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Groundhog years

Posted on January 06, 2021 by

Over a year has passed since the December 2019 election. The SNP triumphed in Scotland and the Tories were comprehensively defeated. Nevertheless, a huge English majority allowed Boris Johnson to sweep back into Downing Street and “Stop Brexit” became as redundant a slogan as the one on another campaign bus that had falsely promised £350m a week for the NHS.

But “Scotland has spoken” was the chant, “Scotland won’t accept it” the shout. There was much anger and outrage from elected representatives.

But the huffing and puffing came to naught. Johnson wasn’t listening and he certainly wasn’t for turning. Brexit was driven through, Scotland was taken out of the EU and its Parliament and democracy now stand threatened.

Back in the aftermath of 2019 it was also stated that a referendum was going to be held in autumn 2020. Even those espousing it didn’t believe their own rhetoric, but they repeated the mantra anyway, as if by rote. But it didn’t happen. Obviously coronavirus blew the world, not just Scotland, off course but a referendum was never going to take place that year and certainly not that way. There had been neither the preparation nor the organisation for it, and the policies and funds to sustain it were absent.

Irrespective of that, though, Boris Johnson had made it clear before his election that there would be no consent to holding one. That was the fundamental stumbling block – the other issues, important though they were, could be resolved. But in that irredentist attitude, he was simply following the line of his predecessor who had likewise ruled out agreeing to a Section 30 order.

Yet it was and remains a procedure that’s viewed by the SNP leadership as being a prerequisite for another referendum, despite that unequivocal refusal.

To be fair to Johnson, whilst he may have vacillated on many other issues, he’s been consistent on the rejection of a Section 30. Indeed he’s made his position even more hardline, with a recent widening of the defintion of a “generation” by a decade or more. In that he’s been supported by his party and backed by the leader of the opposition. The UK may be breaking down, but Britain is united against Scottish democracy.

Maybe Johnson will blink as some think but there’s no evidence to support that, and yet time is of the essence. The threat to Scotland’s real and severe. Poverty and austerity from the economic fallout from coronavirus, compounded by the Tories soaking the poor to protect the rich. Yet, the British state has never been weaker, nor the opportunites greater for Scottish independence.

There’s a window and it’ll shut as the destabilisation of Brexit reduces and fears of further uncertainty supplants it. Moreover, a British government – perhaps under new leadership and unencumbered by the current debacle – will turn its fire north. That’s why action’s needed now.

The coming National Assembly for the SNP is an opportunity for the membership to make clear that wishing and hoping simply isn’t an acceptable strategy, and certainly not when the situation’s so critical. There are options and they need to be considered and debated. Making the coming election a plebiscite has many attractions, especially if there was to be a delay due to the pandemic.

But there’s a real issue there, which is that it requires the SNP leadership to do a volte face not just on the S30 order requirement but on a wider positioning of having the election be the mandate. Without a clear call by the Scottish Government that it’s such an event, then it just wont be. And despite its merits that’s unlikely to happen.

But an election there’s going to be, even if delayed, and using it as a platform for independence remains essential. The Tories cannot boycott that, and ensuring that it’s more than simply an election with a choice of party platforms is essential.

In the electoral system devised to thwart nationalism there lies an opportunity. The constituency vote’s seen as being for both a party and an individual, but the list vote’s different. The electorate see it as an alternative vote, and that should be made a vote for independence.

Parties can declare that a vote for them is a vote for independence. Victory on the list for independence overides any Boris Veto. The SNP can run it on their strapline and others could do likewise. It could be argued as another reason for voting SNP 1 and 2, but equally it could apply to others showing common cause.

For the SNP it gets them off the S30 hook and affords a reason for “both votes SNP”. But unlike the plebiscite call, a list vote mandate can still proceed without Scottish Government approval. If the SNP fail to support it, they might find that as in past elections the electorate will simply split their vote.

Hopefully, the National Assembly can have the membership listened to, not lectured at. Scotland, not Boris Johnson, must decide Scotland’s future.

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    200 to “Groundhog years”

    1. James Horace says:

      I think Mrs Murrell will be a little peeved by this post Kenneth!

      But I suspect you knew this already….

    2. wee monkey says:

      Scotland, not Boris Johnson, must decide Scotland’s future.

      Ah another fan of the quo, again and again and again.

    3. Thing is, it’s not US you need to be telling!

    4. I’m no election expert but your SNP vote thing sounds bonkers, if I understand you correctly.

      A vote for the SNP on the constituency vote is not a vote for independence but a vote for the SNP on the list vote is?

      Sorry Kenny but that’s confusing nonsense.

      Better to go full throttle for the new independence party on the list vote – at least, it’d be clear what you’re asking and there’d be no argument over the result (ie how do you account for people who wanted both votes SNP but didn’t want the list vote to be an independence mandate).

    5. I also question your assumption about the electorate seeing the list vote as an alternative vote. If that was true, why do SNP only drop about 10% from constituency to list?

      For a list mandate to work, it’d need to be a totally separate party that stood just on the list.

    6. Polly says:

      Very wily argument Mr MacAskill. I blamed you before of being like those you complained of within the hierarchy and doing nothing but talking and punting yet more platitudes, but when you argue so adroitly as you do here then I say you should talk some more.

    7. Polly says:

      ‘Thing is, it’s not US you need to be telling!’

      It’s not us he is telling, and this time I find it full of promise.

    8. NotKenny says:

      Some very wooly thinking here from Mr MacAskill. (Also some clear evidence of SNP splintering at Westminster, and between Holyrood and Westminster, accompanying a call for unity from other parties!) Surprising from a trained lawyer and former Justice Minister. “The threat to Scotland’s real and severe. Poverty and austerity from the economic fallout from coronavirus, compounded by the Tories soaking the poor to protect the rich.” The faithful have already had sermon that preached to them many times and they believe it. However, the faithful cannot be guaranteed to deliver independence. The support of the not yet convinced but persuadable is critical. We’re going to need more than Tory bashing to sign up. Specifically, we want to know what’s on the other side of that argument. How will an independent Scotland avoid poverty and austerity? By what mechanism will poverty and austerity in an independent Scotland not be worse than the Tory version? We don’t want any happy clappy stuff. We want the figures and the detail. We had hoped the alternative GERS data might point us in that direction. We’re disappointed and a bit suspicious that they have never appeared.

    9. Bob Costello says:

      It basically boils down to Sturgeon being wrong about section 30 and it looks very much to
      me that everything she has done since becoming leader has been designed to either delay or thwart independence. She must stand down or we are wasting our time. It is as simple as that

    10. Another_Ian_Blackford_Speech says:

      I think it’s an option. Pro-independence parties do better on the list so a good place to start. Would there be some trouble actually communicating this strategy to every corner of the country? Can’t the BBC etc doing any of the legwork there.

    11. As I keep pointing out, when Sturgeon became leader we had just lost indyref1. She could hardly be expected to call indyref2 on the same day we lost indyref1!!!

    12. fraser reid says:

      Watch your back Kenny…..or you may also get thrown under a bus for not towing party line 100%.

      ‘Thing is, it’s not US you need to be telling!’

      With the readership of Wings it will be the entire SNP/ScotGov reading this too…..

    13. Bob Mack says:

      Well said Kenny. I am voting ISP on the list. We need a pressure point on the SNP to make them sit up take notice and act.

      Should they prevaricate on Indy we serve them notice that there are other options. In spite of what Boris does we carry on.

    14. Willie says:

      Just read that the number of MPs in Westminster is remaining at 650 but –

      ENGLAND – GAINING 10
      SCOTLAND – LOSING (2)
      WALES – LOSING (8)
      NI – STAYING SAME.

      So Scotland and Wales losing representation to increase English representation, whilst NI keeps 18..

      And we keep sending the Feeble Forty Eight to that place to sit as cardboard cut outs

    15. Intractable Potsherd says:

      What’s frustrating is that it isn’t Westminster that is holding independence back, but the Scottish Government led by the SNP. This should not be happening. I know the many theories, some more convincing than others, about why this is the case, and some ideas about how to change it, but I see little action. The changes in the NEC gave a little hope, but there is no visible change there. Why will the National Assembly be any different?

    16. Rick H Johnston says:

      McAskill is right. The party is not remotely ready for the opportunity that the May election offers us.
      The SNP usually gets fewer votes on the list though so his suggestion is risky.
      He’s not alone though in having blind faith in Johnson’s determination to keep saying NO.
      That’s strange to me. Easy for Johnson to say it before May, not after a big SNP/Greens win.
      The notion that the Scots will give mass support to a fringe party that doesn’t even exist yet is however bizzare.
      Kenny is right that the SNP national assembly needs to assert an aggressive strategy on the SNP and have it declared publicly in advance of May.
      The SNP went back the way in 2017.
      They publicly declared “this election is not about independence”.
      A blunder that won a majority on just 37% of the vote.
      Never a mandate for either independence or a referendum despite what some say.
      It’s not about just holding an Indyref it’s about winning it.
      Preperation at SNP leadership level has to be NOW.
      The National Assembly has to produce a coherent way forward.
      Otherwise activist disillusionment will get worse.

    17. Ottomanboi says:

      Voting SNP ought to signal a sanction for an SNP administration to begin the independence process, no need for referendums or vote casting trickery or applying for legal approval from pathetic imperialists “clowns” in Westminster
      Scottish nationalism should be proud, unashamed and full blooded.
      The SNP must have a leadership that reflects that in thought, word and especially deed.
      Gradualism: tried, failed.

    18. robert Hughes says:

      Yes Willie – not only reducing the number of Scottish seats but annually expanding the already morbidly obese HoL . At the rate they’re going there will be more unelected job-for-life freeloaders than elected MPs . Democracy YO !!

    19. newburghgowfer says:

      Me too Bob, problem will be if ISP have a candidate in my area. Thing is though the Constituency vote will be left blank as I have diddly squat of a candidate to vote for as The Scottish Murrell Party are not getting my vote. That ship sailed with the Alex Salmond witch hunt and I won’t be back until the Party admits its guilt and gets rid of the dross. For me the likes of Kenny, Angus & Joanne would be better joining and heading up the ISP. Now that would be a game changer for May ?

    20. He’s not alone though in having blind faith in Johnson’s determination to keep saying NO.
      That’s strange to me. Easy for Johnson to say it before May, not after a big SNP/Greens win.

      I’d say it’d be even easier for him. What’s to stop him? What are we going to do about it when the leader has painted us into a corner and given him a veto?

    21. Willie says:

      With articles like this Mr MacAskill you better watch your step or wee Nicola will get the Polis to gie you the jail!

      And that is no joke.

    22. ScottieDog says:

      The whole point IMO is to get an INDY supermajority, not an SNP supermajority. That won’t get us anywhere,

    23. Stuart MacKay says:

      Kenny,

      An interesting way to try and break the logjam. However:

      Hopefully, the National Assembly can have the membership listened to, not lectured at.

      would appear to be the fatal flaw in this plan. Changing the dynamic so the leadership becomes accountable to the membership would need a complete u-turn in organisation and attitude. There was some progress towards this in the NEC elections but look how that was welcomed by the inner sanctum of the SNP.

    24. kapelmeister says:

      Scotland, not Boris Johnson, not Nicola Sturgeon, must decide Scotland’s future.

    25. Rick H Johnston says:

      A S30 is not required, nor is it consent from anyone. It’s purely a facilitator after the people have decided Scotland should become independent.
      In such circumstances both sides will need to negotiate a severance/dissolve the Union deal.
      There will be winners and losers during these talks.
      Johnson IMO will be unlikely to be prominent as it will be in the interests of Scotland and England/UK to move to a settlement that meets EU requirements.
      Meanwhile, May cannot be about devolution.
      It’s about the road map to Independence.

    26. Polly says:

      ‘ There was some progress towards this in the NEC elections but look how that was welcomed by the inner sanctum of the SNP.’

      Of course implicit in the above argument is indeed the threat of a repeat so I see few flaws. Stick and carrot usually wins the day.

    27. Livionian says:

      I was about to wonder whether this would be groundhog Day as in Kenny making some good points about how badly the SNP need to change course without coming up with any solutions, be t I’m pleasantly surprised by the ending. Obviously he can only say as much as he dares, but I’m glad to see him supporting the election as a proxy indy vote and him moving away from the both votes SNP tripe.

      Decent list party needed with urgency. I fear we may have blown it by leaving it too late, but only having the option of the SNP or loony far left parties on the list isn’t a good enough choice for the indy movement.

    28. Mac says:

      Every time I see a picture of Blackford’s face the word ‘bloviate’ pops into my head. Every. Damn. Time.

      Oh and ‘windbag’.

    29. kapelmeister says:

      Discussing indy strategies is futile while Sturgeon is still in charge. Her removal as SNP leader is an indispensable necessity.

    30. Mia says:

      “Johnson wasn’t listening and he certainly wasn’t for turning”

      And as you mentioned many times already, Stu, he did not have to. Why should he? What did he have to lose? He is an England MP acting on the interests and an overwhelming democratic mandate given to him by England with an unbeatable majority. He is just delivering what he was elected to deliver. He does no owe any loyalty to Scotland, and that is why this SNP insistence that Johnson or any England MP for that matter “must” respect Scotland’s democratic wishes or that it is “untenable” that they don’t, is so utterly ridiculous, cowardly and shallow.

      The ones with the mandate from Scotland to stop brexit and that should have been protecting Scotland’s interests instead of capitulating to England’s needs and wants to the expense of ours, are the SNP. Therefore the ones who have spectacularly failed to deliver our mandate are the SNP. Nobody else.

      Granted, to stop brexit they would have had to put a serious fight, but that is what the SNP MPs and MSPs were elected to at the end of the day. They were not sent to Westminster or Holyrood for an easy ride. If we wanted mice that nodded to everything England MPs say and hand over our powers and assets without thinking twice as they have done, we would have elected a majority of the best nodding donkeys of the lot: labour, libdems or tories. We didn’t.

      Sturgeon’s SNP didn’t even try and that is what makes me so mad. They could have tried using a legal route through the ECJ to stop it for unconstitutionally invoking A50 without Scotland’s consent. Instead they used time and resources pursuing a key to open the padlock of brexit that they then proceeded to hand to England so it could decide if it wanted to use it or not. England flushed the key down the toilet because it did not want to use it. So that was a complete waste of time.

      Alternatively or in addition, they could have withdrawn the MPs from Westminster making a bold public declaration explaining they would remove the legitimacy of Westminster to act as the UK parliament until either brexit stops or England dissolves the treaty of union and Scotland and England go separate ways from then on.

      As a matter of fact, if the SNP really wanted to deliver indyref, they could have done that same thing. At any point in the last 4.5 years, Sturgeon or Blackford could have made an official statement declaring publicly that in line with the democratic mandate given to them by the people of Scotland in 2016 and in line with international law and the articles of the UN decolonisation charter that indicate that the transfer of powers to exercise self determination must be done without delay or excuse, until the time Scotland returns a no vote in an independence referendum, they will remove the MPs and with them the legitimacy of Westminster to continue acting on behalf of Scotland.

      Let May/Johnson or whatever England MP muppet the British state parachuted to the position of PM choose how long can the UK continue operating credibly without a legitimate UK parliament. I guarantee that if they have done this at the height of the negotiations with the EU, indyref date would be set up very quickly.

      But you need to want that referendum and you need a backbone for that kind of move. For 4.5 years Sturgeon has demonstrated she does not want that indyref. In addition, the last pro-indy backbone the SNP ever saw walked away when Mr Salmond stood down. What is left behind is a collection of unionists and amoebas that do not seem to remember any more how to stand upright.

      We are where we are and there is no indyref on sight because Sturgeon’s SNP has never wanted it, not because Johnson is denying it to us.

      By letting brexit go through without a fight, by not demanding forcefully and with conviction indyref to be delivered immediately, by remaining in Westminster like nodding sheep giving legitimacy to every abuse inflicted on Scotland by that parliament and government on behalf of England, the SNP have set up a precedent to normalise that abuse, a precedent whereby not even a nationalist party believes our claim of right, our democratic vote or popular sovereignty counts for nothing.
      That is unacceptable. Capitulating on our rights is unacceptable. Normalising Scotland’s abuse by England is unacceptable. Giving a legitimate platform to England to continuously abuse Scotland is unacceptable. They had no right to do that. That is not what they were sent to both parliaments for.

      “Boris Johnson had made it clear before his election that there would be no consent to holding one”

      He only has the power to refuse “consent” because Nicola Sturgeon has handed to him that power and she continues to do so to this day. All because she is so shallow and so coward that she does not have the balls to deny us that indyref directly herself.

      It is like me claiming I am going to win the lottery tomorrow without even buying a ticket. The only chance I have to win is if somebody hands a winning ticket to me. Well, this is what Nicola Sturgeon has been doing for 5 years, handing a winning lottery ticket to the British state in the form of a S30 and then lying to us by claiming a referendum with an S30 is the only “legal” route to independence.

      The referendum is just the SNP gradualist route, not the only route, not even the fastest or indeed the safest and most reliable one. A referendum that opens the door to direct interference from the British state as we saw in 2014 is no “gold standard”.

      As you have been trying to tell us for over a year, we have been directing our fight to the wrong enemy. It is not Johnson’s arrogance and self-appointed “right” to veto what we should be fighting. This is going to take us nowhere for as long as Sturgeon continues to stab us in the back and hand over to him that lottery ticket.

      We should be directing our anger and demands towards Sturgeon for having failed us and handed to Johnson and May before him a right to veto they never owned before and that she did not have any right to hand over on our behalf.

      Unless the SNP declares the next Holyrood Election is a de facto referendum on Scottish independence, they deserve to be hammered politically to smithereens by the electorate and deserve to go the same way as labour did in Scotland- down the sewers of this union as discarded waste.

      They have been taking the electorate for granted since Sturgeon took control of the party and it is about time the electorate flexed their muscles and told her to do one. MSPs and MPs should also read the message loud and clear: continue to follow the lead of this loser (at best, betrayer at worse) and be prepared to lose your seats and becoming politically irrelevant.

    31. Stuart MacKay says:

      Polly

      If I remember correctly the National Assembly decisions are advisory only. I guess the stick part of the process is the gap that will become visible between the party and the leadership if the Assembly takes a more radical approach to gaining independence. However that can only erode the will of the leadership to continue down the path we are currently on. I doubt if it could lead to a course correction. Undoing the “cult of leader” problem so that all the membership were onboard with what the Assembly wanted is also going to take time, even with the acceptance by Nicola Sturgeon that a change is needed.

    32. J Galt says:

      Why not keep it very simple.

      “This is a single issue election about Independence – if there is a majority for the Independence parties then the SG and other Independence parties will begin negotiations for Independence with a limit of six months, when if the UK is still stalling or refusing to negotiate, UDI will be declared and the UN appealed to for protection.”

    33. ScottieDog says:

      Why are we navigating around the Murrells?
      A constituency vote for snp should be a vote for independence. Period.

      The current leadership are indicating nothing will happen in the next few years regarding a referendum. This is a last chance saloon and I think we should be prepared to launch a challenger party to stand for WM if the SNP can’t produce the goods.

    34. Republicofscotland says:

      Thank you for that article Mr MacAskill, however I don’t even know why Sturgeon is going down the S30 route, we’re in a voluntary union, in which Westminster has tampered with the Treaty of Union over the centuries to make it appear that we are not.

      We have our Claim of Right which Westminster recognises and its our people that are sovereign not a monarch. Needing an English PM’s permission to hold an indyref is just an illusion foisted on the sovereign people of Scotland by Westminster and their British Nationalist media, it has been for centuries.

      Like England leaving the EU without its permission Scotland can and will leave this union without Johnson’s permission. Its international recognition that really matters to Scotland those countries are not totally aware of Scotland’s position (that its in a voluntary union) international countries only see what Westminster projects abroad and that projection will be one of where Scotland is seen as a provincial adjunct to England when its actually an independent country in a voluntary union.

      Once its clearly shown that we’re in a voluntary union, and that we want to leave I see no reason why the international community would not recognise this move, our friends in the EU would be open to it as well.

    35. Polly says:

      @ Stuart MacKay

      Yes, cult of leader, which isn’t in itself/of itself a bad thing for an independence movement – many have had them, would take time to undo. I doubt we need to fully undo it is what I’d say. The Indy movement flexed its muscles on the NEC, they can do it again as Kenny proposes. The leadership won’t like it perhaps, but do we care? The National Assembly decisions may be advisory but they carry heft and gravitas, even if not yet political clout. But like the coffee in a percolator it does filter through, and the period before an election is a fine time to use all sticks and carrots wisely. Seems to me Kenny here is wily at argument and wise.

    36. NellG says:

      If we can’t remove Nicola before the next election and somehow rescue the SNP from their own corruption my own feeling is that ISP on the list won’t be enough so it might be better for Kenny, Joanna et al. to mutiny and form a new Indy party on the constituency vote. At best they take control of government, at worst they form a real opposition which Nicola needs or she will go out of control with power mad freakery. The warning signs of a potential authoritarian dictatorship are there for us all to see. I actually think it would be positive to have 2 supposed Independence Mainstream parties in Holyrood as it will change the culture to be the accepted norm. The current SNP will never pursue Independence.

    37. Effijy says:

      I will be forced to vote SNP as not to will be translated as Independence
      demands are falling away, but many of their priorities and actions in
      recent times are deplorable.

      ISP gets my second vote for sure.
      To give it to SNP is a waste and it would encourage them that they are meeting our needs.
      They are not doing so.

    38. Mia says:

      “I think we should be prepared to launch a challenger party to stand for WM if the SNP can’t produce the goods”

      Why waiting 4 years? I think we should be preparing to launch a challenger pro-indy party/independent candidates to stand in the constituency seats in the Holyrood election standing on a one single issue: a vote for them is a vote for independence.

      In light of their total apathy for independence and their no guarantee to make the next Holyrood election a de facto plebiscite, frankly, what do we have to lose if there is no longer an SNP majority in Holyrood?

    39. kapelmeister says:

      Ian Lackforce staked his political reputation on his oft repeated declaration that “Scotland will not be dragged out the EU against its will”.

      If he had any sense of honour he would have resigned as SNP London leader.

    40. Mac says:

      No disrespect to Kenny MacAskill but I dont want the current SNP anywhere near indyref2.

      The prospect of Nicola leading us into a winner takes all battle fills me with a sense of full-on dread. It would be like watching your children being handed over to Jimmy Saville to look after.

      Fully back the ‘plebiscite’ election route and have done since witnessing 2014. I thank this site for actually knowing now what to call it.

      It pulls the rug out from under all this ‘once in generation’ shite. And it really is shite, the idea that a nation is barred from deciding it wants to be independent until 2055 because some fat English cunt says so… fuck off.

      But also I don’t trust referendums anymore. Too easy and too tempting to simply knobble.

      So instead we turn every election at all levels into a rolling never ending vote on independence. That is actually the SNP’s raison d’etre after all, (and not stitching up former FM’s and loyal servants of the independence movement like some tin pot McMussolini arsehole five minutes into the job he handed you).

    41. Astonished says:

      OK I agree with you Kenny.

      What are you doing about it ?

      Lead us to independence – And you know who is standing in the way.

      P.S. Regarding margaret ferrier (a former sturgeon loyalist – I hear) police scotland should be investigated for corruption immediately. Humza Useless will do and say nothing.

    42. Andy Ellis says:

      @Scottie

      Yup. This…definitely. If (as many of us now fear) there is going to be no substantive progress for a few years at minimum after Holyrood 2021 elections, the movement as a whole has to figure out how to over ride the purported British nationalist veto on exercising our self determination. That can only be via an electoral mandate can’t it?

      If so, the SNP membership need to bring about a sea change in SNP policies and approach and/or we need a “real” Independence Party which makes it clear that it doesn’t accept we need permission from Westminster. Looks like we might have a few years to fettle this, but I have little confidence that the SNP can be rendered fit for purpose. I hope it can, but given the last 6 years I have my doubts. The new NEC is one swallow, but it doesn’t make a summer yet!

    43. Stuart MacKay says:

      Polly,

      I see it now – very interesting. It would need the National Assembly to at least be very visible and very vocal. Only then would it be possible to start to portray the leadership as disconnected from the membership. That might give the Nicola Fan Club pause for thought in what their objective should be.

      It’s a good recipe for pulling the party back on track and it’s wily as everybody gets to save face. However it’s going to take time to implement and goodwill on all sides to make it work.

      Actually the more I think about it the better it gets. Still don’t know what reception it will get but in any case, we’ll have an answer one way or another by the end of the month and that’s a good thing.

    44. Robert Moore says:

      International recognition & legitimacy are being completely ignored by those who support this approach.
      A Scotland which took this route would not get in the Eurovision Song Contest, never mind the EU or UN.

    45. Jimac says:

      Would this be the time to mention that the ISP launched a petition to make the May Holyrood election a plebiscite? You can sign here: http://chng.it/ZDsJMMC5

    46. kapelmeister says:

      Wishart tweets to say that a plebiscite “would appal the international community”.

      Yeah, that’s right Pete. England is so venerated throughout the world that a vote not sanctioned by Boris Johnson would be roundly condemned by all.

      Really, what a mindset this craven wee man has.

    47. Polly says:

      @ Notkenny

      ‘We had hoped the alternative GERS data might point us in that direction. We’re disappointed and a bit suspicious that they have never appeared.’

      You’re suspicious, aye? I’d have preferred much more planning and fight from them too actually but your ‘How will an independent Scotland avoid poverty and austerity? By what mechanism will poverty and austerity in an independent Scotland not be worse than the Tory version?’

      Well we already know the answer to that since the SNP whatever their faults have shown how they try to combat poverty – the bedroom tax and how they handled it is one example very different to the Tories policy. There is more likelihood of people on higher incomes paying more, and being more willing to pay more, in tax up here than in Tory England. We might be equally poor as England, but that doesn’t mean we need to, or will, distribute what there is the same way. And that is exactly why we need independence – no matter what amount of money we have to play with.

    48. stuart mctavish says:

      @newburghgowfer
      As you imply, best way to improve the SNP’s cunning plan (subject to ISP agreement) might be for independent minded MPs to try and gain entry to Holyrood via ISP, .. that way SNP can continue to campaign for whatever it is it really really wants leaving ISP free to campaign on the more straightforward indy backdated to 1 February 2020 ticket..

    49. Tannadice Boy says:

      Thanks for your post Kenny. Engagement is always better than dissing a particular section of the voting community as some of your colleagues are apt to do. If we can imagine for a minute that Scotland is already an Independent country. Would I vote for the SNP based on their declared policies such as Hate Crime Bill and GRA?. Add in the erosion of trust and confidence in some of our Institutions such as COPFS and the performance of our Public Services?. The answer must an emphatic No. Whether constituency or list vote. Therein lies the problem for me. Back to the current situation, The SNP were synonymous with Independence but for some that is no longer the case. Other former SNP members
      supporters and voters in my circle of influence think the same way. What can we do about that? The SNP need to listen to these concerns and take appropriate action. The Scottish Parliament/SNP is not the private fiefdom of the chosen few. WOS is a popular blog for a reason.

    50. Polly says:

      @ Stuart MacKay

      ‘I see it now’

      I’m sure you saw it before but perhaps were just doubtful of actions. I was doubtful before of some of Kenny’s posts here and I worried about the silence from the benches but it seems action is planned. The Neil/Salmond paper was a good start and I hope things follow through from there. I’m sure things will follow through however long it takes, but perhaps enough is in progress to stave the worst fears we have. I feel hopeful compared to recent months.

    51. Jimmy The Pict says:

      Message to SNP HQ needs to be :

      “Lead us, follow us or get out of our way”

    52. stuart mctavish says:

      @RepublicofScotlaand
      Any idea why he needed to apply for bail after being DISCHARGED in the first place?

    53. Andy Ellis says:

      @Robert Moore

      What approach is it you feel is being presented? An indyref on the 2014 pattern is not the sole route to indy. The fact that gradualists like Pete Wishart assert this as an absolute doesn’t make it any more true. Why do you or any others insist that the international community would refuse to recognise a plebiscitary election called on a specific mandate that “victory = indy”? Particularly if this was done in response to Westminster breaking faith with the #indyref1 precedent.

      Anyone saying this isn’t a valid path to indy is essentially accepting an effective British nationalist veto on our self determination. In what universe would any self respecting Scottish nationalist agree that we needed permission to become independent?

    54. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “As I keep pointing out, when Sturgeon became leader we had just lost indyref1. She could hardly be expected to call indyref2 on the same day we lost indyref1!!!”

      I don’t know why you’d keep pointing that out, as (a) we all know it already and (b) nobody has ever asked her to call a second indyref six years ago, we just want her to have a credible plan to get one at some point in the near future.

    55. Joan Savage says:

      The ISP supports a plebiscite. Although I am a member of the SNP I shall be voting for them on the List. Here is the link to the Change.Org petition for a plebiscite that was initiated by Colette Walker, Leader of the ISP:
      https://www.change.org/p/the-snp-make-may-6th-holyrood-election-a-plebiscite-on-scottish-independence?signed=true

    56. Republicofscotland says:

      Stuart @12.00 noon.

      Good question Stuart, anybody else would be free by now but not Assange, the US are appealing the decision, and I suspect he’s being held because of that, which is wrong in my opinion, but what can you expect from the 51st state (UK).

    57. Achnababan says:

      Thanks Kenny – best and clearest idea to gets us out of the self imposed impasse yet!!

    58. Stoker says:

      Anyone reading this will see exactly that Sturgeon has absolutely no intentions of delivering a referendum any time this year. Pay attention to her words and add to that her liking for lying to and playing us. She needs ousted! And/or we need a rival party pronto. One led by someone who knows what they’re doing, not just for now but for the Indy negotiations and then for once indy has been established. https://archive.is/hjcxN
      __________

      Also, for those of you unaware, ‘Jimac’ further up thread @ 11:36 am is trying to get you to sign a “petition”. Please note, (1): That so-called “petition site” is really a data harvesting company only interested in getting your personal details from you. (2): Government does *not* consider “petitions” from these companies for that very reason.(3): Never trust anyone promoting these sites as being serious for if they were serious they would simply start a government petition which is just as easy but a lot more powerful because at the very least it will be considered if the correct criteria are met and (4): Those companies have many “petitions” with hundreds of thousands of signatures, some with millions, on them and they’ve achieved nothing.

      As i’ve said previously it’s up to you what you sign but i’m not prepared to let you do so before knowing the facts behind what you are being asked to do. There’s also one final point about this con i’d like to mention and that is, these folk promoting those links are making the indy movement look like gullible fools by doing what they are doing. That tells me they are either thick or they work for that company and are pretending to be indy supporting Scots. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

      PS: Any time you ask these so-called indy supporters why have they chosen Change . org or 38 Degrees for their “petitions” instead of a proper official government petition you *never* get an answer and i’ve asked quite a few of them. Food for thought eh?

    59. Hatuey says:

      When it comes to Kenny’s articles on Wings, the medium is definitely a big part of the message. Hats off to him for taking part here and making contributions like this.

      Am I the only one that struggles to take conversations about the way forward seriously as long as we are stuck with Sturgeon, though?

      I simply can’t envisage progress towards independence as long as Sturgeon remains, and I can’t take conversations or plans seriously that are premised on her remaining.

      I feel quite left out here.

    60. Stuart MacKay says:

      Stoker,

      You do realise that WOS runs Google Analytics which sets tracking cookies which follow you across the internet. That way Google can then build a profile of your browsing habits and match it up with data they buy from elsewhere and sell access to you to other companies. Ditto for the page links to twitter.

      It would be much safer for you to never come here again.

    61. kapelmeister says:

      Hatuey @12:22

      I agree totally. Any plan to bring about indyref2 that envisages Sturgeon staying in post has to be hopelessly flawed.

    62. Alf Baird says:

      The SNP want an electoral mandate for independence? The SNP have already had 3 electoral mandates for independence:

      According to former Tory Party Chairman Norman Tebbitt: “John (Major) has made it clear that a majority of SNP MP’s after an election would serve as a mandate to begin negotiations for separation. There are no plans to hold a referendum.” (Robertson 1997).

    63. Ottomanboi says:

      Gallus and smeddum, two Scots words any aspiring independentist leader ought to know well.

      “Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.”
      “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”
      Mark Twain

    64. Laing french says:

      If and when this magical independence thingy actually happens we then have another problem namely a HARD BORDER. We going to build it or get the English to build it? ( I’m quoting Trump there lol). That will have to assured before membership! Or we can join the NORDIC set up and stop all this nonsense about ‘ ye wanna join my gang my gang my gang, ye wanna join my gang oh yeah!
      I still can’t quite fathom that we want to leave a 4 member gang where no one really likes anyone nor supports each other and join a 27 member gang where let’s be honest nobody wants France or Germany to grab all the power. Maybe that’s why they are so keen to let Scotland back in to the EU , because were awry great at banging our gums!
      Again I quote Ricky Gervaise symptoms the 77 annual awards , which I highly recommend you watch from time to time as a reminder although I have changed that last line from looking at my watch 3 hours of this to jeezypeeps 7 years of this push to go!

    65. Laing french says:

      Laing french says:
      6 January, 2021 at 12:46 pm
      If and when this magical independence thingy actually happens we then have another problem namely a HARD BORDER. We going to build it or get the English to build it? ( I’m quoting Trump there lol). That will have to assured before membership! Or we can join the NORDIC set up and stop all this nonsense about ‘ ye wanna join my gang my gang my gang, ye wanna join my gang oh yeah!
      I still can’t quite fathom that we want to leave a 4 member gang where no one really likes anyone nor supports each other and join a 27 member gang where let’s be honest nobody wants France or Germany to grab all the power. Maybe that’s why they are so keen to let Scotland back in to the EU , because were awfy great at banging our gums!
      Again I quote Ricky Gervaise at the 77 annual awards , which I highly recommend you watch from time to time as a reminder although I have changed that last line from looking at my watch, 3 hours of this to : ‘ furfuksake another 7 years of this pish to go! ‘

    66. Laing french says:

      Please delete my first post AI went mental and this too

    67. kapelmeister says:

      Alf Baird @12:41

      The Britnat establishment have harped on for years about the fictional promise to not hold indyref2 for a generation. Yet the SNP have unequivocal public statements made by at least 2 Tory Prime Ministers that an SNP majority of Scottish HoC seats is a mandate for independence. The SNP have never sought to utilise those promises.

    68. Kenny says:

      So many ideas being bandied about. If we have the status quo after May then one of two things will happen:

      a) Nothing will change in Scotland as Johnson will be satisfied by Sturgeon’s non-threatening, non-valid request for S30. As long as Sturgeon determines this as being the only way, then Johnson will be content to leave us be.
      b) Johnson will implement his plans to dismantle HR – and that’s when things will actually change. At that point Sturgeon will be forced, finally, to act, under threat of Scotland’s total subjugation.

      Now, if I were Johnson, I’d just wait to see how things transpire over the next few months. Johnson knows fine Sturgeon’s under pressure, and ultimately – and unequivocally – going to have to quit, therefore I’d be keen to see who her successor is. If it’s Angus Robertson then Johnson will relax. If, however, a hawk like, for example, Joanna Cherry were in charge then that’s another matter entirely.

      A question I have: so what if Sturgeon does announce May’s election as a plebiscite, what next? Does that mean she then has to announce a referendum? and isn’t it the case that she can simply ‘promise’ us a future referendum until the end of time?
      Furthermore, if she announces plebiscite then has to resign, disgracefully and ignominiously, will her replacement honour that plebiscite referendum within a plausible time scale?

      Whatever; Scotland in shambolic disarray under the Murrells – with a bleak next few months looming for them – I bet Johnson’s rubbing his hands together?

      Get me the basin – I need to be sick.

    69. Margie Davidson says:

      I am in the Press and Journal readership area- never buy it. After Stu’s post about Pennington I went on P and J site and did a search for Pennington. There were over a 100 hits.
      Not sure how much I agree with Kenny but provided food for thought. I resigned from SNP have supported ISP and will be voting for them as my area is served by a Conservative – I live in a fishing area.

    70. Josef Ó Luain says:

      Talk about the bourgeois Party making its own accommodation with the Imperialist power, isn’t that, more-or-less, what the S.N.P. has been doing since 2014? History, I fear, will have serious questions to ask of players such as yourself.

      That is: men and women of great ability who might have lead their country out of the misery and shame of serf-like, begging-bowl dependency. You’ve proved your courage to all by your actions in the past; is it not now time to re-engage with that courage and do what has been suggested by many who long for a nation revivified: form a new party for Scottish independence?

      The S.N.P. as currently constituted, has become too enmeshed in the nod-and-wink, cosy conservative culture of the Scottish Establishment to allow meaningful reform from within.

    71. Scots Wumman says:

      IMMEDIATELY poll every SNP member through the existing secure party email. Simple question. Do you want the May elections to be a plebiscite on Scottish Independence? If YES, then leadership MUST get behind this, if NO, then we must accept Plan A (for the time being). It will be a litmus test for the election. If the members are not enthusiastically behind plebiscite, then it will fail anyway. Drowned in a sea of mixed messages, confused electorate and hostile leadership.

    72. Bob Mack says:

      @Kenny McAskill,

      Can you even indicate to us Kenny if you and Angus MacNeill are lone voices within the MPs or are there more of you ?

      No names, just approximate numbers

    73. Davie Oga says:

      Great article and posts this morning, enjoyable reading.

    74. stuart mctavish says:

      Republicofscotland@12:06

      Doubt the US Code allows incarceration following discharge and dont recall Pinochet being held pending appeal (from a country contemporaneously in union with UK no less) so inclined to rule out treaty agreement or compliance with contract/shipping or even military law as the excuse.

      Likewise noble intent doctrine precludes a common law basis so am curious as to whether the court is relying on archaic (English) statute, ie in the name of someone like the Sherrif of Nottingham, or if it turns out to have been drafted by someone like the Duke of Cumberland.. in either case a parliamentary response could be worth hearing (assuming it didnt just bray like usual).

    75. Breeks says:


      kapelmeister says:
      6 January, 2021 at 11:39 am
      Wishart tweets to say that a plebiscite “would appal the international community”….

      I truly wonder if the gradualists and Sturgeon acolytes ever stop, and take the time to register that there’s hardly any fruit left on the barrow they’re pushing to market, and what little there is, is stale and distinctly rotten in places.

    76. Bob Mack says:

      Interesting to see the fishermen of Brixham are catching loads if fish. Sadly they have just discovered customs requirements make them unable to deliver them fresh and thus they are surplus to requirement.

      Now they feel cheated. From making a fortune to being in the doldrums in one fell Brexit agreement. Hell mend them.

    77. kapelmeister says:

      Breeks @1:12

      Well put Breeks. Rotten fruit indeed.

      Nicola Sturgeon is a damson in distress.

    78. Tony O'Neill says:

      Stu,How about YOU asking Alex salmond to give us his opinion in public,of the merits or not of using the list vote for another pro independence party???.

    79. Sarah says:

      @ Kenny MacAskill: thank you for publicly voicing the fact that it is the SNP leader and supporters that is the problem.

      However how can pressure be applied? How many MPs and MSPs threatening to resign would it take to shift the FM? This looks to be the only tool available to make a difference as the NEC is too slow a process – reductions in numbers at Holyrood would be a quick solution.

    80. Republicofscotland says:

      Stuart @1.05pm.

      I think the judge dealing with Assange’s case has denied bail because he absconded previously from Sweden to the UK, however Assange couldn’t have said to have absconded he sought political asylum, and charges in Sweden were later dropped.

      Still its a shambles in my opinion Assange has served his time, and should be released immediately.

    81. James Che. says:

      Kenny thanks for the thoughts, but I have a question, why are you still in the Snp?
      The snp won time and again by stating independence for Scotland and has had more than enough mandates to carry that out. In fact they still have a mandate which they are wasting, so I for one do not see any reason to add any more, they have a useless meaning when given to the present Snp mob.
      They have had real genuine reasons to walk out of Westminster, Brexit and the Treaty of the union acts being a good one. They are more concerned with being on television in Westminster than gaining independence for the nation of the Scottish people, or lapping up lavish wage packets for easy money than gaining independence for Scotland and its people
      When they walk out of Westminster, I will back them.

    82. dan macaulay says:

      a very good blog about the list vote;

      BarrheadBoy – Supporting Scottish Independence

      https://www.barrheadboy.com

    83. Effijy says:

      Jackson Carlot the failed second hand car dealer is
      Outraged that the word Oxford was dropped from an
      NHS Tayside website advising of vaccinations taking
      place with the Astrazenica drug.

      Seems we had no right not to use the word Oxford.

      Wonder if he was so indignant about the word Scottish
      being dropped from our Exra Regio Oil supplies or the
      Nation Scotland being dropped by England in their Brexit
      negotiations?

      Oops, the also dropped the word Scotland when England sold
      Out our fish stocks to the EU.

      Surely you get a butchers apron tattoo on your arm with any vaccination.

      He has gone from fuel injection cars that don’t work to Fool Injections that partially work,
      or at least until jab No 2 is missed in 12 weeks time.

    84. Lorna Campbell says:

      The FM has said absolutely zilch to suggest that she will deviate from the S30 path. It is the same mantra” vote for us and we will have another mandate for independence; and Johnson won’t be able to deny us. That is, of course, based on the fact that Westminster has never denied us anything before, right? This is the PM who had to be taken to court to have his mind forcibly changed when he believed it was a tremendous wheeze to break constitutional law by proroguing parliament. We are not going to get a S30 Order ergo it’s back to the drawing board, and, as a first step, a partially-plebiscitary election is within the legal grasp of the FM.

      The overriding reason for any country or empire to colonize another country is for its resources. Our final subsumption by a Greater England is just that: colonization. We are small and we have fought England throughout history, but, now, the numbers against us are overwhelming. We have tried accommodation with England; we have embarked on diplomacy and playing the game with England; now, we have to start playing our aces because the game will be lost if we hesitate much longer, and another opportunity will have been lost. If this FM still doesn’t understand the peril we are in, and that we are in because she and her SNPG have consistently held out for solutions that were never going to be possible, it will become irresistible to conclude that neither she nor they actually want independence, just the power that comes with being elected.

      The faithful still bleat about the FM having a masterplan up her sleeve – one that they, her faithful followers cannot share in until it is completed some time in the next millennium – and they are going to be sold short yet again. If, immediately after May, this year – assuming that Nicola Sturgeon is still in power – nothing to hasten independence is happening, there will be no discernible difference between her intransigence and that of Johnson. Each will be in position because they want the designer drug of power and not because they care a fig for the people and the country that elected them. We simply do not have the time to waste on more useless mandates.

      There never was the slightest chance that Brexit would not consume us all because its purpose is not to make life better for the citizens of the UK, but to enrich life for the very few and in order to do that, the takeover pot the resources of Scotland, her geopolitical and geo strategic position, and, above all, her absolute acquiescence, are all essential. That has been glaringly, painfully obvious since 2014, with that colonial/colonizing mindset that voted NO, and certainly since 2016, when the freest part of the Leave vote also comprised the greatest part of the NO vote. It should not be down to ordinary citizens to have to spell it out to politicians who are earning a hundred times more, who are guaranteed cosy pensions and are almost certainly guaranteed lucrative second life careers when they retire from politics or are given the Order of the Boot. THEY should know what THEY are doing for us, not what THEY are doing for THEMSELVES. It is even arguable that, had we been independent, we would have handled the pandemic better, too, and not been in thrall to Johnson’s incompetence.

    85. DaveL says:

      Republicofscotland @1.48pm

      There never were any charges against Assange only allegations and there is a ton of shit swirling around how those came about.

      Sweden did it’s job and they’re not interested in him anymore.

    86. Saffron Robe says:

      I like your thinking on this Stuart. As I mentioned in a previous comment, I could never vote for the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon. Depending on who is standing, I would either have to void my first vote or give it to anyone who is a non-Unionist and non-SNP/Greens candidate. I would be more than happy to give my second vote to a genuine independence party.

    87. James Che. says:

      There is no point in voting for the same old turkey, Christmas is over, not only is it becoming tasteless. But it’s beginning to poison us here in Scotland.
      We need the people to take over where the politicians fail, we need to show the snp that we are sovereign, and they were supposed to work for us, on the mandate we elected them for, independence.
      We need to oust the snp not vote for them,
      Personally I have no faith in any of them, even Joanna cherry could have used her knowledge of law, in a better fashion these past two or three years, using Westminster’s abuse of the treaty of the union, along with the right to self determination, the claim of right, human rights, Brexit,
      This amalgamation of laws and law breaking, complied together would have seen us well down the road to independence by now, but instead she fought the propagation of the English version parliament.
      No one in the snp has fought on the human rights and self determination of the Scottish people.
      It’s all been about themselves.
      Even now members of the snp want us to vote the same turkeys in for the future.

    88. Peter S says:

      If, as all recent polls and most commentators are predicting, the SNP are set to win a big majority of the first-past-the-post (FPTP) seats at Holyrood, then the SNP will not be entitled to any “top-up” seats from the list. Thus a vote for the SNP on the list will play no part whatsoever in electing any additional seats in Holyrood for the SNP, and for that reason will be a WASTED VOTE! That’s how the voting system for Holyrood elections works. If you want Independence for Scotland, vote for your SNP FPTP candidate, but don’t vote SNP on the list – vote for another Indy-supporting party and make your list vote count.

    89. Sensibledave says:

      Willie 10.12

      The changes are simply being made to address the over representation of some parts compared to the under representation of poor folk in others.

      Surely you don’t have an issue with that?

    90. Republicofscotland says:

      DaveL @2.25pm.

      I agree Dave, that Assange was set up in Sweden, this explains it a wee bit more on the Swedish charges.

      https://www.rt.com/news/456268-julian-assange-all-charges/

    91. stuart mctavish says:

      RepublicofScotland @1,48

      That could be plausible however the question is not about the fundamental character of the prisoner, rather, it is about that of the law being used to detain him.

      For example the charges against the prisoner having been judged, and his having been discharged pursuant to that judgment, the prisoner, being still a prisoner, must be being either:

      (a) imprisoned of his own volition
      (b) imprisoned illegally
      (c) imprisoned in accordance with archaic statute

      (a) & (b) being inherently unsafe, the prudent approach might be to test (c), appeal (b), reject (a) and trust sanity to prevail somewhere along the line..

    92. Breeks says:

      Lorna Campbell says:
      6 January, 2021 at 2:23 pm

      “….The faithful still bleat about the FM having a masterplan up her sleeve – one that they, her faithful followers cannot share in until it is completed some time in the next millennium – and they are going to be sold short yet again….”

      An insightful comment I read on Twitter a while ago made the excellent point that if your great Masterplan is kept a closely guarded secret from the electorate, you cannot then assert that it has given you a mandate, – even if you win a majority of the vote.

      One more gaping hole in the SNP’s ‘strategy’ under Nicola Sturgeon, but just another weakness isolated from scrutiny by Covid social distancing, and the SNP’s Pretorian Guard of Pete Wishart types all “wheeshting” for Indy…

    93. Strathy says:

      ‘….. and funds to sustain it were absent.’

      Apart from the £593,501, of course, which has always been ‘ready to be fully deployed at a moment’s notice.’

      Confirmation from the new treasurer must be due any day now.

    94. Andy Ellis says:

      @Breeks

      Excellent spot! I thought the same when I saw a similar (perhaps the same?) comment. It speaks to the realisation dawning amongst an increasing number of Yessers that the current SNP leadership is in fact a devolutionary force. To the extent that they actually believe in independence at all – and there must be some doubt about how high up their priorities that is – it is increasingly evident that many would be quite content to see #indyref2 punted into the electoral long grass.

      Once in a generation may become a self fulfilling prophecy if such people are not defeated.

      We May already have lost the opportunity to have a referendum or plebiscitary vote in the next few years. If so, it is incumbent on those of us who are horrified at the current devolutionary gradualism to prepare the ground for action at the first available opportunity after Holyrood 2021.

      Deeds, not words.

    95. ahundredthidiot says:

      The cops are investigating Frankie Boyles racist buddy.

      I’d rather not see this type of thing and prefer to see common sense prevail – the daft wee lassie should be bulleted from TV and sent to Coventry for a spell…. and Frankie should have his, quite frankly shite, programme cancelled….not so much for tolerating blatant racism, but just cos its utter shite.

    96. paul says:

      But there’s a real issue there, which’s that it requires the SNP leadership to do a volte face not just on the S30 order requirement but on a wider positioning of having the election be the mandate.

      On the former point, a volte face is the only the only logical course of action, the s30 supplication has been rejected twice (at least?) and ruled out on colour television for another 30 odd years.

      When you hit a brick wall, you don’t keeping bashing your head against it, hoping it will fall.

      You turn back and look for another route.

      On the latter point, taking a wider position has never been a hallmark of this FM, backing into a corner has.

    97. Stuart MacKay says:

      And the difference between a great, secret masterplan and no masterplan is?

      It was fashionable to talk about cognitive dissonance when Trump first got elected and the Democrats were stunned that darling Hilary got rejected. The whole Russia hacking thing took on a whole new life as they tried to reconcile reality (working class Americans voted for Trump as they thought Hilary was a crook) against some fantasy scenario (that let them avoid the reality that Hilary was a crook).

      It’s the same story where with the Wheeshters. They can’t come to terms that their idol, Nicola does not have a plan for getting anywhere close to independence. So, it must be a secret plan and anyone denying the existence of the secret plan must be a tractor.

      There’s going to be a lot of tears and angst when the truth comes out and it’s not going to be pretty. You can expect a lot of anger coming in this direction as they try to put their brains back together.

    98. Colin Alexander says:

      If the SNP can’t deliver an indyref cos of Covid but, they can deliver an election,(How’s that?), then the election can be used as a plebiscite election on independence.

      In other words the election can be used as a single issue vote: a vote for the SNP is a vote for independence.

      The truth is Coronavirus has not stopped the civil service, Scottish Parliament, or Scot Govt. They have continued to act.

      There was never any intention of holding an indyref, as no real preparation was made in the last SIX years, long before Coronavirus came along. It’s all a convenient excuse / lie.

      Sorry Kenny, nice bit of minced carrot. But if there’s no plebiscite election, there’s no votes for the SNP from me.

    99. DaveL says:

      @Republicofscotland @2.51pm

      I took a look at the link you provided and yes RT do refer to ‘charges’. I looked a little further and found that besides Wikipedia stating ‘allegations’ even the BBC refers to ‘allegations’. There are many others that state ‘allegations’. There were no charges, none, plain and simple.

      That’s enough on this from me on this thread, if you have more to say ‘off topics’ the place.

    100. Fireproofjim says:

      It’s simple. The SNP Manifesto needs to have only one policy. To seek independence immediately.
      It does not need to state how it will do so or how long it will take to negotiate.
      All that matters right now is to get an overwhelming majority so that the Scottish Government can demand that Westminster negotiate.
      The coronavirus problem is a distraction as the vaccines will have controlled it before independence actually happens.

    101. MaggieC says:

      RE MARK HIRST ,
      .
      Can i ask anyone on twitter to do this tonight at 8.00 pm as Mark Hirst is in court tomorrow ,
      .
      #Mark Hirst is Innocent , #twitterstorm at 8pm tonight ,
      .
      Let’s make some noise and let the @COPFS know that we know they are corrupt as f*ck.
      .
      https://twitter.com/bridgesforindy/status/1346559752487260161?s=20

    102. Muscleguy says:

      I have been duelling with your colleague Comfy Pete Wishart on Twitter today (he hasn’t blocked me, yet) he sees a plebiscite as an absolute non starter says ‘the Scottish people’ won’t stand for it and the international community won’t recognise it.

      Later in the thread he touts the sustained poll lead for Yes as though that is of more import than actual votes in an election called as a plebiscite.

      Let’s go to the international community waving the polls shall we?

    103. Effijy says:

      Congratulations to Boris and the Westminster government.

      Again breaking Covid death rate and infection records with sheer incompetence.

      They have regained their title of Europe’s leading Covid death rates.

      COVID deaths have topped 1,000 for the first time since April and cases have jumped by 62,322 in the highest daily rise ever for the second day running.

      Infections have surged in recent weeks after a mutant strain ripped through Britain with cases passing 50,000 for nine days in a row.

      Scotland stuck with England’s government robbing you from cradle into the grave.

    104. Ottomanboi says:

      @Muscleguy 16:26
      International community…how naïve can you get. The community that did very little to prevent US aggression in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Serbia, Somalia, Vietnam, Laos…and has seemingly no interest in protecting the interests of oppressed peoples such as the Tibetans and Uyghurs.
      Mr Wishart might benefit from a cold shower of political reality.
      If you want it, you seize it, regardless of so called international approval.
      Perhaps mr Wishart is one of those who prefers things the way they are.

    105. Sunniva says:

      They (UK) will try to cancel the election in that case. Already being raised in Tory press on grounds of Covid.

    106. cirsium says:

      But the huffing and puffing came to naught.

      So true, Mr MacAskill, and that sentence covers so many issues since 2014, like, for example, the Programme of Government commitment 2020 to community empowerment and the renewal of the exclusivity agreement with Flamingo Land over the objections of the local community http://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2020/12/29/scottish-enterprise-flamingo-land-and-community-disempowerment/

    107. cynicalHighlander says:

      @kapelmeister says:
      6 January, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      Breeks @1:12

      Well put Breeks. Rotten fruit indeed.

      Nicola Sturgeon is a damson in distress.

      That made me quince.

    108. Effijy says:

      You have that back to front!

      Scotland will proceed with the election on the grounds of the U.K. government
      needlessly killing us with mismanaging Covid.

      What better reason to ditch the government with the worst Covid record in Europe
      who are taking deaths to a whole new level.

    109. James Che. says:

      Here is a new concept for covid,
      If you go search in British veterinary association, scroll down and you will eventually come to section that mentions vets may be trained to give vaccines to humans.
      Now I am presuming they are not going to be trained as human doctors, or that they are able to know and see everyone’s medical history and records. So having a vet to inject humans is fine, they just change their title. This is desperation on the head of governments,
      And having received my prevention vaccination letter through the post today from the Scottish government , giving me all the information how having a vaccine will prevent covid, it states, and reads as follows.
      After the vaccine, we do not know wether the vaccine stops you spreading the virus to others, so it is important that all continue to follow the latest government advice. After you get the vaccine, it’s still important to follow FACTS.
      Fact, a vet can now give you the injection against covid because they will be giving title to do so, not training as a human doctor, which I believe is quite a long education and exams.
      FACT, even after you have had your vaccine, you still have to wear masks, stay away from friends and family, wash your hands and stand two metres apart and avoid crowds.
      So now you know, your freedom to roam, mix with family an friends is still not allowed even after the preventative measure of possibly being injected by a vet with a vaccine, am so looking forward to the rest of 2021.

    110. Effijy says:

      Just been sent a tweet that originated from
      Gideon Osborne’s London Evening Express.

      Boris has just stated that an independent Scotland
      wouldn’t have a vaccine?

      Here we go- add that to the no pension, TV, NHS,
      Blood Transfusion Service or Transplant list.

      Maybe we should stick with the lying, corrupt, abusive,
      fascist bastards we know as Covid death is all we deserve?

    111. James Che. says:

      Forgot to mention the leaflet facts from the Scottish government says you still have to wear masks stay away from other people etc even after you have had your vaccine.

    112. Bob Mack says:

      @Cynical Highlander,

      I have to appl_aud you for that.

    113. Dan says:

      @ Bob Mack

      I’m sloe on the uptake, whit’s this aw aboot…

    114. Frank Ness says:

      Boris doesn’t realize that the more he threatens Scotland, the more support for indyRef2 increases.

    115. Robert Hughes says:

      Plumming new depths there Dan

    116. Effijy says:

      Dominic Rabb is aggrieved that Chia appear to be breaking
      International law with regard to Hong King rights!

      Is that International laws like the one the Tories were breaking in Brexit?

      Rabb claims China isn’t listening to Hong King’s voice!
      Is that the same as happens with Westminster and Scotland.

      Rabb says millions of Hong Kong citizens can come to the U.K.
      With housing shortages, where will the live?
      With the NHS unable to cope and with shortages of Doctors, where do they get Heath Care?
      With millions of U.K. jobs lost, where would they live?
      With Schools closing early in England due to budget cuts, where will their kids get Educated?
      Where will the get travel Covid tests?
      Where will they get Vaccines?

      You really couldn’t get away with the Tories in a black comedy sketch.

    117. Andy Ellis says:

      @Muscleguy

      It’s interesting isn’t it that the MSM and the rest of the indy movement fail utterly to call #cosyfeetPete out on his faith based position. There is scant evidence or historical precedent to support his assertion (for that’s all it is) that the internationals community, still less Scots electors, would not accept or recognise plebiscitary elections.

      The trouble is of course we don’t HAVE any MSM worth its salt performing that function, and the only ones in the party making the case are farting into a hurricane.

      Naturally if the SNP and broader movement had been marshalling the case over the past few years that Plan B was a legitimate democratic response on the part of outraged Scots to a Westminster veto of #indyref2, we’d be in a very different place now. We could be months away from independence, rather than years – possibly a decade – away due to the SNP’s monomaniacal insistence on Plan A and nothing else.

      The international community aren’t going to save us. We have to have our ducks in a row. It’s up to us to make it crystal clear to the SNP that the correct interim response to another “Now is not the time” response after Holyrood 2021 elections is actions, not words and a definite commitment to plebiscitary elections and a much more “in your face” approach to British nationalist exceptionalism both at Westminster and in Scotland. No more co-operation, constant legal challenges and disruption of every organ of the britnat state we can influence until we have a commitment that only Holyrood and the Scots people are entitled decide when it comes to when, how often and under what conditions we exercise our self determination.

      The international community won’t hand us our independence. Gradualists like Wishart et all won’t win it for us in any reasonable timescale either.

      The international community WILL however note any bad faith on the part of Westminster. That’s the button we should be pressing.

    118. DaveL says:

      You lot best take care, you never know how the greens gauges that type of talk.

    119. twathater says:

      @ Scotswumman you say why NOT use the SNP database to find out members preferences to a plebiscite election , good idea , MY question is why HASN’T it been done before now , is it because Nicla has blocked it , or the NEW NEC are not concerned what the membership want or think

      A previous poster Robert Peffers always regaled us non members with the insistence that the SNP was member driven and the most democratic party in the uk, if true obviously the membership are totally aligned with the capitulation and subjugation Sturgeon forces Scotland to submit to

      WE independenistas have been subjected to the lies and promises of Sturgeon and her cabal of useless sycophants for far too long and if there is ANY justice in life the justice committee will expose her amoral conduct

      I thank K MacAskill for his posts but he and others have also allowed this poison to go on for far too long, Sturgeon and her cabal should have been EXPOSED for the frauds they are sooner, surely there are more than just a couple in the SNP hierarchy who have a moral compass , FFS just get together collectively and EXPOSE the immorality of the failed leader

      Why are we looking for ALL the permutations to subvert her intransigence and stupidity when all it should take is to DEMAND that she does what we WANT and announce a plebiscite election for independence , as further proof of their contempt has ANYONE received a response from K Brown about a plebiscite mandate , I haven’t

    120. Bob Mack says:

      @DaveL,

      You tell them. Go man go.

    121. Stuart MacKay says:

      James Che

      The vaccine reduces your chance of dying from covid but you still catch it and you still spread it.

    122. cynicalHighlander says:

      @DaveL

      I don’t give a fig!

    123. Bob Mack says:

      @Cynical Highlander @Dave L,

      Will the pear of you stop this.

    124. cynicalHighlander says:

      Blows raspberry.

    125. Dan says:

      To date, there have been too many fruity jibes, please prune down those comments.

      Meanwhile, here’s a peach of a scene previewing the women’s gymnastics at next Olympics.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etG-u27CrRw

    126. dan macaulay says:

      and another excellent blog post for a plebisicite election

      MacCaesar! – A Son of Scotland

      Plebiscite Vote in 2021 – Truth or Fiction?

      https://macalbasite.wordpress.com

    127. Bob Mack says:

      @Dan,

      It wasn’t me raisin the topic.

    128. Beaker says:

      Too many people going nuts here with a passion.

    129. Ottomanboi says:

      https://www.thenational.scot/news/18989110.snp-lash-disgraceful-bill-will-see-scotland-lose-westminster-seats/
      Matters only if the SNP is planning to spend more time there, otherwise….

    130. Bob Mack says:

      Chins up. Ms Cherry will save our party____eventually.

    131. DaveL says:

      Kumquat may, peach to his own.

    132. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      Who ever thought a GRIFTER (TRUMP) would create havoc in US.

      Fecking disgrace that man.He stoked this shit.

    133. Tackety Beets says:

      Sorry not read thread yet.

      For me it’s very simple for the SNP

      HR 2021 SNP need only 1 policy on the board

      Hold IndyRef 2
      No other policy is actually required.
      Win the election , then hold Indy Ref 2 which obviously leads to a new Scot Gvt to sort the new position of iScotland.
      Loose the election, then the Winning Party implement their policies with SNP opposition.

      To me that’s all there is to it.

    134. Robert Louis says:

      Great article by Kenny. I sense his personal frustration by the constant procrastination by Nicola Sturgeon.

      However, honestly I am tired of all the endless discussions about all of this. The bottom line is this, the SNP needs to stop d***ing around and make it very clear that the May election is about independence. I no longer believe the empty promises of Sturgeon. If they do not get on with it, they will NOT get my vote, and indeed my anger is such at Nicola Sturgeon’s pathetic capitulation and intransigence over Scotland’s enforced removal from the EU, that I might even campaign against them.

      That all of this has happened under the watch of an SNP government, with more MP’s, MSP’s and councillors than any other political party in Scotland is an utter travesty, and a TOTAL failure of leadership.

      A period out of office might wake the SNP up a bit, so they stop taking their voters for granted and treating them with utter contempt.

      I and many others are just sick and tired of Scotland getting shafted by Boris and his unelected murderous hoodlums, while the political ‘leaders’ we elected to stop it, do nothing.

      No matter what, I will certainly be voting ISP on the list.

    135. Dan says:

      I’m no political mandarin, but our supposedly pro Indy parties had butter nut squash our hopes and aspirations by not seizing the day.
      Gradualism isn’t much good when events around us are moving at a faster pace. With that happening we are effectively going backwards in the scheme of things.

    136. Robert Hughes says:

      Some of you guys ought to consider counselling OR ANGEr management , too much lime light is driving you bananas

    137. robertknight says:

      Thanks Kenny – for taking the time to pen an article for Wings.

      I don’t agree with everything you wrote, and Blackford’s bare-faced bullshite re. being dragged out the EU, plus Sturgeon/Salmond and GRA/Hate has lost the SNP my support TFN.

      So I’m afraid it won’t be SNP 1 & 2, it won’t even be SNP 1, because there is absolutely nothing I can bring myself to endorse about the New SNP. Nothing, nada, zip.

      The way the Scottish Government and the justice system (ha-ha) behaves scares the shit out of me these days and personally, all I repeatedly tell my kids to do is get the f*** out of Scotland ASAP.

      Who’d have thought I’d have ever written the above – not I, not in a million years.

      Thanks SNP.

    138. Bob Mack says:

      @Robert Hughes.

      Bravo!!

    139. Charles Dixon says:

      Kenny

      We are screaming out for a rebellion from within.

    140. Mia says:

      “Is that International laws like the one the Tories were breaking in Brexit?”

      YOu could argue that they have been breaking international law since the moment we got the first “now it is not the time”. In line with the articles of the decolonisation charter of the UN, once a non self-governing peoples decides they want to exercise their right to self determination, the powers for them to do so must be transferred with no delay and not restrictions.

      But strictly speaking, you could also argue that Sturgeon and the gradualists in the SNP have been breaching the same international principle by imposing on us a totally unnecessary S30 and a pre independence referendum that, according to them, is only “legal” under the concession of permission from the oppressor entity, precisely the entity the decolonisation articles of the UN charter say needs to back off. An oppressor entity that never had a right to veto until Sturgeon handed it to them.

      You can also argue that the withdrawal agreement has breached international law because it crushes the fundamental principle of popular sovereignty, yet we saw no movement from Sturgeon.

      Forcing brexit over Scotland, against its interests, against its will and with the purpose of stealing control of Scotland’s resources is in bad faith, which is also against international law. Yet, there was no mention of this from Sturgeon.

      the special deal NI has got from the EU deal breaches the treaty of union. Yet no mention of this has been made by the SNP either.

      The “need” for a referendum is a gradualist choice, not the only choice not even the best choice – 2014 taught us that unless you are prepared to walk the extra mile to close the door to the overwhelming interference of the British state propaganda mouthpieces and stop their abuse of power to throw countless amounts of our own and that of other nations’ money behind a campaign to fight against our right to self-determination, dishonest offers of vows, equality and a faux vision of a future wrapped in land and honey and unless you are prepared to adjust the franchise in a way that the natives’ (which you could argue are the ones self-determining here) choice will not be suffocated by the choice of settlers, there will never be self determination in practice, just the pretence of one.

      In 6 years that Nicola Sturgeon has been at the helm nothing has been progressed to ensure that either another safer and more reliable route to self determination is available nor to ensure that the referendum one is safe. And you could argue this has been deliberate to stall Scotland’s independence until England got its treaty at the expense of our fishing waters and goodness knows what else and after England claimed control of the biggest share of our food markets and our standards with the “internal market” bill.

      All what we have had is constant deception attempting to present the gradualist choice of a few people last decade as the “only” “gold standard” as the only choice. That is profoundly dishonest, to say the least and should be treated as such, the same as the pretence that we need some kind of permission from England to go ahead and exercise Scotland’s legitimate right to unilaterally end a political union where it entered as a sovereign, independent state.

      Mr Mcaskill, like Ms Cherry have their hearts in the right place and their brain in gear that is more than obvious. But from the point of view of a voter, what matters is to know of how many SNP MPs and MSPs we can say the same to be sure our vote will not be wasted as it was in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019? Is it too late for the SNP to restore to its former self?

      The fact that a dishonest rogue continues to lead the party after the indyref money was “woven”, after the disgusting smearing of Mr Salmond by elements of her government is being exposed, after the same government that ensured they would cooperate with the enquiry are now obfuscating it, delaying it and denying it of the required evidence, after her lies and misleading regarding the S30 and her constant psychological blackmailing using the word “legal referendum”, when what she really means is her preferred choice of methodology, tells us that there is neither enough good will nor backbone among the rest of the SNP MPs and MSPs to kick the rogue out and get the party back to itself.

      We have 4 months until an election that is the last chance for our 2016 mandate to be delivered and our expressed democratic will to be honoured. It is simply unforgivable for a democratic party that holding an absolute majority of the seats in Westminster and leading a pro indy parliament to let a democatic mandate expire without even attempting to use it.

      There is no more time for dithering and for wishful thinking. The patience for Sturgeon to ever make a move ran out long ago. We have to go for the let’s move the obstacles aside and let’s make it happen before those obstacles make us waste our last opportunity for democracy and we regret not having make it happen when we had a chance for the rest of our lives.

      For as long as the rogue remains in control of the driving seat, the handbrake and the key to the petrol tank, the SNP is going nowhere.

    141. Derek says:

      @Laing french says:
      6 January, 2021 at 12:46 pm

      “..Or we can join the NORDIC set up and stop all this nonsense..”

      There was an article in the Helsingin Sanomat a few months ago about how Scotland could become “The Sixth Nordic Nation” that a friend in Finland emailed me a link to. It reappeared a while later as the basis of a discussive article in – of all places – The Scotsman!

    142. George Rutherford says:

      The thing with the SNP now is that they have become as toxic as any Unionist Party.

      So until individual SNP MPs start talking in a Future tense of life without Sturgeon, it is hard to take in anything they say.

      You become another MP who is actually frightened to make a radical move.

      That is Why guys like kenny get such a luke warm welcome on Wings.

    143. Derek says:

      @cynicalHighlander says:
      6 January, 2021 at 5:26 pm
      @kapelmeister says:
      6 January, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      Breeks @1:12

      Well put Breeks. Rotten fruit indeed.

      Nicola Sturgeon is a damson in distress.

      That made me quince.

      Is this not supposed to be about currant affairs?

    144. ahundredthidiot says:

      Pence bottles it and the cold civil war in the US now threatens to turn hot.

      Ayrshire Rob too stupid to realise that both sides are to blame, but hey, let the red flag fly eh Rob. The radical left (and the CCP) will be delighted that Harris (sorry…) Biden, will now be crowned.

      It’s all over for the Great Scotsman.

    145. Sharny Dubs says:

      O/T.

      Sorry if this has already raised this but has anyone heard regard NS saying that Trump will not get a visa to come and play golf during lockdown or under the COVID guidelines?

      I always thought visa approval was in someone else’s power to control not at the whim of the FM?

      I heard from a german friend.

      Like the article

    146. Hatuey says:

      Here’s the deal: Sturgeon wants the sort of independence that Canada and Australia achieved. She doesn’t want the angry sort of independence that most of you want, with protests and bad blood (the Irish type).

      Now you can explain her cooperative approach on things like coronavirus and the way she lies down and accepts everything they do without a fight. You can possibly even explain her willingness to throw Salmond under a bus – signalling to Westminster that she has different ideas about this stuff.

      How you achieve independence has a direct bearing on the sort of independence that you end up with. The friendly Canada-Australia type is the path of least resistance and it’s reserved for countries that Britain or England had close and friendly relations with.

      It makes sense and would square a few circles with unionist sentiment in Scotland and the uncomfortable truth of our shared history, wars, colonial experiences, etc. You get the idea.

      I just don’t think Westminster will go for it. Maybe with guarantees they would, but I don’t see how you’d frame those sort of guarantees in a way that gave complete comfort.

      Anyway, that’s the plan. Think Australian and Canadian independence (with all the trimmings of commonwealth etc.) rather than Cuban or Irish independence. And that’s the sort of independence the international community likes too.

      I’d take it if she could get it, i guess most would, but can she?

    147. Frank Ness says:

      Would Kenny resign and take up arms with Alex Salmond in the new ISP Party?

      Along with Ms Cherry?

      We can only dream u suppose.

    148. Frank Ness says:

      When was the last time Sturgeon actually carried out a political speech other than Covid?

    149. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      The Idiot

      Fuck off ya cunt. I warned folk months ago this idiot would incite this.He even gave permission today in daft tweets.

      Both sides my arse.He deployed the National Guard so he could wave a bible in front of a church .He’s been sitting on his fat arse watching this unfold and done nothing. If it was Blm protesters he would have had NG spraying ca gas within minutes. You know it.

      You lad haven’t a fucking clue how the world works.

    150. Dan says:

      Mia says: at 8:03 pm

      For as long as the rogue remains in control of the driving seat…

      Yes, it is rather unfortunate the particular seat in question appears to be adjusted in a position where “the driver” can’t reach the ignition switch, clutch, gearstick, throttle, steering wheel, or even release the fuckin’ handbrake to coast along in a general direction propelled by the will of the Scottish people… 🙁
      If, in this day and age a transwoman is a woman based on the mere thoughts of an unqualified individual making that decision for themselves, rather than the science of biology and those trained and qualified in sex specific fields determining the individual’s physical realty;
      Then presumably there are pretty much no limits on what can be, even to the point that transfirstminsters are firstministers, and as nature abhors a vacuum, I am hereby drawn to Self ID as first minister from this point forward, assuming all powers and responsibilities of the role. All wages will not be taken by myself, and instead be donated to good causes chosen by the Scottish people, and any potential past legal errs or malfeasance in office matters arising are wholly owned by and attributed to the previous FM.

      So:
      After the material change in circumstance of Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will, I note the recent refusal of BoJo to let Scotland have a referendum we have a mandate for, which was to ask the question on whether Scotland should return to our previous status of self-governance, or stick in this clusterfuck of an undemocratic union.
      Because of this imposed external restriction by the Government in Westminster on the Scots exercising our right to self determination as covered by the UN Charter, I move to call the next election in May a democratic plebiscitary event to facilitate Scotland’s future being in Scotland’s hands, rather than that opportunity being at the whim of a Government controlled by a Party Scotland hasn’t returned a majority vote share for in many decades.

      #ProperStrongerForScotland

    151. John Main says:

      @Polly

      “There is more likelihood of people on higher incomes paying more, and being more willing to pay more, in tax up here than in Tory England.”

      Any evidence for that? Perhaps a link to the survey results?

      I would hate to find this is just wishful thinking, as it would mean that it is the people on lower and median incomes who would have to take up the slack. As usual.

      Nothing wrong with that of course, and no reason to wait for independence. The SNP government already has the powers to raise taxes so that Covid poverty and austerity here can be less than in Tory England. I look forwards to seeing this on their manifesto for May.

      Oh but wait. Hardly anybody will vote for that.

    152. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      Situation in the USA not good.

      This could end very badly.

    153. Elmac says:

      As far as I can see, if you want independence for Scotland, then voting SNP under Sturgeon is a waste of a vote. She will continue to do what she has done since 2014 which is to string the electorate along and damage our prospects of ever quitting this disgusting union. Her objective is probably to keep herself and her cabal in power and on the gravy train but, on the other hand, she may have done a deal with the devil to derail Scottish Independence. Either way it should be clear to anyone who opens their eyes that she does not want independence for Scotland.

      Regrettably, until the SNP stable is cleaned out, I will vote for the most prominent alternative party on both the list and the constituency ballots. This may well be ISP but they need to get some big hitters on board and they also need the other alternative parties to come together under the one banner. I will never consider voting SNP again until Sturgeon and her camp followers are gone.

    154. DaveL says:

      BanAnnie Wells! That’s what I say.

    155. ahundredthidiot says:

      Ayrshire Rob

      ….oooohhh, that hurts my feelings.

      Triggered you are you bloody snowflake……triggered….and pretty easy at that.

      Think you know how the world works……hilarious.

    156. Looks like America heading for another civil war,

      guns out in the House chamber in the Capitol Building,

      jeezo.

    157. cynicalHighlander says:

      @Robert Hughes

      Hey man go!

    158. Willie says:

      Yep the guns are out in the chamber in Capitol Hill.

      Shows you exactly what a polarised society is wont to do. But it ain’t no rocket science. Austerity, rampant commercialism, rampant corporatism, disenfranchisement, it always ends up the same way the world over.

      And nearer to home look at the 30 year war in Northern Ireland. Fuel, oxidant and spark.

    159. Andy Ellis says:

      @ John Main

      I doubt many Scots – in particular pro independence ones – are taken in by the prospectus that the SG should use its limited tax raising powers to alleviate the economic impact of macro UK level policies to the extent it makes them unelectable.

      Addressing structural inequalities isn’t going to happen by taxing those Scots on low to median incomes. If we see value in moving away from the “current as is” socio-economic position towards a more egalitarian, fairer society it presupposes not just soaking the rich, but actively redistributing wealth, closing tax loopholes and havens and ensuring corporations pay a fair proportion of their turnover &/or profits toward the greater good.

      I don’t think it’s as simple as “people won’t vote for higher taxes”: Scndinavian style social democracies depended for decades (and still do to some extent) on a much more communitarian consensus with high taxes, high levels of spending on “common goods” and a commitment not to have the huge disparities in wealth seen in places like the US and increasingly UK.

      These things are a choice. They aren’t pre-ordained. If we want them enough we make them happen, the same as independence itself. Nobody else is going to do it for us.

    160. velofello says:

      ian Blackford; He isn’t the Leader of the SNP, he leads the MP group and so I doubt that he has the authority to lead his team out of Westminster. And I do wonder if there is any coordination, or even dialogue between Ian Blackford and the FM, Sturgeon.

      We have a FM who declared she was setting aside politics to deal with the Covid pandemic – of which she has no professional knowledge, and doesn’t appear to concern herself with Westminster politics.

      Me? Well I believe she should be deeply and publically involved in making the case for a plebiscite election in May, and providing clear vocal support to the MPs at Westminster.

      I’m no longer an SNP member, and my views would likely consign me to the Michelle Thomson, McDonald, Salmond, Hanvey, Ferrier bench.

      When can we expect a FM sponsored Rhinna Spiers comeback?

      Me? A cynic?

    161. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Serious Q:

      Just for arguments sake, let’s say that a straight run of polls, conducted over six months or so, show support for indy at 65%.

      Would that be enough for Nicola to declare a date for indyref2 without asking for S30?

      If not, what about 70%?

      85%?

      What will it take?

      Because one thing’s for sure – with every increase in support via polls, Johnson’s heels will dig even deeper.

    162. ahundredthidiot says:

      Willie

      No, sorry, austerity and commercialism have nothing to do with it.

      These folks believe their society is about to be taken over by socialists. And they’d be right. Harris is dangerous and Biden is senile, so she will be POTUS in jig time.

      However, and here’s the kicker, their view of socialism is akin to our view of communism – in fact, may of them see it as exactly the same thing. And lets not forget that 100 million corpses stand testament to that ideology.

      It’s that serious.

    163. Terry says:

      As leader of the SNP surely Nicola agrees that the people of Scotland are sovereign? Therefore why does she then hand our sovereignty over to Boris Johnson? We have given her mandate after mandate to have a referendum. And yet she has squandered our sovereignty by going cap in hand to westminster.

      It’s disgraceful. Alex Salmond – 6 Westminster seats, one mandate and one referendum, which got us from 28 up to 45%. Nicola sturgeon – 48 Westminster seats, six mandates and sitting at 58% in polls. And yet ZERO Referendums delivered. Pathetic. Nothing to separate the current SNP from the Lib Dems on policy just now. Both wish washy, Gra tra devo parties. Sad but true.

    164. Beaker says:

      Whatever the reasons behind the violence in the US, that is absolutely the last thing we need to see in this country.

      From any group.

    165. Tannadice Boy says:

      @Beaker 9 56pm
      Agreed.

    166. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      “When can we expect a FM sponsored Rhinna Spiers comeback?” you ask @velofello says at 9:44 pm

      I suspect Rhiannon Spear will either surface as

      1. SNP Candidate for Member of Parliament for Rutherglen and Hamilton West in the by-election if Margaret Ferrier is forced to resign following recall petition (after the First Ministers ‘AS Specials’ and the corrupt COPFS ensure she gets a sentence which enables this)

      or

      2. She gets a place at the top of the List for Holyrood 2021 in some poor unsuspecting region.

    167. James Che. says:

      Stuart mackay. Please provide further evidence that I could personally pass on covid to anyone else. You stated this above so I would expect you to provide real time evidence and not copied slogans.

    168. James Che. says:

      Stuart mackay. Please provide further evidence that I could personally pass on covid to anyone else. You stated this above so I would expect you to provide real time evidence and not copied slogans.please

    169. Effijy says:

      The Spear of destiny was previously rejected by Rutherglen SNP.

    170. Hatuey says:

      Trump wants guarantees that they won’t throw him in jail. New York lawyers are waiting to press charges against him as soon as Biden takes over.

    171. Willie says:

      JWT@10.06.

      I suspect that the inclusion of Rhiannon Spear at the top of any regional list would be a godsend for ensuring that no one would cast their second vote for the SNP. Best thing that Nicola Sturgeon could therefore do to endure that the second votes go to the ISP.

      Liked the quip about the FM’s “ AS Specials” because there is now an eerie parallel between Police Scotland and Ulster’s “ B Specials”

    172. Beaker says:

      @Effijy says:
      6 January, 2021 at 10:25 pm
      “The Spear of destiny was previously rejected by Rutherglen SNP.”

      Speaking of destiny, no prizes who is going to stand against Ferrier should there be a by-election.

    173. Charles Dixon says:

      Whitehouse take over

      Next Holyrood

      Led by Alex Salmond lol

    174. Willie says:

      Hatuey @10.41

      Trump might be worrying about US lawyers wanting to press charges against him as soon as he leaves, or is thrown out of office.

      Similar concerns could be in the mind of our very own First Minister and some of her crew.

    175. Derek says:

      @ahundredthidiot says:
      6 January, 2021 at 9:52 pm

      “These folks believe their society is about to be taken over by socialists.”

      They’ve had all of the last term being told that anyone to the left of any Republican is a dangerous communist, and the President of the USA – of all Americans of all persuasions – is still turning some against “the other”, who might be their neighbour.

      “Harris is dangerous”

      How so?

      “And lets not forget that 100 million corpses stand testament to that ideology”

      They came courtesy of those at the top of the pile who wanted to maintain their place there regardless. I’d find it hard to blame Marx and Engels for that.

      “It’s that serious”

      It is serious. You have public disorder promoted and encouraged by the President of the USA, which puts public employees at risk of injury, if not more, by the actions of his mob. It’s disgraceful.

    176. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      That’s been in the pipeline for a while Hatuey.

      I say ENFORCE the 25th amendment now. Get him out, he is unfit to be President. Never was fit for anything other than GRIFTING.

    177. ScottieDog says:

      Christ what next, the manky jaiket revolt on May 7th..

    178. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      2 mins and curfew starts. Cracking a few heads will get the ball rolling.
      Off you pop by to Hillbilly land wae ye.

    179. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      The ‘idiot’ is manky jaiket. I’d put a fiver on that!

    180. mike cassidy says:

      The simplest way to grasp what’s happening in Washington

      Ask yourself this

      How many dead and injured would we have already

      if African-Americans

      or Hispanic-Americans

      or Asian Americans

      or Native Americans

      were acting this way

    181. cirsium says:

      @hatuey, 8.39

      the Canada/Australia route was possible because these countries are thousands of miles away from London and London was distracted by the First World War. The distance and the distraction allowed these countries to separate peaceably from the Bank of England and set up their own public banking system.

    182. Papko says:

      Average turnout at Holyrood elections is 50% (and that’s since devolution initiated)

      So half of Scots vote and half of them vote SNP and the list votes of 25% of the country is going to decide its future?

      Why don’t we have a poll on Facebook and just make paid members eligible to vote, is a deal less inscrutable.

    183. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      Very sad. Apparently a women who was shot inside the Capitol building has died.

      No idea if congress women or staff or rioter/protester.?

    184. Willie says:

      Interesting how the FM has felt obliged to step into the furore about the Celtic Squad jetting off to Dubai for a training / team building.

      Obviously the First Minister feels exposed on this and so she should. But she speaks with forked tongue.

      A spokesman for Celtic Plc has issued a crystal clear statement saying that the trip was specifically authorised by the SFA and the Scottish Government.

      So someone is not telling the truth and one has to suspect that the lady doth protest too much. Maybe however she’ll get the Police to arrest them all on their return – Margaret Ferrier style. Now that would be interesting.

      Aside however, if the government did authorise the trip as Celtic say, then I think the FM will just have alienated a whole load of Celtic fans as voters for using the Club as a political football.

    185. Graf Midgehunter says:

      31 Jan 20 Scotland MUST leave the EU. Dragged out.
      31 Dec 20 Scotland dragged out of the EU. Transition ends.

      Law coming up from Boris, Scotland loses some constituancy seats. England gains 10 more.

      It goes on and on and on….

      How many times do Boris and the Britnats have to slap Nicla with a wet herring across the face before the shame of doing nothing starts to sink in..?

    186. McHaggis69 says:

      On taxation, Scotland has to be *very* careful both pre and post indy.

      Pre – simply on the basis the indy prospectus has to ensure enough people understand where a fairer tax system (not just income tax, but ALL taxation) takes them. I currently pay more IT than my colleagues in England and am generally happy to, but not to the extent I get hammered personally to allow the SNP to mitigate Westminster policy *forever*.

      Post – During any early independence phase, there will be a *shit-ton* of investment required – both public and private and lets face it, one way of attracting private investment is to habe an attractive tax regime. Not so attractive that we are no better than the offshore scamming westminster nonsense, but neither so punishing that no-one puts their money into building the indpendent infrastructure the country needs.

      There will be huge opportunity in my view. I think Ireland shows us that.

      Anyway – back to the direct topic – its my view if we do not get a firm date in the diary for indyref 2 within the next 6 to 12 months then I’m not so sure we will *ever* get another chance in my lifetime.

      Does anyone know when any new polls are due out? Surely we must be 60% now?

    187. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Papko (11.08) –

      If the statistic you quote is accurate then it might suggest that democracy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, or perhaps that a vast number of citizens are too preoccupied with staying alive from one week to the next to give much attention to political discourse generally.

      If you have any practical suggestions on what to do about that % of the electorate (whose votes are, we are constantly assured, every bit as valuable as everyone else’s) then I won’t be the only one who would love to hear them.

    188. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Ian Brotherhood at 11:48 pm.
      You typed,
      “…perhaps that a vast number of citizens are too preoccupied with staying alive from one week to the next to give much attention to political discourse generally.”

      That’s true – I know from my own workmates. They are preoccupied with their own concerns.

      The youngest is forever playing games online, the one who is about to retire is concerned about access to his holiday home in Spain and my immediate boss spends more time on the pc reading about, and watching videos about, US conspiracy theories. I keep telling him to look into WOS every day – there are just as many conspiracies going on in Scotland/UK. as there are in the US.

      When I mentioned self ID of gender to them, they hadn’t a clue – because it’s hardly ever mentioned in whatever MSM they peruse.

      Reminds me of the sterling work that RIC did in 2014, getting the vote out. We’re gonna need that sort of commitment to spreading TRUTH, in advance of any indyref2 or plebiscite election.

    189. Hatuey says:

      Cirsium, I am not aware of any rancor, in either case. Canadian independence was finalised in 1982.

      Aside from the physical distance, in terms of relations with England, Scotland arguably has a lot more in common with Canada and Australia than Ireland and so it would make sense for its independence to follow the same sort of path.

      I can at least see why Sturgeon might think so. And it explains a lot of her behaviour. If you think it through from a Scottish unionist perspective, it’s probably the least obnoxious route.

    190. Hugh Jarse says:

      A call from the electorate, if made by ‘serious’ groups and influential individuals, sorry PAB, with the demand that the election should be held with the list vote acting as an advisory referendum, advising Our parliament, on the desire to resile our consent for the Union of Parliaments act.
      There’s only a certain volume and frequency required to
      A simple majority Yes or No.

    191. twathater says:

      Tackety Beets @ 7.35pm

      Tackety Beets says:
      6 January, 2021 at 7:35 pmFor me it’s very simple for the SNP

      HR 2021 SNP need only 1 policy on the board

      Hold IndyRef 2
      No other policy is actually required.
      Win the election , then hold Indy Ref 2 which obviously leads to a new Scot Gvt to sort the new position of iScotland.
      Loose the election, then the Winning Party implement their policies with SNP opposition.

      To me that’s all there is to it.
      ————————————

      That’s good then your sorted because that’s nearly what Sturgeon has been punting alongside her DRAFT bill pish

      The flaw with Sturgeon’s proposals is we have ALL heard these promises before and we have all been taken in and lied to , so you will have to forgive me when I say she can GTF with her lies and cons

      The ONLY reason I could force myself to vote SNP ( and that would need a clothes peg for my nose) is if the manifesto had one policy and that policy would have to be a plebicite election stating independence if the majority of indy PARTIES won the most seats , with a Scottish referendum held later if required to confirm the result , otherwise she can win the election with her sycophant and apologist SNP members who will relish her GRA and HCB

    192. Hugh Jarse says:

      Ooops
      To the point…it’s now or never for most of us here.

      What will get her moving, and pull her off hook maybe too?
      Well if all the repeatedly saying that We will decide, not Westminster, is her secret strategy, plan B 🙂 , and was the gambit, it would be solid

    193. John Main says:

      @Andy Ellis

      Thanks for your response.

      Seems to me you are admitting that the road to democratic power necessitates lying to the electorate in order to first get their votes.

      Ah, but where to stop, eh?

      Seems to me that the opportunity for a “Truth” party remains just as open as it ever was. I know that Labour is a dirty word here, but I do believe that the origins of the Labour party (over a century ago now) lay with a few people who were prepared to be truthful with their potential voters. It has worked in the past and maybe it could again.

      Just for clarity. I am not advocating voting Labour or any of the other establishment parties. Like biscuits and chocolate bars, these are all no more than household brands that have been internally hollowed out so that only the façade remains. The façade is all that is needed to maintain the votes that keep the internal occupants in their sinecures.

    194. Polly says:

      @ John Main

      I think you misread me, or perhaps thought you’d try to go for an easy win. Anyone who knows me would never think me guilty of being a believer in the goodness of humanity, Scots or otherwise. I tend to look for the bad in people and nearly always find it, most often in myself, unfortunately, since I’m too honest to ignore it and I’d really rather believe I was perfick. Nor am I a ‘Scots are the best’ type you seem to imply.

      The reason I based my statement on Scots being more generally willing to pay a bit more in tax than lots of those in England was based on three things I’ve experienced. 1 My income and my husband’s is higher rated taxed and I’m willing to pay a bit more in an independent Scotland to help create a new country that helps everyone have a better life, as is he – I’m not unique and nothing extra specially good about me, therefore there must be others like me/us – in fact I even know some. 2 Scotland hasn’t voted a Tory majority since the 1950s when my granny used to prefer them so I was told, voting for them died out in most of my family, as in Scotland, shortly after. Labour, for all their faults, like SNP, have never been deliberately punitive towards the poor in the way the Tories have, time and time again. We don’t vote for punitive but England does, time and time again. Scottish voters have nearly always tried to vote for policies that were more equitable, including even some Tory voters up here, and we vote for parties that align with that – there’s no reason to believe that would change on independence or that we don’t know we have to pay tax to have those policies implemented. We preferred old Labour, and look at the taxes they levied – England seems to prefer Tories to even new Labour. 3 Because of the many more ephemeral things about Scottish history we’ve grown up with and imbibed – perhaps the oft famed culture (which seems to stick to and be appreciated by many who move here) belief in ‘we’re aw Jock Tamson’s bairns’ (or should be), that we Jenny Geddes have a right to throw a stool at a ministers head if he outrages us or vote for another king if he displeases us, early universal education, the lad o pairts getting on but also not letting anyone get too big for their boots, reminding folk ‘ah mind your faither’, the greater lack of deference for status, the fact we’re a better fit in the Nordic or European social democratic model than the English or transatlantic one – that and quite a lot more lead me to feel that though many English (and other) nationalities might share some or all of those traits, the combined proportion of them together is rather individual to us and that those traits would see us once independent create a much more equitable, more supportive, country for all our people in which, since we all share, we should all contribute – rather than every man for himself and the devil take the poorest.

      So no it’s not wishful thinking made me say so. It’s 1 something practical I’m prepared to do myself and already do with a happy heart. 2 I would definitely vote for a country like that knowing it would mean some more tax (and despite the host here probably agreeing with you about not voting for tax rises, I disagree. I say, like old Labour, make the rich pay more and filthy rich far more). Great wealth disparity is a moral wrong, and some of us still have a more Presbyterian outlook, even though thankfully few of us believe in an elect. To create a new country, a better style of life? Participative democracy means people become aware of the choices that are made and why, and so long as they approve what the money is spent on (bairns not bombs, no HoL preferment, capped salaries for the very top and fair taxes) then they would see what they and their communities get from it. 3 I rather like our Scottish culture and want us to create some more history to continue on those good bits so future generations can feel we did something to make our country better. The whole swelling joyousness pre 2014 of people feeling they could create a new country together means the majority of yessers (even if not the no voters) were invested, and will be again, in creating that country and when people are personally invested in a thing they are willing to contribute to it.

      Your suggestions of raising taxes at present seem to have been answered by others (thanks Andy and McHaggis69), and I would have answered similarly. What? You expect us to pay twice for the privilege of having a Tory party give contracts to their friends while they starve the poor of cash and deliberately ruin the NHS as they’re half way through now in order to sell it off soon? You want me to find, or work to create, statistical research models to provide definitive proof that you ask for before you’re convinced – just like your predecessor whom I answered first – even though I’m sure neither of you will be convinced, the framing of both your questions guarantees that. No, Mr Main, I apologise for the delay replying but I won’t reply as you want. I will wish you a good day though.

    195. Alf Baird says:

      Polly

      An excellent synopsis of the importance of culture to national independence.

      Cultural imperialism (i.e. colonialism), which is what Scotland’s people have been subjected to for the last 300 years and more, is about the eradication of a culture, in our case Scottish culture, and to replace it with something quite different. The same applies to Wales and still to a part of Ireland.

      As Fanon tells us: “culture is the expression of national consciousness” and that “national culture and its riches are equally also part and parcel of the values which have ordained the struggle for freedom”.

      Culture (an langage as the basis o oor Scots cultur!) provide arguably the most common rationale for all peoples seeking self determination and hence liberation from oppression. Its a pity this reality has gone right by heads of our pampered SNP elite and privileged Anglophone ‘Scottish’ establishment who instead seek to pander to the colonizer, and its culture/values.

    196. John Main says:

      @Polly

      Thanks for your response. I don’t WANT you to reply in any particular way. What I did was ask you if you had any evidence to support your earlier claim that people want to pay more tax.

      Your assertion that you and your husband would like to pay more tax is laudable but not conclusive of a wider trend.

      A cynic might think that your anger at the thought of paying more tax just to make up the shortfall caused by WM policies is convenient. Is that the real problem? After all, the additional revenue that could be raised by Holyrood would stay in Scotland and would be applied as needed after Scottish assessment of Scottish priorities.

    197. Polly says:

      @ Alf Baird

      Thanks Alf, but I make no claim to know much about culture (certainly zilch about post colonialism in general) other than what I was brought up with of course – really enjoyed your disputation on the other thread though and I’ve ordered the Fanon to become better acquainted 🙂 Something mentioned in that dispute was similarity of what happened after the 45 here and post bellum South which didn’t transpire after other defeats is possibly connected and considering so many of Scots descent, planters and rednecks, carried their ways (and love of Sir Walter) with them perhaps not surprising. Maybe it’s in the genes or capable of contagion. I know not much about linguistic theories either but I love literature and read a lot of other stuff besides and it’s been a pleasure to read many of your threads here.

      @ John Main

      A cynic might, and being a cynic I probably shouldn’t tell you what I think about your means of arguing. You think Labour were more honest at the start and acknowledge people voted for them regardless, yet now believe they wouldn’t? You say politicians to get people to vote for tax rises must lie to them, yet when a voter such as myself says I would vote for that you dismiss it? Away. But one point –

      ‘After all, the additional revenue that could be raised by Holyrood would stay in Scotland and would be applied as needed after Scottish assessment of Scottish priorities.’

      How do you know it would? When the Scottish government wanted to give NHS ‘heroes for whom they will clap endlessly’ an extra payment Westminster insisted on taxing it, when SNP complained they were told by Gove was it? to give them more so the tax element of it would be wiped out. So Westminster on more than one occasion has shown they intend to take as much from us as they can – and not for the betterment of lower paid far less of Scots. If you believe after that they wouldn’t then more fool you. But I don’t take you for a fool, in fact I take you for something much worse. Good day to you.

    198. StuartM says:

      @James Che
      You think a veterinarian isn’t qualified to give a human an injection? Are you stupid or what? Vets inject animals all the time, after all it isn’t rocket science. They also successfully perform surgery on animals regularly and are capable of doing it on humans if necessary. Scots-Australian vet Jock McLaren removed his own appendix by candlelight while a guerrilla in Japanese-occupied Mindanao during WW2. Could the staff taking blood samples at your local pathology centre do the same?

      @Hatuey
      The difference between Scotland today and the Australian colonies at the time of Federation in 1901 was that each of the colonies had been self-governing for decades (in NSW’s case since 1856) with far more powers than the Scottish Parliament has to regulate internal affairs. I believe the same was true for Ontario and Quebec at the time of Canadian Confederation. Distance had something to do with that, but also the realisation that to deny nation status would eventually result in the disaffection of the population and their secession from the Empire. Whereas Dominion status kept them within the family and augmented Britain’s power and status.

      I think that Westminster’s modern-day reluctance to relinquish power over Scotland is the fear that if Scotland breaks away Wales won’t be far behind and they’d have to confront their fantasy view of themselves as as a world power and realise Great Britain had really been reduced to Little England. Britannia no longer rules the waves – the Royal Navy is smaller than Japan’s Navy.

      @The Idiot
      If you knew anything about the USA you’d realise that in any other country the Democratic Party would be seen for what it is: a moderate right-of-centre party. The Democrats are only left-wing if you compare them to those stooges of the obscenely wealthy, the Republicans. If you were to compare the Democrats position on any particular issue they would be slightly to the right of Australia’s centre-right Liberal Party. It’s false equivalence to think Democrat = UK Labour and Republican = UK Conservative. If anything the Democrats resemble the 19th Century Liberal Party, combining liberal social policies with free enterprise economic policies. Not socialist, let alone Marxist.



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