of the 25, not terribly far behind the actual Lib Dem candidate! Having lost the seat by two votes, they must surely consider their leafleting campaign to have been counter productive, I haven’t spoken to a single person who wasn’t sick of the sight of Willie Rennie’s face appearing through their door on a daily basis.

  216. Ray Vison

    Dear Scots,

    Help us get rid of the Tories from our blighted land. It was the Tory seats that have kept them in power.

  217. Iain More

    Yes the SNP won the election, the SNP were also complacent?

    Communications Awful and that has been a long standing problem. Far to tame with the Brit Nazi Press and Media for one.

    Are they prepared to face another Election? My gut is telling me the Tories want out and to blame Labour and SNP for Brexit mess.

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