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Soapbox: In the hawk’s nest

Posted on July 26, 2020 by

This week saw publication of the long-awaited Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) report on alleged Russian interference in British affairs. Despite media hysteria, the report contained no new revelations, just all-too-familiar catastrophising about Moscow’s ill-defined “disinformation” efforts and warnings of the undue influence rich Russians (most of whom are actually Kremlin opponents) have bought themselves.

The most salient point for supporters of Scottish independence to consider was the allegation that Moscow’s interference efforts extended to the 2014 indyref. As Wings pointed out earlier this week, however, the “evidence” to support this sensational claim amounted to nothing more than a heavily-redacted single paragraph, citing “credible open source commentary” as its sole source.

A look at the paragraph’s accompanying footnote reveals the “credible open source” commentator was Ben Nimmo of the Atlantic Council. For those in the fortunate position of being unfamiliar with his work, Nimmo is known for, among other things, falsely identifying a Syrian-Australian blogger and a British pensioner as Russian bots – so clearly someone whose expertise should be relied upon to determine the extent of Russian infiltration into Scottish politics.

I mention this not simply to reveal the transparently amateurish nature of the ISC’s report but rather to offer a commentary on the SNP’s (predictably) disappointing response to its allegations.

Despite the wafer-thin amounts of evidence to support its charges, Scotland’s ruling party has fully embraced the Westminster narrative that Scotland is under threat from the Russian hordes.

Instead of highlighting the report’s evidence-free nature, Nicola Sturgeon warned “we should not be at any point complacent about the possibility of Russian interference in our democratic processes”. In fairness to the First Minister, she at least did note that the report was not substantive enough to draw definitive conclusions; something that many of her colleagues appear to have missed.

Writing in The National, MP Alyn Smith – sounding more like a Reaganite Republican warning about the Evil Empire than a representative of a nominally progressive party – argued a “hostile foreign power … has infiltrated every aspect of political and economic life in this country” and that “Russia has actively sought to undermine our democracy and our way of life”.

Echoing this sentiment, Westminster leader Ian Blackford said on a recent radio interview that we must focus on the impact Russia has “not just on our democracy” but “right across our public life”.

On their official Twitter page, the SNP went so far as to attack Boris Johnson from the right, implying that the Tories have been insufficiently tough on Russia in the face of their unquestioned threat.

Perhaps most dismaying of all is not simply that the SNP has accepted the Russian-threat narrative without the slightest degree of scepticism, but, in endorsing the report without qualification the SNP has signed on to all of the ISC’s recommendations. MP John Nicholson explicitly supported the committee’s policy suggestions, tweeting that both “the report and it’s (sic) tough recommendations” were “very timely”.

Included as part of these “tough recommendations” are calls for MI5 to have increased power, along with the introduction of a US-style Foreign Agents Registration Act and an Espionage Act which would essentially criminalise all reporting on the subject.

That the SNP has so far raised no objection to this almost seems like a betrayal of the independence movement itself. To my mind, Scottish nationalists should be proud enemies of British security services, not champions of increasing their power. Alas, though, the SNP’s response to the Russia report is very much indicative of a wider problem plaguing the party.

In addition to their other recent shortcomings (to put it as charitably as possible) – such as their disregard of human biology and seeming indifference to independence – SNP supporters should be very concerned about the party’s broader world view. Although not endorsing British militarism (with the very shameful exception of NATO’s disastrous 2011 war in Libya), the contemporary SNP appears to have internalised many Whitehall foreign-policy orthodoxies.

In Syria, for instance, SNP policy is to support regime change in Damascus. For his part, Ian Blackford has gone so far as to accuse the Syrian government of committing genocide (a truly disgraceful use of the term) during their effort to take back control of the then-rebel-controlled town of East Ghouta.

But to the best of my knowledge, neither Blackford nor any other representative of the SNP has ever issued a single condemnation of Britain’s very instrumental role in the Syrian crisis, which includes the arming and training of al-Qaeda-linked groups and illegally occupying swathes of the country’s territory.

Sticking with the Middle East, the SNP fully supported designating the Lebanese group Hezbollah a “terrorist” organisation. Regrettably, Joanna Cherry – otherwise one of the few redeeming figures left in the party – condemned Hezbollah in terms not in any way dissimilar to her hawkish parliamentary colleagues in the opposite benches, stating “Hezbollah is an organisation that has been intimately involved in terrorist attacks and the killing of civilians, which should of course be met with unequivocal condemnation from the international community and this House”.

She went on to condemn not only the group’s (entirely defensive) role in its 2006 war with Israel but also its involvement in Syria, failing to mention Hezbollah’s instrumental contribution to the defeat of ISIS in that country.

In addition, the SNP has signed up to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. Although many of the IHRA’s provisions are uncontroversial, by endorsing all 11 it is now the official view of the SNP that claiming Israel is a “racist endeavor is an anti-Semitic statement – despite the overwhelming evidence that Israel is, in fact, an openly and violently racist state.

We’ve already discussed the SNP’s adversarial stance towards Russia, but also worth considering is the party’s newly hostile stance towards another major power it used to treat very differently: China. In an eerily familiar manner to the Tories, Nicola Sturgeon described the threat Huawei poses to the UK as very big and very real.

Although it may seem trivial, the company the SNP leader has been courting in recent years also offers genuine cause for concern. Recall Sturgeon gleefully posing next to bona fide war criminal Hillary Clinton – to whom she said she has a debt of gratitude – and war crimes-enabler Alastair Campbell.

Sturgeon also took to Twitter to share the alleged wisdom of one recent history’s worst butchers, Henry Kissinger, with her 1.2m followers.

Despite having no qualms sharing platforms or promoting the work of some of the world’s most blood-soaked tyrants, the SNP has a very different attitude towards those that expose the crimes of said tyrants and other alike.

The party has been deafeningly mute on the persecution of Julian Assange. To the extent they have spoken about his case at all, it has been to tepidly support Britain’s punitive measures against him. Speaking at a parliamentary debate at the time of his arrest, chief whip Patrick Grady said “the SNP profoundly believes in the rule of law and we have an obligation to uphold the rule of law in this high-profile case like in any other. No one individual is ever above the law and Mr Assange will have to face charges of contempt of court and it is now for the courts to decide what happens next”.

Only the SNP themselves will know if their recent rightward turn on foreign policy is the result of their sincerely-held convictions, careerism, a strategic move to protect themselves from allegations of being dangerous “radicals”, or a combination of the three. Whatever the case, supporters of independence should be very alarmed by this recent phenomenon.

Independence can only be real independence if we are willing to divorce ourselves from the Anglo-American view of the world. As far as I’m concerned, one of the most exciting prospects independence offers is significantly limiting Britain’s capacity to inflict suffering on this Earth, whether this is by weakening its military clout or reducing its damaging diplomatic influence.

The SNP, by contrast, appears to have taken the view that the role of Scottish nationalists is to readily espouse conventional British foreign-policy wisdom. It truly is a damning indictment of the party and serves as yet another explanation as to why so many – including this once-proud SNP supporter – have become so disillusioned.

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Soapbox is a weekend column designed to provoke debate on (usually) non-party-political issues. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Wings Over Scotland, except when we write them ourselves, obviously.

If you’d like to contribute a Soapbox piece (ideally 800-1500 words), send it to us via our Contact page, INCLUDING THE WORD ‘SOAPBOX’ IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

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    238 to “Soapbox: In the hawk’s nest”

    1. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Wooooft!

    2. George S Gordon says:

      I’m extremely alarmed by this, and agree with the author when he says – “sincerely-held convictions, careerism, a strategic move to protect themselves from allegations of being dangerous “radicals”, or a combination of the three”. Personally, I think it’s a combination of all 3, with the emphasis on not wanting to be accused of “radicalism” – all part of the softly softly approach, which is quietly championed by Angus Robertson. In his case, there’s the added attraction of Edinburgh Central (and to think I used to quite like Angus).

    3. Arthur C says:

      Who are the Tartan Tories again ?

    4. Dan Watt says:

      Basically Scotland is now fucked. Unless some miracle happens and the SNP actually mentions the word independence on its manifesto or even a bloody leaflet, there is no longer any reason to believe they have an interest in delivering indy. We need another route to independence that involves them only in a minor way or something completely different.

    5. Vivian O'Blivion says:

      Quelle surprise. If the SNP are damaged by this present bout of Russophobia they only have themselves to blame.
      Stephen Gethins was a notorious Russophobe in the HoC. Gethins was the first SNP MP to be “allowed” a post on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. That is to say, the Party put him forward to represent the collective. Gethins was a first time MP with a majority of TWO! Gethins waltzed straight into a post at the notoriously Atlanticist, School of International Relations at St Andrews Uni. after loosing his constituency in 2019. It’s no coincidence that the “auld haunted barn” that housed the Integrity Initiative was just down the road. The SoIR is a den of junior spooks.
      From Gethins Wiki – “He worked in the NGO Sector specialising in peace-building, arms control and democracy in the Caucasus and the Balkans regions. He worked with NGO Links in Tbilisi focusing on the conflicts surrounding the breakaway entities in the South Caucasus such as South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh.”
      NGO Links is a specific thing. Based out of The University of Arizona, “interested” in matters on Russia’s Southern borders and almost certainly a front for the CIA / State Department / National Endowment for Democracy.
      How you may ask did such an obvious Security Service plant pass candidate vetting? At this stage, I’m too world weary to be be exasperated.
      Gethins’ own brother has denounced him on Craig Murray’s blog as being saft on independence.

    6. ScottieDog says:

      Illuminating and depressing piece, and I guess not too surprising.
      Thanks Blair
      The depressing thing now about WM is that there isn’t a main political party prepared to stand up against American/Israeli hegemony.

    7. Dave M says:

      The SNP’s transformation into New Labour is complete.

    8. Bryan Weir says:

      “Illuminating and depressing piece, and I guess not too surprising.”

      Well this is WoS, what do you expect. Praise for the Scottish Government? ;o)

    9. Joe says:

      Excellent.

      Finally someone getting realistic about what sits in Hollyrood.

      The bright side – the people all screaming ‘Russia’ are slowly being exposed for what they are. It has started in the US and will come over here. Count on it.

      You wont get a peep of honesty from the mainstream media however.

      Books, documentaries and films will be made about what has been going on that people were kept unaware of.

      Cheers to the author. You’ve made my day.

    10. DB says:

      Dammit Blair, you nailed it! I’ve now changed my mind on Scottish independence because of Syria, Russia and China.

      Oh and there’s no way I’d choose the likeliest path to Scottish self-determination because Nicola Sturgeon read a book by Kissenger about how to butcher peoples. Sorry wait, it was about AI and the human race. Point still stands though, Kissenger wrote it so she’s cancelled.

      Parody article.

    11. Bob Mack says:

      @Bryan Weir.

      I expect Independence, and I expect the Scottish government to fight for that goal.

    12. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      Aye a worrying pull from across the pond on the SNP when they should be attempting to remove Scotland from its (The USs and Westminster’s) Sphere of Influence by gaining our Independence and aligning our future with Europe:

      Don’t forget for example, Humza Yousaf took part in the IVLP programme, an exchange that is run by the US State Department (The mission of IVLP is to offer current and emerging international leaders the opportunity to experience the richness and diversity of American political, economic, social and cultural life through carefully designed exchanges that reflect participants’ professional interests and the public diplomacy objectives of the United States government.)

      And SNP Activists actively campaigning for the US Democratic Party (like Kezia and BLiS did) during Primaries and Presidential Elections.

      That’s before we get to active Atlanticists like SNP Defence Spokesman Stewart Macdonald MP, holder of the Order of Merit of the Ukraine (Third Class).

      https://mobile.twitter.com/mrmalky/status/1285971166868525056

    13. Josef Ó Luain says:

      Yep, there may well be tactical considerations behind what issues forth from the gobs of senior S.N.P. people, but I, for one, have yet to be convinced of that.

    14. Dogbiscuit says:

      The idiot Alyn Smith lecturing about democracy .It is the SNP who undermine our way of life who have dispensed with democracy.
      What a bare faced hypocrite bastard fool of a sort of man

    15. Willie says:

      The security services are not Scottish security services. They are Westminster security services and it is to the establishment that they owe their allegiance.

      That many countries have over the last century or more sought to gain their independence from their colonial masters, the security services have played their part to covertly and violently undermine independence movements. Ireland, India, Kenya, Aden, Cyprus, the list goes on and on.

      And so whilst genuine safety and security for not just all, but our neighbours too is very important, we must never forget the the British Security Service is not on our side. Every dirty trick in the book up to murder is in their book. Willie MacRae being a widely reported example his death was very strange indeed. But then again, it is also widely believed that he had the evidence of a paedophile ring at heart of Westminster that could have brought Thatcher Government down.

      And the Salmond affair, or Craig Murray, or Mark Hirst. Well they haven’t been bumped off but given half a chance someone would have them in the gulag.

      Or what of Northern Ireland and all of the political killings orchestrated by the security services.

      Yes, for an independence movement, some of the SNP walk in very strange company.

    16. Dogbiscuit says:

      My Sunday Service going with a swing.

    17. Dogbiscuit says:

      DB SNP parody Nationalists. You like?

    18. Neil Mackenzie says:

      Politicians, eh! Who would ever suspect that they might stab us in the back after they’ve been elected?

    19. Sharny Dubs says:

      As with the irony of NS accusing BoJo of using the coronavirus for political ends,

      Look yet another squirrel!!

    20. Davie Oga says:

      International recognition of a Scottish state is what will determine whether or not Scotland is independent. Not begging England for a Sec 30.

      USA- Gay pride parade prioritised over the presidential visit. Wind up tweets from the FM.

      China- How dare they not consider our interest in our 6000 míle away former colony.

      Russia – Just plain bad. Monsters. We don’t know how they’re at it, but they’re at it.

      If the FM can start criticising Japan for racism, and the Eastern EU countries for transphobia, then the secret plan of isolation within Greater England will be complete.

    21. tartanfever says:

      If I were to write a Soapbox article, this would have been it, word for word.

      Thanks Blair for articulating and to the Rev for publishing it.

    22. Dogbiscuit says:

      The big bad ‘threat’ from Russia the unspecified bogeyman politics of the extreme Tory Rightwing .
      CBB we need you now like never before. The vague ‘threat’ bullshit politics.
      It was the BBC led media under orders from the press office of 10 Downing Street and their security service chums who undermined Scotland in 2014.

    23. stonefree says:

      I’ve waited for about 5 years to read that or similar
      The description of Smith – “sounding more like a Reaganite Republican”
      oh so accurate and unfortunately the NuSNP

    24. Breeks says:

      Very thought provoking indeed.

      The article genuinely introduced a new, and somewhat unpalatable perspective in my head; whether the SNP’s abandonment of Scottish Constitutional Sovereignty, and Nicola Sturgeon’s tacit capitulation to Scotland’s subjugation by Brexit doesn’t only reflect mere incompetence, but actually betrays a very “British” hostility towards Europe, but obviously, that would be a hostility which the SNP couldn’t openly admit given the emphatic pro European support which Scotland has solidly demonstrated.

      IF “the contemporary SNP appears to have internalised many Whitehall foreign-policy orthodoxies”, then abandonment of Scotland’s popular constitutional sovereignty married to an unfathomable acquiescence to Scotland’s colonial subjugation through Brexit, then suddenly such “UK Compliant” doctrines take on altogether more sinister connotations.

      By “not” contesting Brexit on Constitutional grounds, a “BritNat sympathetic SNP administration” would be killing two big and powerful Scottish birds with one stone.

      Something REALLY stinks about this current SNP administration. There are innumerable important questions emerging which need to be answered.

    25. Dogbiscuit says:

      Politics today is all about bogeymen. Climate change terrorism COVID Russia China antivaccers . Anyone who seeks to step outside such low politics will be ‘other editors and persecuted. Some of us who dare to question the official narrative on covid 19 are already being otherered and singled out for special treatment .Watch the latest from that highly political animal Cressida Dick-if she’s not a back stabbing fast trackers I don’t know who is- telling the public to shame people who refuse to wear a mask. What if an attempt at public humiliation winds up with the protagonists head in a sling will Crassida Dick take responsibility for such policing by posse?

    26. Dogbiscuit says:

      By the way I heard a drunk singing in Russian the other day. I think they’ve got us surrounded.

    27. Newburghgowfer says:

      The Scottish nincompoop Party for delusional devotees in my eyes.
      What the hell has happened to the only Party I ever voted for.
      Why has Scotland suddenly become deficit in good Politicians. Can the majority of the population not see we are heading for a catastrophic conclusion with Brexit, Pandemic and no master plan for Independence?

    28. To think I used to think the SNP represented most of the things I believe in how wrong I was they don’t seem to want freedom for Scotland anymore like a lot of other folk I have lost faith in them we need to find true patriots to represent us that’s if they exist ??? O.T. There is no mystery, how Willie Macrae died he was murdered the evidence is and was there for all to see

    29. Bob Mack says:

      If that article is anywhere near the truth then it begs the question of whether I have lost my way or the SNP has lost its way. It certainly does appear that former staunch Unionists find them more acceptable as the opinion poles suggest given the increased support

      Perhaps the Indy movement needs a new home, time limits and events permitting. It may take too long but options appear to be limited otherwise.I

      Perhaps we Independence supporters need to bite our tongues as the SNP increases that popularity at the expense of our ideals.

      I don’t know!

    30. Dogbiscuit says:

      Blackford so moronic he doesn’t recognise the irony of his words.

    31. Gfaetheblock says:

      Did I miss Hilary Clinton and Alastair Campbell’s convictions for war crimes?

    32. CameronB Brodie says:

      The SNP’s approach to the law is at the root of this malaise. Anglo-American jurisprudence tends to be blind to international law, and does not support open democracy particularly well. Scotland is being lined up as a tartan, totalitarian, mini-me, version of Westminster, IMHO.

    33. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Breeks –

      Even SNP’s staunchest must get a bit uneasy reading this.

      Mind you, they can always console one another with reassurances that this is ‘grown-up politics’ and ‘pragmatic’. How long before the high-heid yins start cropping up at the Wailing Wall with yarmulkes on their heids, swearing fealty to Israel? That’s all-but a rite of passage for modern political big-hitters – if memory serves, the only prominent UK politician who politely declined to do so was Robin Cook.

    34. Dogbiscuit says:

      I fully endorse this excellent article.The Hizballah fought the Israeli army to a standstill . They kicked ass.

    35. Dogbiscuit says:

      Gfaetheblock did you run that line by your editor?

    36. Confused says:

      All laid out like that, it looks bad. Notably the demonised folks are guys who were defending their – nations.

      Assad – defends his country from a foreign mercenary army of savages, which is wrong; “he is butchering his own people”; “poison gas”; “barrel bombs”; white helmets; orla guerin in a flak hat having a double orgasm over the bloody scrapings of a dead child (- we don’t actually know who killed it tho)

      Putin – did not “hand over the keys” to wall st/the city.

      Hezbollah – the only practical anti-zionist outfit with any teeth. Fuck your krav maga and have a rocket instead.

      Kissinger – satire was dead the day he won the nobel peace prize.

      The SNP – internalising the worldview of your enemy. How dat work? Meant to post it but forget – seems the SNP has its own Israel Lobby now.

      Cosying up to Hillary Clinton – a demented witch who cackled about Gaddafi getting knifed up the arse and whose political platform a bizarre – “lesbians and trannies for war in iran”

      From a moral standpoint, it’s bad – but sometimes you need to deal with people in the real world, who are not nice; it’s called realpolitik. So, the SNP have shown the ability to get their hands dirty, to “deal” – but this is the real worrying thing :

      they have never “done realpolitik” to act as potential leverage against their supposed opponents. Which tells you they are simply not serious – anyone in our position has always needed and sought external support, but the SNP do not want to make those alliances.

      The worst allegation I heard about the FM is she is a BORGEN fan; this series is a boring filmic wank fantasy about how wonderful social democracy and PR is – political stodge which only supports the status quo.

    37. CameronB Brodie says:

      The “Law of Persons” is compatible with English common law, which apparently doesn’t extend to Scotland (see Brexit). The SNP might appreciate this if they did not view the world through the lens of British constitutional dogma and convention. Or deny the very basis of human rights, i.e. Natural Law and biology.

      The Roman Contribution to the Common Law
      https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1673&context=flr

    38. robbo says:

      It’s not all bad is it?We could have this man.

      https://twitter.com/MrMichaelSpicer/status/1286698959566778369

      Wonder if the idiot or the dug would like to take the test?

    39. JGedd says:

      Like others, I deserted the Labour party when they revealed themselves to be the abject careerists they still are and see the same trend revealing itself in the SNP. The Atlanticists are everywhere and following the Pentagon playbook to the letter.

      So what’s left in the box then? The hope that the SNP will deliver independence?

      Everyone interprets the story of Pandora’s box as meaning that when the spites escaped to plague humankind at least they were left with hope. It’s missing the point since hope was seen in the story as one of the spites and it’s in there because the Greeks saw hope as ambivalent, often tormenting humankind with imagined prospects that stopped them dealing with reality.

      I know that because it’s the last hope for me, too, but disintegrating.

    40. Dogbiscuit says:

      CBB think you’re right.

    41. Muscleguy says:

      With this, GRA, the utterly draconian & dangerous Hate Crime Bill & no independent foreign policy I have to wonder what the point of independence is these days. Will iScotland be a country worth living in under the SNP?

      In my very first vote, aged 18, I helped elect the 4th Labour govt in NZ (note NZ Labour is not SLAB) which made the country Nuclear Free greatly angering the US (& UK) to the extent that when the French committed an Act of War in Auckland harbour sinking the Rainbow Warrior & killing Fernando Pererra we got no support from our supposed allies. The UK even supported the economic threats France & the EU made if we did not release the two spies we caught, tried and imprisoned. NZ has led a partly non-aligned foreign policy ever since.

      Relations with israel are in cold storage after they were caught using stolen NZ passports in a Mossad hit squad strike. They promised not to do it again, except they did. So there is a marked frodeur in diplomatic circles since Israel has been insufficiently contrite.

      NZ has many friends, in the Middle East from trade links & now Jacinda’s ChCh shooting response, in South America (former PM Helen Clark speaks fluent Spanish) & Africa. Our friends elect us to the Security Council as often as the rules allow, as has just happened to Eire.

      If iScotland is going to be a signed up full member of the Anglo American view of the world then it will not only not win friends and trade opportunities it will invite terrorist attacks since there will be no need to differentiate us from rUK.

      Independence has to be worth wanting not to mention how the hell do we sell it on the doorsteps with all this hanging over us?

    42. liz says:

      The fight to save the SNP has moved to the Edin Central selection for candidate.
      Robertson already off the blocks with the begging bowl out looking for both money and support.

      Joanna Cherry will have the popular vote IMO but the hierarchy will be wading in and it won’t be pretty.
      There will have to be full transparency when it comes to the count because, sorry to say, I no longer trust them to be accurate.

      I’m still dubious as to how Spears managed to get voted in as WC at stage 5

    43. Dogbiscuit says:

      I fear Mossad way have infiltrated my mums sewing circle.

    44. Dogbiscuit says:

      She buys so many bagels these days .

    45. Dogbiscuit says:

      What’s the point of devolved government even?

    46. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Tinto Chiel has, in the past, reminded us of the Steinbeck quote: ‘Scotland is not a lost cause, it is an unwon cause’

      Saw a tweet last night (can’t find it now) where that quote was described as a quote from a letter to Jackie Kennedy. Anyone heard this before? It would be interesting to find out what Jackie K wrote to elicit that response and why they were discussing Scotland.

    47. L. Campbell says:

      I have been worried for some time about the direction the SNP is taking on a number of issues, and the language and the utter lack of deep intelligence in the upper echelons of the party.

      I am no longer a member as I could not stomach the total inertia on independence, the UK-wide approach to the anti Brexit campaign when we should have known that we needed to leave the UK, not try to save it from itself, and the ultra left totalitarianism of the GRA and ‘hate crime’ legislation

      Oddly, I don’t entirely blame Nicola Sturgeon, but she has surrounded herself with people who are evidently not primarily interested in independence and appears to have been influenced by them.

      The Russian contingent in Scotland for the overseeing of the referendum warned that they suspected interference, and they seemed to hint at the postal vote. There was no evidence then and there is none now to: a) suggest they were either right or wrong,ut anomalies still exist; b) that Russia itself was interfering in the process.

      I, too, am deeply concerned at the way that the representatives clamour to accept any old ordure that emanates from Westminster and Whitehall as to Russian ‘interference’. A bat with its sonar removed could work out that it would make a lot more sense for their world view for the Russians to meddle in Brexit.

      Getting rid of Trident has always been SNP policy, for example, and we do not need Russian interference to tell us, for their own ends, how detrimental to our interests and well-being the nuclear weapons programme has been.

      There is something very wrong in the SNP: a complete lack of depth in analysis of situations, and when someone else provides it, it is ignored anyway. It does not augur well for our future independent foreign policy in an independent Scotland.

      They should remember that England has always interfered in Scottish affairs from the inceptions of England and Scotland, and has always tried to bend Scotland to its will – and never for Scotland’s benefit. A naivety, a lack of gumption and an unwillingness to address either is missing from the SNP as a party now.

    48. Dogbiscuit says:

      Robbo you are enjoying ‘lockdown’ aren’t you?

    49. winifred mccartney says:

      Great article – some go on about Alex Salmond and RT but in this we know every word he and his guests say – can’t say the same for the £lm tory donors and all the other Russian donors to the Tories including our very own Ruthie.

      It seems Israel is to be immune from criticism – they can do what they like but if challenged it is anti-semetic – reminds me of GRA nonsense – if you say you are a woman you are anti trans, anti gay and anti everything else. The SNP need to get a grip and listen to their following and not the cliques and pressure groups who only represent a very few people mostly themselves.

      Juilian Assange has been treated in the same way as Alex Salmond and it is outrageous and a grave problem for the SNP that they have condoned both.

    50. Dogbiscuit says:

      Ian Blackford the durak the tarakan the sabaka. For you friends in Russia.

    51. Ahundredthidiot says:

      Excellent read, thanks

      Nail. Head.

    52. Dogbiscuit says:

      If you want to know who is running things who can you not criticise? Come on which of you lot voted for Benny Netenyahoooo?

    53. Dogbiscuit says:

      Ian Blackford job tvomajt.

    54. CameronB Brodie says:

      There appear to be a lot of support for this topic, coming from those who tend to support a right-wing and populist agenda. Now there’s a surprise. 😉

      The Contribution of Roman Law to Modern Legal Systems
      https://europeanconservative.com/2019/05/the-contribution-of-roman-law-to-modern-legal-systems/

    55. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Sorry, I seem to have stumbled onto a unionist site. Is there no end to the selective, mendacious montages you yoons will put together in your attempts to halt the momentum building for Scottish independence. Oh well, carry on. I’m going to go back to the WoS site. Scotland’s most read pro-indy site it claims. I won’t have to listen to this p*sh there I’m certain.

    56. CameronB Brodie says:

      Me Bungo Pony
      Perhaps you might want to accept the SNP appear to be determined to follow crap legal advice?

      European Law and the myths of a separate English legal system

      Executive Summary

      English law should not be considered as distinct from European law because of their supposedly separate histories. The Common Law versus Roman Law dichotomy is a simplistic myth and is quite simply untrue. We should treat English and mainland continental law as part of the same tradition. Their similarities are much more important than their differences

      Law has an influence that extends beyond the legal realm and is culturally important. It is within this broader environment that it should be understood.

      When important legal instruments such as Magna Carta survive over long periods of time, the way in which they are understood can change radically, to the point that those who drafted them could not have envisaged the nature of the future significance they would acquire.

      The importance of European law world-wide would be difficult to overstate. The influence of English law cannot be meaningfully cast in a separate and distinct role as it is part of European law.

      http://www.historyandpolicy.org/policy-papers/papers/european-law-and-the-myths-of-a-separate-english-legal-system

    57. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Searching for more about that Steinbeck quote, came across this remarkable piece, from 1997.

      Would anyone time-hopping from then to now even recognise the current SNP as the same party? (my bold)

      ‘The 63rd annual conference of the Scottish National Party, which ended on Saturday, went some way towards disproving the words of American writer John Steinbeck who wrote in a letter to Mrs John F. Kennedy: “You talked of Scotland as a lost cause and that is not true. Scotland is an unwon cause”. If Labour stick to their commitments, the SNP will begin what they believe is the contest that will lead to the reestablishment of a Scottish Parliament, and inevitably, to the end of Britain in only 18 months time.

      The conference was seen as significant in the light of the momentuous endorsement of Home Rule in the recent referendum campaign. The scene was set, therefore, for an exercise in back-slapping and lionising of the party leadership, for the role they played in achieving that victory.

      However, with an eye to future electoral pacts with the other parties, they decided on a more subdued approach. As so often is the case in the SNP, the activists had a different view.

      The issue of the future of the monarchy in an independent Scotland was put on the agenda. SNP policy has been to retain the present monarchy with a drastically reduced role, on the Scandinavian model ‘until such time as the people of Scotland decide otherwise’. That was the leadership’s attempt to assauge, or thwart, the latent republicanism amongst activists.

      It, however, does not answer the constitutional issues as put by Scotsman columnist Ina Bell, a descendent of James Connolly. “Sovereignty, we are told repeatedly, resides with the Scottish people. That claim has guided the entire home-rule movement, and is the basis for the Nationalist argument. Yet it directly contradicts the Westminster doctrine of a sovereign parliament within a constitutional monarchy. If the people really are sovereign there is simply no place, within the political structure, for royalty.”

      The resolution, which stayed on the agenda despite efforts to ‘persuade’ the movers to withdraw it, argued that in the first term of office after independence the SNP would hold a referendum on the monarchy. An amendment committed the SNP to campaign for an Elected Head of State. The amendment fell by 208-153 votes, the narrowest margin ever, despite the leadership throwing in its top names including Alex Salmond. Delegates then voted substantially in favour of the resolution.

      Predictably, the Press made much of this decision, describing it variously as the first such decision by a mainstream UK Party, or evidence that SNP activists will have to learn the ‘new political virtues of compromise and subtlety’. New Labour said that SNP activists were ‘uncontrollable’, SNP activists were jubilant. Party democracy was enhanced.

      The result revealed, on the one hand, a Party driven more by pragmatism than principle, and on the other, one that has a deep vein of radicalism at its core. It also, incidentally, revealed a gender and generational split, with women and younger delegates voting against the monarchy, and the grey men in the leadership seeing that as a diversion and damaging to the cause of independence.

      After that debate the rest of the Conference was something of a let down. Although, in his main address to the Conference, Alex Salmond made an impressive speech despite his bloody nose from the rank and file over the monarchy. He invoked Parnell in an attack on Tony Blair: ‘No man has a right to say to his country, “Thus far shalt thou go and no further”, highlighting the differing views of the Parties on the Scottish Parliament.

      Delegates left Rothesay, on the Isle of Bute, filled with optimism, returning to their constituencies to prepare for the challenges ahead, having asserted their primacy, if only briefly, in the Party.

      https://www.anphoblacht.com/contents/2636

    58. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Sorry CBB, I appreciate the effort you put into these posts but they seem more philosophical than legal. If anything it just makes the essential shades-of-greyness of international politics/law more real.

    59. Papko says:

      “Dave M says:
      26 July, 2020 at 12:25 pm
      The SNP’s transformation into New Labour is complete.”

      Brilliant! George Orwell’s Animal Farm does it again.

    60. Effijy says:

      I hear dog biscuit and 100thidiots both wear masks for on-line shopping from the NAFI?

    61. Me Bungo Pony says:

      More apologies to CBB. Just read your quote in full. No philosophy involved. Interesting though.

    62. CameronB Brodie says:

      Me Bungo Pony
      I don’t know how much more legal you want than the law, which is applied moral philosophy, at the end of the day? I really don’t want to hurt the SNP but they are in desperate need of a legal re-edumication, IMHO. Brexit can’t be justified through constitutional jurisprudence, only authoritarian English nationalism.

      Full text.

      Roman Law in Scotland

      I. Introduction
      Scots law in the course of its history has had much closer contact with the European civilian tradition than has the English Common law but there have also been significant influences from the Common law. This essay explores the civilian influence but in the course of doing so it must also look at the effect which contact with the Common law has had, especially since 1707.

      As backgound to discussion of Roman influence on Scots law some brief account of the demarcation of the boundaries of what was the kingdom and is now the jurisdiction within which Scots law operates is desirable.1

      The modern border between Scotland and England runs along a line from the river Solway on the west to the river Tweed on the east, excluding Berwick-upon-Tweed at the mouth of the Tweed which became an English possession finally in 1482. Modern Scotland includes, besides the mainland, the Western Isles and the northern islands of Orkney and Shetland.

      However, Scotland became a single kingdom only in the early eleventh century and the somewhat artificial boundary between Scotland and England2 was drawn in the twelfth century, settling the disputed claims of the kings of Scotland to territory in northern England.

      http://iuscivile.com/legacy/reprints/gordon-1.pdf

    63. Ian Brotherhood says:

      FOWings twitter account suspended?
      Anyone else getting similar message?

    64. CameronB Brodie says:

      Me Bungo Pony 😉

    65. Ian Brotherhood says:

      re FOWings, seems okay, must’ve been a glitch my end. Sorry for false alarm.

      😉

    66. schrodingers cat says:

      To my mind, Scottish nationalists should be proud enemies of British security services,

      ———————–

      thats why the ssp rise and solidarity are now distant memories. what should nicola have done ?

      “I welcome our new russian overlords”?

      nicola’s job is to attract everyone to the cause, not just wolfie smith types

    67. cirsium says:

      Fine post, Blair. Pulling all the evidence together like this makes for sobering reading. It is a bit like bringing Dorian Gray’s portrait down from the attic. I saw an extract from an interview with some of ISC’s members where a commentator from Sky television asks them to give an example of “Russian interference”. The members looked at each other then Stewart Hosie replied “That’s the question which we want to have answered.” That was a face palm moment. From Alex Salmond calling out NATO’s aggression in Serbia in 1999 to Stewart Hosie’s “that’s the question” in 2020 – what a difference. It would have been better if the SNP had adopted the Sinn Fein practice of non-participation in Westminster.

      @confused, 1.36
      On-target list and it is significant that it is national defenders who are being attacked. Keeping silent about Julian Assange’s torture and show trial but participating in a propaganda exercise like this Russian report, does not come across as realpolitik to me.

    68. CameronB Brodie says:

      It is perfectly possible to support universal human rights, without going all wolfie smith.

      Full text.

      The Relevance of Roman Law: A Look at its Roles and Ideologies

      Abstract
      The paper examines legal historians’ discourses concerning the interpretation of Roman legal sources. It does so by analysing two examples of scholarly debates: one on the use of Roman law as an atemporal legal doctrine, and one in which Roman law appears as a historical manifestation of natural law.

      The focus is on the different uses of the concept of ‘ideology’ and the possible roles of Roman law in legal education. It is argued that the concept of identity can meaningfully contribute to our understanding of these debates as well as to the study of Roman law in general.

      https://journals.openedition.org/rccs/6597#abstract-6597-en

    69. schrodingers cat says:

      blair graham

      what a heap of unionist alt left pap.

      you missed out calling nicola a shape shifting lizard alien.

    70. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Who is Blair Graham? Tried googling but found nothing relevant.

    71. schrodingers cat says:

      @MBP

      me thinks blair has been hoisted by his own mankini 🙂

    72. schrodingers cat says:

      reposted this article in labourhame

      they love it 🙂

    73. K1 says:

      After independence we can vote them out.

      Before independence we can just destroy them on tenuous ideological grounds, cause they’re shit just like all the rest of them and they’re even more shit cause well…they’re just tories in not very good disguises or new labour in not very good disguises.

      Then we can all vote for a new Independence party who from the go get are just verging on sainthood, cause they don’t read certain books and aren’t ever going to be able to compromise in real politik terms and all of Scotland will then become the paradise of socialism as defined by those of pure ideological purity…etc etc.

      Sigh…is there no end to the undermining of the SNP current Scotgov?

      I’ll ask again who do we vote for instead and more saliently how many decades do we have to get as close as we are currently to achieving our self determination?

      But no, snp are shit and full of shit people who are really just the same as all the other neo liberal parties we currently have. I have a novel idea, why don’t we use this shit party who at least have gotten us closer than at any time in the last 300 odd years to get the independence that we want?

    74. Colin Alexander says:

      Since at least Sturgeon took over the SNP have been Establishment – British Establishment.

      For years I was a voice in the wilderness about this. At least others are now aware of this, which is a cause for hope.

      But, there is still an unwillingness for many to accept that the SNP bus is now being driven by Imperials and has been in reverse since 2014.

      The SNP have played the indy movement for fools but many of them are not fools.

      The game is a bogey for the British SNP.

    75. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Careful now K1. Thats tantamount to treason in these parts. It’s that sort of dangerous thinking that has gotten us closer to independence than ever before. We wouldn’t want that would we? Oh yeah …… 🙂

    76. CameronB Brodie says:

      K1
      I hear you but without any viable prospect of an indy vote, our cause is threatened by the party’s anti-democratic approach to the law.

      Full text.

      REVIEWS
      The Spirit of Legal History

      In 1748, Charles de Montesquieu published a scientific study of comparative law. A short time later, De l’sprit des lois appeared among the banned books of the papal index. Rarely has a treatise on law provoked such a sharp response from ecclesiastical authorities.

      Montesquieu’s purpose was to dissect and lay bare law’s origins, presumptions, and soul. His work reflected the certainty of the Enlightenment that reason should permeate all human institutions and that by skillfully using reason one could penetrate the complexity of a system of thought and reveal its clean, rational, sturdy structure.

      Montesquieu believed that positive, man-made law should be delicately balanced by transcendental norms, which he called natural law, and that the power and authority of human legislative and judicial institutions should also be carefully balanced. Most importantly, he thought that one could discover the “spirit” of the law by studying the “esprit general” of the people, the climate in which they lived, and their customs, religion, and political institutions.

      https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5643&context=uclrev

    77. K1 says:

      Cameron, events dear boy, events. No one knows what the future will bring. But we do know that propaganda works.

      I ask again who are we to vote for in Scotland to bring that Indy prospect closer…at this time in our history?

    78. Colin Alexander says:

      If no so-called pro-indy party stands on a plebiscite election manifesto; Meaning: a vote is a vote to declare independence, I suggest a mass spoiling of ballot papers on the constituency voting paper.

      I don’t mean, not bothering to use your voting paper but actively defacing it with: “INDY NOW”.

      If there are list parties for a plebiscite election, vote for them on the List vote.

    79. Clydebuilt says:

      Bollocks!

      What do you want the SNP to do? Make a stand against western orthodoxy. Become radicals revolutionaries in the eyes of the middle ground the party needs to attract to win a referendum. Look what they did to Corbyn Look at what they did to a country with the worlds largest oil reserves, Venezuela. Yeah that’s going to work, hand our media the weapon of the SNP standing up against America’s foreign policy and you
      can forget about independence as Scotland becomes a pauper. But never mind as we say bye bye to self determination for ever you can comfort yourself with the knowledge we did the right thing.

    80. Dave M says:

      MBP: would you care to provide evidence of HOW we are so close to independence?

      K1: HOW do you propose that we “use” the SNP to bring about independence (since we’re apparently so close)?

    81. CameronB Brodie says:

      K1
      I won’t be giving my vote to anyone else but I’m reluctant to support the party in their current form. We won’t achieve indy if we allow the Scottish judicial system to be transformed into a tool of totalitarianism.

    82. Auld Rock says:

      For Gad’s sake stop examining the interior of your own arses and start thinking about how we mount a campaign as we still have Covid-19 restrictions to contend with.
      We all knew the report would be shite and so it was as expected, what do you want Nicola to do, launch an immediate ICBM strike on Moscow and London – GET REAL. You are yoon Quislings.

    83. Dogbiscuit says:

      The delusional Bungle thinks we’re closer to Independence than ever before.
      Where is the evidence in the light of FMs single minded focus on covid and the economic fallout from idiot government policies?
      The delusional Bungly Jungly flimflammer

    84. schrodingers cat says:

      Dave M says:
      MBP: would you care to provide evidence of HOW we are so close to independence?

      polls are consistently above 50%, last 2 were both 54%

    85. Dogbiscuit says:

      Clydebuilt why does the fool Sturgeon insult the American president?

    86. Dogbiscuit says:

      Sturgeon courts the mainstream undecided at the cost of losing Independists?

    87. CameronB Brodie says:

      I’m only pointing to the legal roots of the party’s apparent inability to defend Scotland from expansionist English nationalism. They appear to have adopted a legal stance that considers itself subordinate to English legal culture, which itself is ambivalent to Roman Law and the Law of Persons.

      The Importance of Roman Law for Western
      Civilization and Western Legal Thought

      https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1585&context=iclr

    88. Thomas Dunlop says:

      Let’s get over the line with independence, then we can sort out the politicians and hold their feet over the coals, nearby , in Edinburgh. I think small countries are more ethical because the politicians are closer to the electorate (Examples, Finland, Norway, Ireland, the Baltics)

      Despite the multitude of commentary, it is all partisan in nature. The REAL issue here, is that whole Westminster body politic is rotten from the core, inhabited by neandrathals and half wits who couldn’t make a decent living anywhere else, all soaked in soft money. It does matter if its from Russia, there is always others that will spread their money and corrupt the politicians. One can think of Rightwing Billionaires, but the Saudi’s Israeli’s and the Chinese are all there influencing or corrupting British politics. Should be hammered home, that it’s not fit for purpose. In this respect I don’t think the SNP are any better (I’m not a member, and it is hard to see me ever joining any political party)

    89. K1 says:

      We are close because of the SNP, if something is working, then why are we, because of ideological/policy that can be altered with enough pressure/people I don’t like et al reasons, willing to destroy the vehicle that has brought us this close, at this time?

      Cat has advocated for years on this site 1st vote SNP, 2nd vote Indy party. He has also advocated specifically region by region how this works and encouraged others to adopt these measures to rid our parly of unionists.

      This is the most viable means of ensuring a vast majority of Scotland’s citizens are on board. More importantly it is a plebicite of sorts which would actually be immensely difficult for the oppositional forces to fight against if it came to pass.

      If that happened and still we are faced with then what would actually be in real terms at that time…oppression against the clear will of the sovereign Scottish electorate, then and only then would be begin to seriously consider alternative measures, including civil disobedience options.

      But…until that will is expressed by a majority of the electorate in Scotland, which up until recently has not been the case, then why are we imploding now, why are we seeing increasing agitation against the SNP Scotsgov now?

      How does that…helps us achieve any kind of majority through the democratic process that we currently have?

      I understand the frustration, I understand the impatience and I understand the disappointment/s, but why the constant blame and increasing clamour for head rolling?

      Who do we vote for in Scotland if the SNP are disempowered at this time, who or what replaces that vehicle? At this time?

    90. Dogbiscuit says:

      I can see no obvious route to Independence under Sturgeon. What is the grand plan?

    91. boris says:

      And the plot thickens

      The New York Times reported just last week that Danchenko had, in 1997, agreed with the FBI to collaborate with the agency on condition that his identity would be kept secret so he could protect himself.

      So, in 2017 the FBI was fully aware that the content of the “Steele dossier” was “unsubstantiated and unreliable” and that the information Danchenko had given to Steele was “second and third-hand information and rumours at best”.

      Yet the FBI still approved, only a week before Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, the publication of the “Steele dossier” alleging that Russian intelligence had compromising information on the US president and that Moscow and POTUS had “extensive” secret backchannels,

      The content of the “dossier” became the central part of the Democratic Party’s efforts to tarnish Trump’s political image accusing him of colluding with Russia. A charge which he has repeatedly rejected as a “witch hunt”.

      In April 2029, Robert Muller’s 22-month investigation, led by a Democratic Party majority committee confirmed the truth of Trump’s many denials of wrongdoing.

      https://caltonjock.com/2020/07/26/the-pot-calling-the-kettle-black-the-hypocrisy-of-the-british-governments-interference-in-the-us-presidential-election/

    92. Allium says:

      Angus R’s tweet announcing his candidacy is gaining quite lively responses, to say the least.

    93. callmedave says:

      Today:

      Scotland…….today……00…….Total…..2491….BBC
      Wales……….today……01…….Total…..1549….BBC
      N. Ireland…..today..don’t report weekends…556…….
      England……..today……09..sun Total….^41156..WMGov
      =========================================================
      UK………….today……14…….Total…..47752..WMGov

    94. dakk says:

      Well enough written article, but just background tittle tattle compared to the position SNP have attained regarding winning over former Unionists to indy.

    95. Ahundredthidiot says:

      Effiji

      That hurts my feelings – you missed out Army! (2 A’s in NAAFI…… dafty)

    96. Dan Watt says:

      Rev get the bloody wings list party launched before it’s too late, we need someone we can trust to hold the SNP to account AND fight for indy. The other shite stirrer parties have no weight behind them since we don’t know who the fuck they are.

    97. K1 says:

      Sturgeon is increasing support from former no and undecideds, or mainstream if preferred, but as the polling is showing increased support above the 50% to a high of 54% for Indy, this may indicate that Yes is holding steady with increases coming from converted No’s.

      If the increases are due to decrease of Yes, a very large significant No converts would be moving to Yes, that would suggest a drop in former Yes, that is being replaced by a surge of No’s?

      My hunch is Yes is steady, with increase from No converts.

      I disagree that the Indy movement are losing significant ground from Its Yes base, it seems clear the No converts are topping up the foundational Yes’s.

    98. CameronB Brodie says:

      The rule of law is not being supported in Brexitania, as right-wing populism has turned British constitutionalism into an English despotism. Scotland’s law makers appear to be beholden to Westminster and British legal dogma and convention. This is not good.

      Common Law & The Human Rights Act 1998

      In November 2000 the European Convention on Human Rights was
      incorporated into British law by means of the Human Rights Act dating from 1998. The intent of this dissertation is to disclose the effects of this incorporation on British common law.

      In order to understand the problems arising from the incorporation, the most important and explanatory particularities of the common law system are explained and exemplified. A main point is that traditions of legal reasoning and interpretation regarding human rights and common law are traditionally different in many, but not all, aspects.

      Methods of interpretation and the significance of precedent are central issues at this point. It is concluded that as a result of the incorporation, common law will have to undergo a change in order to meet international demands. In the dissertation this change is described as a cultural change.

      The main discussion is thus concentrated on the effect of a major and internationally inspired constitutional change in a state, which traditionally solves legal questions differently from international human rights organs and continental civil law countries. This paper is an abbreviated version of a dissertation completed in the Spring of 2001.

      https://law.au.dk/fileadmin/Jura/dokumenter/forskning/rettid/2003/2003.afh-1.pdf

    99. Socrates MacSporran says:

      It actually makes sense for the SNP to become pro-American.

      If, by some miracle, they lead us to Independence while we still have oil to be extracted from Scottish waters, they will need to be nice to America, before they invade us to get their mitts on all the oil we have left.

    100. Ian Foulds says:

      excellent article and many thought provoking comments, all leading to a wake up call for those desirous of real political independence from the corrupt system presently in our midst.

    101. msean says:

      It’s exasperating for me when the focus leaves independence.I remember how the eurosceptic tories kept moaning about Europe,they kept at it till they got their way.It actually works,and they should be bringing it up ALL the time.

      What happens in other places are irrelevant for now,it really is.We in Scotland have zero influence in those events,we can’t even influence what happens in the uk,never mind Scotland itself.

      Get Independence Done 🙂

    102. J Galt says:

      Clydebuilt@3.51pm

      Okay, so why not just have no opinion on these matters?

      Nobody is forcing Blackford to spout shite in the HOC in support of the British establishment.

      Why can’t he just shut up and concentrate on matters relevant to Scotland and Independence?

    103. schrodingers cat says:

      psst wingers

      Wearing an SNP branded facemask gives you 5G, pass it on.

      lol

    104. Effijy says:

      I know how to spell NAFFI as I’ve used their services for several years.

      What I did do is establish that you know what the NAAFI provides and I
      Bet you are still using it for King and Country (Engerland)

    105. Dan says:

      @ K1

      There is a common assumption made by several on here that the SNP and YES are where we are because of the SNP.
      I’d float a counter point that the SNP are where they are because of the YES Movement.
      The SNP’s electoral rise since 2014 is mostly borne from the YES Movement choosing to back them.
      It’s the YES Movement that have been hugely active in campaigning for Indy since 2014, and through their huge efforts have been enlightening the electorate as to how Scotland could be far better served if we governed ourselves.
      Even though “YES” is apolitical, the SNP have directly benefited from “YES” campaigning, most of which is based on straightforward, sensible, and logical positive concepts that could be implemented if governing ourselves, and that are relatively easy to market and win the minds of receptive folk.

      The “quickening” of hostility some perceive towards the SNP is an inevitable consequence of available time and democratic options reducing for us to express our will and determine our future following various recent material changes in circumstances, and the constructive criticism is proffered by many commenters and activists in the hope that it will be taken onboard by the SNP and thus reduce the volume of potential negative and divisive aspects YES activists have to deal with until we achieve our objective.

    106. schrodingers cat says:

      Dan Watt says:
      26 July, 2020 at 4:40 pm
      Rev get the bloody wings list party launched before it’s too late, we need someone we can trust to hold the SNP to account AND fight for indy. The other shite stirrer parties have no weight behind them since we don’t know who the fuck they are.

      ——————

      exactly, who are ISP and ISRP when they are at home. splitters

      now the peoples alliance are led by a former msp, have the support of tommy sheridan and kenny macaskill so far.

      weight is swinging behind the alliance

    107. liz says:

      @ian Brotherhood.It looks as though Alex S is presenting his evidence of a plot in a written submission to the Holyrood enquiry and not in a book, as previously thought.
      http://archive.is/Jrrqt

    108. liz says:

      Although Jim Sillars still appears to believe there will be a book

    109. Famous15 says:

      I notice dogwhistle gives us three les in a row. Tell them,tell them what you told them,tell them again.Takes me back to that “security” methods training at ******* Castle. We might have been in the same class.

      Also taught to walk softly but carry a big stick.

    110. Contrary says:

      Thank you for bringing all this together and keeping up informed. The SNP seem to have dropped their ‘transparency’ buzzword without anyone protesting, and we only hear what they want us to hear. Listening, and communication lines within the party appear to be missing now. There has definitely been a change over the years.

      Disappointing indeed, but not really that surprising ,,, power corrupts,,, politicians,,,

      Do the general voting public understand what all this really means? Probably not. So – for the next Holyrood election, allow the SNP to get a majority (or close to it) using Nicola Sturgeon’s popularity – hopefully get some new non-SNP pro-Indy bums on seats too, as many as possible – she has to step down during that term ‘for personal reasons’ – we get a leader that has the nous to take us through to independence – pro-Indy bums on seats back this – then whatever happens next. And no, I’ve no idea how or why any of that might happen. I think I would like to know how and if things can be changed in the SNP.

    111. shug says:

      It looks like the Russians did interfere in the Scottish Referendum and at the invitation of the English.

      Next time we must ensure there is no influence from foreign governments.

      It is for the people of Scotland to decide.

      https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13140055.camerons-plea-to-putin-help-me-stop-salmond/

      The Scottish Government is certainly going to have to think about how it controls external interference in all cases going forward.

      There will be plenty of unionists insurgents being used as a 5th column in an Indy Scotland

    112. Andy Ellis says:

      @Contrary

      I like your optimism that the SNP might be changed but find it hard to share. We’ve seen precious little evidence of it in the last 4 or five years. I suspect it is much more likely that no material change will happen before 2021’s election. The SNP will probably get their majority, which will enable them to sit on #indyref2 and work on polishing yet more mandates in their already over-stuffed Mandate Cabinet in Bute House.

      In the meantime, Sturgeonites can carry on building up towards that Gold Standard indyref and saving us from ourselves. Plenty of time to wear the public down with their hobby horse issues of ensuring there is no debate on TWAW, introducing self-ID and ramming the new Hate Crime Bill through.

      In the meantime, anyone interested in actually achieving independence before 2039 better start organising something different.

    113. Rm says:

      Don’t worry about the Russian interference in the next election, we have to worry about who’s allowed to vote Scottish Nationals only then we have a chance.

    114. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @liz (5.49) –

      Thanks for update. Interesting.

      Even if AS did write a book and managed to avoid naming or even ‘jigsaw identifying’ any of the Alphabet Ladies, it would still, surely, be a bestseller. He must have been approached by publishers and any advance would be handy settling his legal bills.

    115. Contrary says:

      @ Andy Ellis, thanks but I was just trying to envision a solution under the current circumstances – it wasn’t optimism and I don’t believe there will or can be any change before the 2021 election – which is why I suggest Nicola Sturgeon steps down during her term (soon after it starts) – that’s the bit I’d like to know if it is feasible. I don’t believe that will necessarily change much in the party – if it is to remain intact it will be a slow process.

      I’ve already come to terms – unhappily – with the fact there is unlikely to be independence soon or in the near future, or even the far future. In fact I’m thinking of getting my brain frozen for ten thousand years, or until we get independence, whichever comes sooner, so it will happen in my life-time. We could maybe do a crowdfunder? The optimism is an act. I’m not feeling all that keen on the social changes the SNP, or Westminster, plan on implementing on us either.

    116. Tinto Chiel says:

      @Dan 5.42: have to agree with that.

      When you put it all together like that, Blair, it chimes with, for example, my thoughts on the slavish Russophobia spouted by Ian Blackford in particular but obviously espoused by many in the leadership.

      Their enthusiastic belief in the security services’ version of The Salisbury/ Skripal incident (the same services which will see an independent Scotland as a dire threat to the integrity of the UK), a version which has quite rightly been debunked by Craig Murray’s several articles, is both depressing and mystifying. Top Tip: our relentless, long-standing enemy is just to the south, not 2,000 miles away in Moscow.

      Selfies with the deeply dubious Clinton and Campbell paint a distressing picture too.

      Quo vadis, SNP?

    117. Dogbiscuit says:

      Ha Effigies cunning ruse. What a roaster.

    118. K1 says:

      ‘I’d float a counter point that the SNP are where they are because of the YES Movement.‘

      Of course they are.

      ‘ an inevitable consequence of available time and democratic options reducing for us to express our will and determine our future following various recent material changes in circumstances,’

      Yes, ie frustration, impatience, disappointment.

      ‘… and the constructive criticism is proffered by many commenters and activists in the hope that it will be taken onboard by the SNP and thus reduce the volume of potential negative and divisive aspects…’

      If it was ‘constructive’ and therefore involved a level of debate that all of us could partake of, I’d be more than onboard with this analysis, what I’m seeing especially on this blog in recent months is nothing short of insulting personal attacks on any commenter that takes a different view of the current situation, who are then reduced to being called ‘sturgeonistas’, ‘sturgeonites’ and whole reams of other insulting terms.

      I know, we all know, we’re running out of time esp Brexit wise, we know this, as I said Cat and of late the Rev is testing the waters re Indy party for list votes et al, this needs organising and all Indy supporters being on board, how does insulting anyone aid that ‘constructively?’

      Honey is far more appealing than shit when it comes to attracting the Indy bees needed for us to work in harmony with any new activism required to get rid of the unionists in our parly, we put the snp there, all of us, we now need to put a new party in place to achieve the unionist wipeout in Scotland once and for all.

      Shouting and balling ‘sturgeon out’ is not a ‘plan’, as if she is the ‘cause’ of all of this?

      Shouting down those Indy supporters who you correctly identify as the Indy movement who put the snp into power in the first place as if they are now the problem, isn’t remotely constructive to changing the situation that we are all worried about.

    119. Dogbiscuit says:

      Famous 15 what is Nikola Sturgeons plan for Independence? None of the Sturgeon boot lickers have an answer to that question.
      The point was also well made that the Yes campaigners loaned their votes to the SNP.
      By 2021 elections Scotland will be finished. It’s a proper fuck up when SNP activists are trolling Independence sites.

    120. K1 says:

      I literally ‘rest ma case’,

    121. Dogbiscuit says:

      K1 what you’re seeing on this blog below the line is a growing realisation that our leadership is leading us nowhere.
      After the way they SNP have treated Mr Salmond how can anyone keep fooling themselves about her FMs intentions?
      I never voted for the murderous Labour Party when Blair was in charge and I’m not voting for the NewSNP.

    122. callmedave says:

      Yes! Very apposite. 🙂

    123. Dogbiscuit says:

      K1 you have no case to rest. If I want jam tomorrow I’ll by it myself there’s no need to vote for it .
      By the way these regulations that are being imposed on our lives are set to last for some considerable time.
      It’s telling that SNP shills call me a liar but don’t care to refute with an argument. I hope all you nice and not so nice lurkers are taking note of the New SNP shills tactic.

    124. Me Bungo Pony says:

      @Colin Alexander 3:50 pm
      “If no so-called pro-indy party stands on a plebiscite election manifesto; Meaning: a vote is a vote to declare independence, I suggest a mass spoiling of ballot papers on the constituency voting paper”.

      So your grand plan is to have absolutely no pro-indy parties in Holyrood at all!

      You are either not thinking this through, or you are another false flagger.

    125. CameronB Brodie says:

      Dogbiscuit
      Most of your views are simply not compatible with support for Scotland’s self-determination, so who are you trying to kid?

    126. CameronB Brodie says:

      Ming you, I’m struggling to believe the SNP actually believe in independence, as there approach to the law suggests they are no longer supporters of democracy.

      The European Journal of International Law Vol. 19 no. 4 © EJIL 2008
      Human Rights, International
      Economic Law and
      ‘ Constitutional Justice ’

      https://academic.oup.com/ejil/article-pdf/19/4/769/1000906/chn041.pdf

    127. CameronB Brodie says:

      Ming you? Oops, mind you, obvs.

    128. ahundredthidiot says:

      Effijy @ 17:40

      buy me a pint and pull up a sandbag.

      …..shit ever hits the fan, Scotland might need me……doubt She’d ever need you.

      Fandan.

    129. A Person says:

      J Galt is right. Many who are moving to independence might be put off when the people espousing it sound like (what we have been conditioned to call) “the loony left”. So as a piece of brute tactics it is probably sensible if the SNP keeps shtum about foreign policy, particularly as the Tories have a large majority.

      What is eyebrow-raising is why they choose to embrace this Atlanticist narrative, and to suck up to Clinton and Kissinger- Kissinger, for God’s sake, a mass murderer! That is concerning.

    130. Fireproofjim says:

      K. You are right. The SNP are the only party who can bring us independence in a reasonable time frame.
      I agree with those who say there has been too much time spent on Brexit, but the SNP were elected to Westminster as the party for all Scotland, and Scotland wished to remain in the EU so the SNP were following the instructions of their voters, however fruitlessly.
      It would also have been crazy to launch a new Inde campaign with the Corona virus pandemic raging. The media would have slaughtered us. However there must be a full scale campaign by year end to win Holyrood. Then we shall see.
      Otherwise those who say that the Russians had no involvement in the Skipal poisoning and that it was a U.K. government agency are strangely deluded.
      Firstly what would the point be for the U.K. to poison their own agent?
      Secondly. The Russians have plenty of form in poisoning people who they disagree with. – remember Georgi Markov a Bulgarian journalist living in London who wrote articles revealing the extent of corruption among the USSR leaders. He was killed by being stabbed in the leg on London Bridge with a poisoned umbrella tip. Then, recently, the death by polonium poisoning, in London, of Alexander Litvinenko. The radioactive trail led from the restaurant, where he met two Russians, and then on the aircraft which took the Russians back to Moscow. Polonium is only available as a byproduct of a nuclear power station and could only be obtained by agreement with a government agency.
      It’s a normal act of revenge for a Russian.

    131. Dan says:

      @ K1

      It’s not as black and white as that. We need to differentiate as there are genuine folk that are trying to discuss matters on here and elsewhere, but disrupters gonna disrupt and they are doing so by pushing the views and language expressed towards the extreme ends of the spectrum and thus rendering proper discussion more difficult, and off putting for others to add their views in case they are jumped on.
      Divide and Rule 101

      We can’t polarise the situation by simply categorising everyone into one of two camps.
      Watching some of the language used recently on here against those that offer reasonable critique of the SNP. I have an unnerving feeling that some robust defenders of the SNP don’t actually care for any discussion regarding the people’s views or questioning policy, they just want their fuckin votes for another election.
      Whilst witnessing such practices play out btl one can also see where the Hate Speech policy’s origins comes from…

      Trouble is as you say, honey tastes better than shit, and switched on YES activists won’t try selling shit SNP policy on the doorsteps.

      I’ll not be shut up after all the time, effort and money I’ve put in over years for the cause and be called delusional, displaying visceral hatred, or engaging in deceitful or dishonest behaviour, by someone that rocks a few weeks ago out of the blue.
      People should learn how, or take the time to fuckin write in a way that accurately state what they are trying to say, rather than lazily type stuff that can easily be misinterpreted and tarnish decent folk.
      I’m just a practical lad that failed my English O Grade but still make an effort to accurately convey what I want to say.

    132. Me Bungo Pony says:

      @Dave M  3:53 pm

      “MBP: would you care to provide evidence of HOW we are so close to independence”?

      It’s not rocket science. The FM is by far the most popular and trusted politician in the country, the SNP is polling consistently above 50%, independence is consistently polling above 50% and there are a mass of mandates (as the denizens of this site constantly complain about) backing Scotland’s right to a referendum evidencing the Scottish govt’s reasonableness in contrast to the UK govt’s intransigence.

      If these polls carry through to the May elections giving the SNP a healthy majority then there is little the UK could do, bar military intervention, to stop a referendum. I would expect a final request for a S30, which would likely be denied, followed by an assertion of the sovereignty of the Scottish people in deciding their constitutional future and a Holyrood sanctioned referendum.

      All the mandates, polls and election results coupled with all the banked “reasonableness” is important in adding legitimacy to the process in the eyes of the international community. Something that will be absolutely essential.

    133. CameronB Brodie says:

      If the SNP are actually serious about Scotland’s self-determination, they’ll need to adopt legal and political practice that is compatible with international human rights law. The chances of them doing this are next to zero, unfortunately, as they have become part of British constitutionalism, which is divorced from the Natural Law and is ambivalent towards the Law of Persons.

      The Global Model of Constitutional Rights:
      Introduction

      http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/48992/1/WPS2013-04_Moller.pdf

    134. Lochside says:

      Everyone interfered with the 2014 Ref. but the Brit Deep State did the worst of it…. Peter Lilley, Tory Baron and Thatche accolyte became a Director of IDOX, the private company that has been running elections, including the 2014 Ref since 2013.

      In the lead up to the REF, both Labour and SNP council allowed , effectively the privatisation of the electoral system in Scotland.

      Despite a police investigation into allegations that postal votes had been tampered with in the Scottish independence referendum,(e.g. Ruth Davidson’s stated knowledge of ‘NO’S supremacy and the ARGYLL AND Bute Council’s ‘world record’ in postal votes returns) the police did not hand over their report to prosecutors until much later September 2015, ensuring the General Election was allowed to go ahead under the full control of IDOX.
      Two weeks later the Scottish Daily Record reported “No prosecutions over referendum postal vote tally, confirm prosecutors”

      According to ‘whatthepoliticinsdontsay‘ website -The contracts were awarded to ensure private control of all Scottish elections for the three year period covering the EU election, the general election, the EU referendum and the Scottish Elections which allow IDOX to control, open, count and put forward “postal” ballot papers to be put into ballot boxes right up to the 10pm deadline.
      About 20 per cent of votes in Scotland are postal votes.

      Yet the SNP refused to countenance a challenge over the result despite overt Civil Service and BBC breaches of Purdah in addition to the above. Add in the decision to allow all EU and second home owners from RUK to vote, irrespective of duration of residency and we end up with the current mess.

      In Friday’s ‘National’, Alasdair Allan Msp wrote an article entitled’ Impressive polls and marches mean nothing to wider world’. You can guess who was behind this puff piece…Apparently, according to the bold Alasdair ‘I have had some conversations with some (genuine and sincere) people in our movement who believe that the ‘international community’ is standing ready to recognise Scotland’s independence-and all we need to do is announce it’

      Naturally, Alasdair, former International Development and Europe SG minister ‘after 2016 Brexit Referendum’ went on ‘flying visits around European Capitals’. But apparently nobody was listening…not surprising as the SG had just supported the UK…not Scotland to remain in the EU….so WTF did he expect?

      But anyway Alasdair continues to affirm , yes he supports Catalonia..BUT its ‘declarations of Independence , does not necessarily make her so’.

      I won’t bore you with more of the facile superficial pish that Alasdair dribbles..he was ‘spokesperson for the Church of Scotland apparently, so he’s good at talking shite.

      Essentially his is the party line..’bringing the UK Government to the negotiating table’!!! Apparently this will make the ‘world notice’.

      Alasdair is either congenitally a fuckin idiot or more likely a complete stranger to the truth. Apparently at no time did anybody in all those capitals point out to him ‘Hey Alisdair, look mate you are in a constitutional Union of equal partners and they’ve been shiteing on you for three hundred years , tell them constitutionally to F*ck off and take your Sovereign state back into the EU or whatever the hell you want’…oh and btw Catalonia is not, unfortunately constitutionally a partnerwith Castilian Spain but an ‘indivisible part’ check their 1978 Constitution pal’.

      And yet there are still people doubt that we are being led to the extinction as a nation by the evil clown and his handlers while Mr and Mrs Murrell do diddly squat?

    135. Andy Ellis says:

      @MBP

      Utter nonsense. Westminster can and will simply go on saying “now is not the time”. Anyone saying otherwise is simply delusional. There isn’t a scintilla of evidence suggesting British nationalists will simply agree to deliver #indyref2 on the same terms as #indyref1. In fact, the higher the pro-indy polls, the less likely it becomes that they will honour the Edinburgh Agreement which so nearly blew up in their faces.

      Your “cunning plan” is magical thinking. Wishart et al have already tried that line: it becomes no more convincing for constant repetition by Sturgeon’s gradualist stooges. The international community will simply refuse to recognise a referendum which is opposed by Westminster. Your “Gold Standard” reasonableness hurdel ensures we won’t see a vote for a real generation elapses, so…indyref2 in 2039 might be something the yoons will agree to. Well done you!

      Meanwhile, anyone who wants the SNP to deliver indy before 2039 better start getting rid of the gradualists and hoping Cherry takes over, or just start preppng the ground for a party with some political courage.

    136. Polly says:

      @Dan

      ‘I’m just a practical lad that failed my English O Grade but still make an effort to accurately convey what I want to say.’

      And you say it very well. It’s long term activists and members like you the party should be careful not to lose. I despair of how things are going.

      Great article, Blair. I disliked Salmond pushing through the NATO vote but it’s been far worse since then. I’m not far left, just ordinary left of centre but since the Overton window moved I guess we’re all in the loonie left now, except the leftie trans activists who’ve gone right round the back to far right.

    137. Scunterbunnet says:

      Heave awa’ lads, wur no deid yit!

    138. Me Bungo Pony says:

      @Andy Ellis
      “Utter nonsense. Westminster can and will simply go on saying “now is not the time”. Anyone saying otherwise is simply delusional. There isn’t a scintilla of evidence suggesting British nationalists will simply agree to deliver #indyref2 on the same terms as #indyref1”.

      I suggest you re-read my post. I said the request would be denied and that the Scottish govt would then organise their own referendum without Westminster approval.

      I don’t know why you see my view of how independence can be achieved as being inimical to yours. They essentially amount to the same thing. We both believe Scotland will have to take things into her own hands.

    139. schrodingers cat says:

      slab and ruthie both demanding bbc north brit stop televising nicola’s covid briefings

      i think she should continue for as long as possible. it is really winding up the unionists, especially the yoon trolls on this site.

      ah canny stoap laughing

    140. Me Bungo Pony says:

      I ask again, who is Blair Graham?

    141. Beaker says:

      @liz says:
      26 July, 2020 at 2:01 pm
      “The fight to save the SNP has moved to the Edin Central selection for candidate.
      Robertson already off the blocks with the begging bowl out looking for both money and support.”

      What I don’t understand is why Robertson thinks he is more effective than Cherry? The electorate are a bit more canny now, and parachuting candidates in isn’t a popular move.

      Joanna Cherry is already an Edinburgh MP. She was educated there. Robertson is from the NE, so why won’t he try for a list seat? I’m sure he can arrange to be top of the list.

      He’s old news, get some fresh blood in.

    142. Colin Alexander says:

      Me Bungo Pony

      You mis-interpret what I said.

      I said spoil constituency vote *IF* no party stands on a plebiscite manifesto for indy.

      That’s up to the so-called “pro-indy” parties to offer that option. If they offer it: vote for it.

      I said vote pro-indy on the List.
      _______________________________________

      I want indy. If a so-called “pro-indy” party isn’t going to help deliver indy, they’re no getting my vote.

    143. CameronB Brodie says:

      This is what the SNP are currently helping Westminster to destroy in Brexitania, so it would be in everyone’s best interests if they sought new legal advice.

      What is the Rule of Law?
      https://worldjusticeproject.org/about-us/overview/what-rule-law

    144. Davie Oga says:

      It is a fallacy to say Scotland has never been closer to independence. Scotland came closest to independence at 7:00am on the 18th of September 2018.

      A shameful day Scottish history.

      The overwhelming majority of countries do not allow postal voting in national elections because it is wide open to manipulation and fraud.

      The SNP are fully subscribed to the uniquely British PV on demand system, and have outsourced Scottish elections to companies linked to the Tory Party and the deep state.

      Suckers

    145. Andy Ellis says:

      @MBP

      This Scottish government doesn’t have the guts to hold a vote which isn’t either sanctioned à la 2014, or approved by the courts despite Westminster opposition. The first isn’t going to happen, the second might but no thanks to the SNP and who knows on what timescale.

      My version of taking things into our own hands (plebiscitary elections) works. Your version (asking nicely or hoping the Supreme Court defeats the “now is not the time” line) simply doesn’t.

      I’m afraid I’m rapidly losing faith in the Scottish people having the courage to tell not ask.

    146. Tinto Chiel says:

      @Fireproofjim: “It’s a normal act of revenge for a Russian.”

      Nice bit of stereotyping there but perhaps you can explain how this absolutely deadly nerve agent killed neither of the Skripals, despite their supposed exposure to it?

      I don’t know how much you’ve tried to acquaint yourself with alternative sources of information beyond the MSM or BBC’s recent dire “dramatisation” but I suggest looking at Craig Murray’s site for a detailed look at the huge inconsistencies in the the official (i.e. security services’) version of events.

      The more important question is why the SG is uncritically accepting accounts from a UK agency dedicating to preserving the UK state at all costs and thereby crushing our movement.

      The leadership’s apparent ties to right wing American agencies is dispiriting, particularly for a country which wishes to rid itself of the obscene nuclear weapons parked right up our rue without our consent.

      As I said before, I think we should be looking for our mortal enemy elsewhere. Everything else is just a distraction, and a well-planned and pervasive one at that.

    147. Davie Oga says:

      MBP

      If the SNP really intended to run a Holyrood referendum without an agreement with Westminster then why isn’t one being organised before the end of the transition period?

      The FM’s capitulation speech on the 31st of January made it clear that there would be no referendum without Westminster’s agreement. Westminster has made it perfectly clear that they will not agree to another referendum.

      These facts render your hypothesis unlikely.

    148. Me Bungo Pony says:

      @Andy Ellis 9:07 pm

      Please point to where I have said Westminster’s assent is required or that the Supreme Court need to be involved.

    149. Robert Louis says:

      Dave M at 1225pm.

      Yip, that is it exactly.

      The party is just drifting further and further into meekly accepting every word uttered from Westminster, to the point the very existence of the SNP becomes meaningless.

      Do any of them even know what independence is, or that is suposed to be their parties main goal?

      Too many careerists, too many just enjoying a really good income and pension. I mean who would have ever thought that an SNP MP would suggest standing for speaker in the house of commons? Step forward, SNP member of the British establishment, Pete Wishart.

      The way in which the SNP are indugling this Russia nonsense just beggars belief. Of course, I don’t think Putin is Mother Theresa, he has his own agends, but so does Westminster, and so, for that matter does the USA. None of them can claim to be ‘the good guys’, so what exactly is the difference? The USA has been to war with more countries and invaded many more countries than Russia has in recent years. Now the USA President is sending out unidentified ‘snatch’ squads to the streets of America, literally grabbing people off the streets. So who is better? the USA or Russia?

      But the SNP really have lost their way. Too busy playing along with whatever Westminster says. Playing along in the HoC by joining ‘committees’ in which they will always be outvoted and ignored. I mean seriously, what on earth are the SNP (Pete Wishart, again) doing on a Scottish afairs committe that is stuffed full of English Tory MP’s? Why are they even indulging siuch nonsense? They have no influence.

      The SNP have truly lost their way. In any party, that happens for one reason, a singular lack of leadership. NS may be popular, but she has done nothing to forward the cause of independence in six years. Not a thing. She is not a leader, at least not in the true sense of the word. She seems very happy to just enjoy her days as First Minister, tweeting about most recent novella she has read. The nonsense policy of waiting for Boris to give ‘permission’ for a referendum is nothing but a nonsense stalling tectic.

      Meanwhile, Scotland is getting shafted, its people are being forcibly stripped of their EU citizenship , Scotland is being dragged out of the EU against its wishes, its legal constitutional and UN rights are being ignored and the Scots parliament is about to be closed, and ALL UNDER THE WATCH OF AN SNP SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT, with more MP’s, MSP’s and councillors than ano other party in Scotland.

      It does raise the question, just what exactly is the point in voting SNP anymore?

    150. Ron Maclean says:

      From ‘Scotland’s right to choose; putting Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands’. The Scottish Government’s case for giving the people of Scotland the right to choose their constitutional future.
      ‘The Scottish Government is committed to delivering a referendum on independence that is beyond legal challenge and held to the highest international standards, including through the Referendums (Scotland) Bill.’

    151. Me Bungo Pony says:

      @Davie Oga 9:22pm
      “If the SNP really intended to run a Holyrood referendum without an agreement with Westminster then why isn’t one being organised before the end of the transition period”?

      Because they want incontrovertible proof the Scottish people want it. The May election should provide that. That’s if the malcontents don’t screw it up before then.

    152. CameronB Brodie says:

      Of course, by binding themselves to British constitutional law, the SNP is no longer able to defend human rights. More worryingly, the party actually appears keen to undermine the potential for justice in Scotland, by forcing Scots law to accommodate genderwoowoo.

      EFFECTIVE ACCESS TO JUSTICE

      Abstract
      This study, commissioned by the European Parliament Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request by PETI Committee, aims to identify and understand the issues affecting effective access to justice raised by the EU citizens and residents in some Member States with the main aim to frame the analysis and obtain a fair representation of recurring issues pertaining to access to justice across the EU.

      It seeks to understand why citizens have turned to the EU institutions to seek access to justice, and looks at a large range of factors, including legal and procedural issues as well as practical, social, historical and political factors that underpin the issues raised in these petitions.

      More broadly, the study intends to assess the relevance of the petitions system to address access to justice issues experienced by citizens at national level.

      https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/596818/IPOL_STU(2017)596818_EN.pdf

    153. Contrary says:

      @Dan, and others trying to have a normal discussion:

      I wrote this because of my frustration in seeing the way comments are being framed these days – the polarisation – it isn’t in any way anti-SNP (but still some see it that way). Shutting down debate is very harmful, and I’m getting very frustrated at not being able to give my opinion – on Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP, because no one listens to nuance any more, you just get screamed at like you are personally destroying any hope of there ever being independence,,,

      Anyway, sorry, it’s this that I wrote:

      https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/07/25/on-the-personification-of-the-independence-movement

      (It’s not that interesting, but it is a theory about why our erstwhile security services may benefit either way)

    154. Andy Ellis says:

      @MBP

      Please point to where I said you did? I’m simply pointing out that it is vanishingly unlikely the SNP…more specifically the current leadership…are ever going to call a referendum which isn’t agreed by Westminster.

      You can’t seriously believe the current or any foreseeable britnat government is going to do what no-marks like Pete Wishart keep telling us is imminent? Are you really that naive?

      I even doubt they’ll have the cojones to call #indyref2 if the courts find in Keatings’ favour in the upcoming case. They’ll just come up with some other delaying tactic…..

    155. Polly says:

      The SNP have lost their way. Sturgeon was supposedly to the left of Salmond and the mass of new members certainly were a lot coming from old Labour, it’s quite heartbreaking to see them move further and further to the right. I believe most supporters are still left of centre and don’t like the hawkish change of direction.

      I didn’t like the NATO move or keeping the queen prior to indyref but accepted it thinking Salmond knew what he was doing in positioning us to gain support on becoming independent. That prove worse than useless, but the party is still landed with those policies. Perhaps Sturgeon is trying something similar, but even more extreme in the vain hope it will help. But if we have to do that to gain independence then what kind of country will we end up with and have to live with afterwards? Not the kind I’d hoped for.

    156. Ron Maclean says:

      Referendums (Scotland) Bill received Royal Assent on 29 January 2020 and is now the Referendums (Scotland) Act 2020

    157. Lochside says:

      ‘Me Bungo Pony’..’.We both believe Scotland will have to take things into her own hands’. And WTF have the SG/SNP been elected to do the past 13 x years??

      What is it about accepting subordinate status as per Devolution that blinds ‘SNPBrilliant’ adherents to the fact that as old Enoch P said ‘Devolved power is power retained’. Boris has over ruled the English Parliament…seen off the Head of the UK Civil Service, an assortment of Perm Sec. in the Home Office; the Foreign Office and the Min of Justice..Side stepped the ‘Supreme Court’ ruling and fired 21 x tories and now plans to roll out the ritual disembowelment of Devolved Assemblies powers.

      To paraphrase a famous statement:’It’s Sovereignty stupid..and the SNP know it and have purposedly avoided it because it demands courage and hard work to forge a new Scotland…not think up virtue signalling bullshit policies and tweeting low level political whining in a context framed by English laws, while Scotland shrivels into an even bigger backwater.

      Sovereignty must be asserted..throw the Scotland Act and the Act of Union and all the S30/REF tosh attached with it all into the dustbin of English exceptionalism. We need to dissolve the Union via a one off plebiscite based on Independence only.

    158. Andy Ellis says:

      @MBP 9.27pm to Davie Oga

      Just one more mandate right…? LOLZ

      That mandate cupboard in Bute House must be fair creaking under the weight by now eh?

      And when they get a majority in 2021, it’ll be something else right?….no 60% polls for “x” months? The Covid induced economic downturn is too bad?

    159. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Beaker at 8:59 pm.

      You typed,
      “Joanna Cherry is already an Edinburgh MP. She was educated there. Robertson is from the NE, so why won’t he try for a list seat? I’m sure he can arrange to be top of the list.”

      In the 2016 Holyrood election, NE Scotland region, the SNP won 9 of the 10 constituency seats. The Tories took a constituency seat from the SNP in Aberdeenshire West.

      Because of their 9/10 success in the constituencies, the SNP won NO regional (List) seats.

      Perchance Marmalade should be looking to be the SNP candidate for the constituency of Aberdeenshire West?

    160. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Contrary (9.33) –

      Hear hear.

      The ‘polarisation’ you refer to has been felt right here, perhaps much earlier than elsewhere in the Yes movement as a whole.

      A lot of folk – perhaps most? – instinctively shy away from confrontation because Scots are, whether we like to admit it or not, a reticent and somewhat ‘conservative’ people generally. That’s not to say we can’t *do* robust debate, passionate at times, but what’s happened here isn’t healthy – it’s regressive, reactionary and damaging.

      Pointing out the glaring weaknesses in current leadership should not – ever – be the trigger for instant vilification. It’s not easy to admit this, but hundreds of thousands of us placed our faith in the political party which claimed to represent our desire for independence, and they’ve betrayed that trust. We shouldn’t have to apologise for that fact or be fearful of expressing our anger. It is more than justified.

      A friend (another Winger) recently used the word ‘milquetoast’ and I had to look it up. It encapsulates how many of us now feel about the SNP leadership.

      ‘Wheesht for Indy!’ is not a political strategy – it’s an excuse which has become ever-more lame since Jan 31st.

    161. Kenny says:

      Alyn Smith argued a “hostile foreign power … has infiltrated every aspect of political and economic life in this country” and that “has actively sought to undermine our democracy and our way of life”…

      … does he mean woke science-denying entryists?

    162. Andy Ellis says:

      @IB

      Yup. Nailed it. I don’t see why the party ultras banging on about malcontents can’t see it: how is it helping the cause pissing off swathes of people like us in the name of attracting and ever diminishing number of “soft No” or “Remian/No” voters?

      I don’t even think they’ve made a considered cost/benefit analysis of whether they’ll gain more than they lose….they just assume we have nowhere else to go.

    163. Me Bungo Pony says:

      @Andy Ellis 9:34pm
      “Please point to where I said you did”?

      Okay. At 9:07pm you wrote;

      “My version of taking things into our own hands (plebiscitary elections) works. Your version (asking nicely or hoping the Supreme Court defeats the “now is not the time” line) simply doesn’t”.

      Care to explain why you are denying it? And by the way, your “plebiscitery elections” fall foul of all the problems you claim beset mine. Can you not see that?
      ——————————

      @Lochside 9:39pm
      ‘Me Bungo Pony’..’.We both believe Scotland will have to take things into her own hands’. And WTF have the SG/SNP been elected to do the past 13 x years??”

      Trying to ensure the next time we go for it we can be pretty sure of winning it. There’s no point declaring independence on a minority of the vote and hoping to get away with it.

    164. CameronB Brodie says:

      Me Bungo Pony
      I suggest the party needs to learn how to support the rule-of-law, rather than British constitutionalism. Brexit broke democracy in Britain, though the SNP appear miraculously oblivious to this fact.

      Rule of Law and Human Rights
      https://www.un.org/ruleoflaw/rule-of-law-and-human-rights/

    165. robbo says:

      Tinto Chiel says:
      26 July, 2020 at 9:08 pm
      @Fireproofjim: “It’s a normal act of revenge for a Russian.”

      Nice bit of stereotyping there but perhaps you can explain how this absolutely deadly nerve agent killed neither of the Skripals, despite their supposed exposure to it?

      ———-

      There’s a big difference in getting a bit of it on your hands from a door handle and actually spraying the thing like a woman would a perfume on her wrists and behind ears. Once she did that there was no hope for that lass that died am afraid.

    166. James F. McIntosh says:

      Maybe we will have a new leader of the party after the inquest about the Salmond stitch up.

    167. Me Bungo Pony says:

      @Andy Ellis 9:58pm
      “how is it helping the cause pissing off swathes of people like us”

      They’re not. However, “us” is only a few people on a blog. The millions of voters currently intending to vote SNP in 2021 are far more important to them. As it should be. The “malcontents” have to decide whether their support for independence is unconditional or conditional on the SNP doing specifically what they want.

    168. Andy Ellis says:

      @MBP 10.04pm

      Which part of this are you finding hard to understand exactly?

      You believe the SNP will somehow magically hold a referendum. You have yet to explain how, but it’s of no consequence because they lack the political cojones to do it even if there was a way.

      Plebiscitary elections are simple. All they have to do is say 2021 Holyrood election is a de facto plebiscite. A positive result is just as valid – and in fact more common – as a route to indy constitutionally and historically than referendums.

      Thus your assertion – for that is all that it is – that “my” position falls foul of the same problems as your unicorns and rainbows plan is just so much bullshit.

    169. CameronB Brodie says:

      Me Bungo Pony
      It is the duty of government to support the rule of law, not deffer to public opinion, which is generally insufficiently informed. It is this apparent basic lack of democratic understanding within the party, that is sacrificing Scotland to the cultural demands of authoritarian English Torydum.

    170. Fireproofjim says:

      Kenny
      I think Alyn Smith might have been referring to England.

    171. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Andy Ellis 10:17 pm

      Sorry Andy, your “plebicitery election” requires a party to state a positive result for them will lead to independence. As the only party with a chance of doing that is the SNP then your other claim that “they lack the political cojones to do it” is as much a problem for you as it is for me.

      Similarly, even if the SNP decided to follow your advice, there is no guarantee either Westminster or the wider World will recognise it. All we’ve got is you’re assertion they would. I’m afraid that is not enough.

    172. Tinto Chiel says:

      @robbo: novichok is supposed deadly in very small quantities, like all nerve agents.

      The lady who died was apparently exposed to it from a bottle in a bin which had previously been searched by the security services, who did not find it. The bottle seems to have appeared later. It’s not entirely clear how that lady died but she seems to have had other health problems. FWIW, Porton Down is very close to Salisbury and probably has novichok or equivalent in store if you wish to go down that line of speculation/rabbit hole.

      The official account is shot through with inconsistencies. I suggest you read the various articles Craig Murray has written on the subject if you’re interested.

      My main point was why is the SNP leadership uncritically accepting security service briefings from an agency dedicated to defending the UK from existential threat, as the SNP is supposed to be?

    173. Me Bungo Pony says:

      @CBB

      The “Law” as you see it is not enough. Just ask the Chagos Islanders. You also need to show you have the people behind you and the willingness of the international community to recognise it. That has not been the case thus far.

    174. Tinto Chiel says:

      Should have been “supposedly” in line one.

    175. Andy Ellis says:

      @MBP

      I don’t expect them to. It’s vanishingly unlikely they can be rendered fit for purpose before Holyrood 2021. The gradualists rule the roost sadly. It’s not my problem, because it is no longer “my” party.

      It’s the movement’s problem because all our eggs are (sadly) in one SNP shaped basket.

      Neither Westminster or the international community could or would realistically refuse to recognise a Yes vote in response to a specific mandate being requested prior to the election. Westminster CAN queer the pitch by refusing to agree to a referendum. The CAN’T queer the pitch by refusing to hold elections without a much higher cost. You’re simply wrong.

      We’re done here. There’s no point arguing the toss with those not open to reason. Have a nice life.

    176. Clapper57 says:

      Blair, really interesting post.

      @ Lochside @ 8.45pm

      Great comment ……

    177. cirsium says:

      It’s a normal act of revenge for a Russian
      C’mon, fireproofjim (8.20pm), there is enough Russophobia going around with the comments of S McDonald, A Smyth et al.

      Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian, was murdered by the Bulgarian secret police because he kept writing about the corruption and malfeasance of the Bulgarian nomenklatura even from exile. You are aware that Christopher Steele was also a key player in the Litvinenko affair? These articles shed some light on the events https://off-guardian.org/2018/03/17/litvinenko-and-the-demise-of-british-justice/
      https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/01/david-hakkuk-on-sir-robert-owens-inquiry/comments/

    178. Davie Oga says:

      Odds on what excuse The FM uses to delay after the May 2021 election.

      Labour will have no option but to agree a referendum if we vote SNP for a Labour govt. at the next Westminster election 5/4

      Covid economic recovery 7/4

      Threat of Russian interference makes the prospect of a referendum too risky at this time. Vote SNP at the next election to improve cybersecurity 3/1

      We need to establish a commission to investigate whether binary referendums are in fact exclusionary and threatening to non binary people. A referendum at this time could literally be murder. 4/1

      Scotland isn’t ready for independence until because the 2021 GERS figures show that Scotland is responsible for 423% of the defand has a nominal debt of 2 trillion GBP. 5/1

    179. Me Bungo Pony says:

      @Andy Ellis 10:36pm
      “Neither Westminster or the international community could or would realistically refuse to recognise a Yes vote in response to a specific mandate being requested prior to the election”.

      Is that so? Do you have evidence for this?
      —————————-

      “Westminster CAN queer the pitch by refusing to agree to a referendum. The CAN’T queer the pitch by refusing to hold elections without a much higher cost. You’re simply wrong”.

      In my plan for a confirmatory referendum, Westminster’s approval is not needed. It would be nice, but not needed. In your plan, Westminster CAN “queer the pitch” by correctly claiming a general election is held on a multitudinous range of issues only one of which is independence. And there is every chance the international community would agree with them. Westminster could then come under pressure to sanction a confirmatory referendum …. which brings us back to my plan.

      By the way, if your plan was actually actioned and it worked …. brilliant. As I’ve said, there seems little to differentiate the main thrust of each of our plans, bar mine requires a Holyrood sanctioned confirmatory referendum, and I’ve no idea why you are so animated about this.

    180. CameronB Brodie says:

      Me Bungo Pony
      You’re surely not suggesting Scotland is constitutionally the same as the Chagos Islands? Do you understand anything about constitutional democracy and how to support the rule-of-law? I seriously have my doubts.

    181. Me Bungo Pony says:

      @CBB

      I’m saying the “law” decreed the Chagos Islanders should have their country back by now. The UK govt said “no” …. and the international community said “ermmm”. So clearly, the “law” is not enough.

    182. Ian Brotherhood says:

      If you have any strong feelings about Angus Roberston and/or Joanna Cherry, the comments here may be of interest:

      https://twitter.com/AngusRobertson/status/1287378885584261120

    183. Dogbiscuit says:

      Fireproofjim has built a firewall against common sense. Does the man actually swallow media government narrative on the Skripals?

    184. Dogbiscuit says:

      Bungle this blog has a large readership and you know it otherwise you would not be here.

    185. ahundredthidiot says:

      I know Bungo is new…..but why anyone is responding to his pish is beyond me.

    186. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Here’s one for the mask-fans to get their teef into –

      From page 18, the Chapter entitled ‘Lockstep’.

      What’s that all about then?

      It was published in *double checks* 2010.

      Whoever could’ve guessed the Rockefeller Foundation had been infiltrated by right-wing populists and conspiracy-theorists!

      Jings! Crivvens! etc etc…

      http://www.nommeraadio.ee/meedia/pdf/RRS/Rockefeller%20Foundation.pdf

    187. schrodingers cat says:

      @Andy Ellis 9:34pm
      “My version of taking things into our own hands (plebiscitary elections) works.
      —————

      your version?

    188. CameronB Brodie says:

      Me Bungo Pony
      It is clear to me you don’t understand constitutional law or international law, so I don’t think you are in any position to tell us what is or is not possible.

    189. CameronB Brodie says:

      Ian Brotherhood
      Why are you trying to undermine public health ethics?

    190. Walter Jones says:

      The Cat, Bungo and robbo,

      Same person,

      A Sturgeon fanatic.

    191. schrodingers cat says:

      cant really see why both joanna cherry and angus robertson want to stand in edin central? i mean, ruth is stepping down.

      they are both high profile, why cant one of them stand in edin south or west? cole hamilton lib and Daniel Johnson lab seats? both have small majorities

    192. Walter Jones says:

      Did I mention that,

      The Cat
      Bungo
      robbo

      Same person.

      A Sturgeon fanatic.

      Works for SNP HQ.

      Sent to Troll Wings.

      Ignore if possible.

    193. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @CamB (11.33) –

      Are you referring to a specific comment of mine or is ‘undermining public health ethics’ something that I just do generally?

    194. Me Bungo Pony says:

      @Walter Jones 11:41pm

      Yeah. That’s the only explanation possible.

    195. CameronB Brodie says:

      “Here’s one for the mask-fans to get their teef ”

      Do you deny we face an invisible public health threat, as that is what it looks like to me. It also appear to me that you reject sound public health advice. So I’ll ask again, why are you trying to undermine public health ethics.

    196. mike cassidy says:

      Ian Brotherhood.

      Jackie Kennedy in a letter to John Steinbeck

      Twelve days before Jack died, we had the Black Watch at the White House. He spoke of how the history of Scotland captured him at an early age – ‘because I suppose, all of us in a sense are drawn to lost causes’.

      She is quoting her husband, I presume.

      http://archive.is/xFRZO

    197. CameronB Brodie says:

      This might help some folk stay alive a bit longer.

      American Journal of Public Health. 2006 November; 96(11): 1903–1905
      Human Rights and Ethics in Public Health

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1751819/

    198. schrodingers cat says:

      Lochside says:
      We need to dissolve the Union via a one off plebiscite based on Independence only.
      ————-

      what a great idea, wish i’d thunk of it lol

    199. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      I find it interesting that the newish “trolls” are now arguing against each others’ argumentative position.

      Has the script gone walkies?

      Apologies if my apostrophe is mislocated.

    200. schrodingers cat says:

      still

      im glad this idea is gaining traction, it seems the only real alternative to indyref2

      i am more interested to discuss if it is possible to bring forward the election

      speaking to others at last snp meeting, many believe that we wont even be able to canvas and leaflet properly before may 2021

      that will hurt us more than the unionists, it is one thing we have in our favour, boots on the ground.

      but if the next election is to be the end game, how would we deliver a wbb2?

    201. Jimmy Jo says:

      If we could accommodate two Independence parties next year, I would say that would surely increase our vote share and seats won.

      The problem being the lack of information regarding this list Party.

    202. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @CamB –

      I just posted a link. You don’t object to that, surely?!

      If you want to discourage others from reading it, fair enough.

    203. CameronB Brodie says:

      Human rights, the rule-of-law, and democracy are all interdependent. If you curtail or impede one of these components, they all become inoperative. British constitutionalism seeks to impose English Torydum on Scotland, so can’t be considered compatible with liberal democracy. So Scots better be happy to live under English despotism, as the SNP apparently don’t know how to respect the rule-of-law.

      BMC International Health and Human Rights volume 8, Article number: 2 (2008)

      Exploring synergies between human rights and public health ethics: A whole greater than the sum of its parts
      https://bmcinthealthhumrights.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-698X-8-2

    204. CameronB Brodie says:

      Ian Brotherhood
      I not really that concerned with what you choose believe, but I am concerned that you appear eager to support any fanny hostile to public health ethics.

    205. Beaker says:

      @Brian Doonthetoon says:
      26 July, 2020 at 9:45 pm

      “Perchance Marmalade should be looking to be the SNP candidate for the constituency of Aberdeenshire West?”

      Oops missed that one. Perhaps he wants the glory of taking Davidson’s seat. Or perhaps he wants to be the leader…

      However, I take it the local SNP group will be the ones who decide?

    206. schrodingers cat says:

      isnt davidson standing down?

    207. A Person says:

      -Iain Brotherhood at 11.10-

      I see Pete Wishart wishes him luck, that the BBC announced that he (but not Joanna Cherry) is standing, and that many of those expressing their desire to help have “he/him” in their Twitter bios.

      Says it all…

    208. Beaker says:

      BBC did note that Cherry intends to challenge for the seat, and would stand down as a Westminster MP is elected as MSP.

      To me it looks like a bit of a power struggle going on. One thing is for sure, if he is selected as the SNP candidate he had bloody better win it.

    209. Flower of Scotland says:

      This article is a bit on the hysterical side. ?

    210. susan says:

      Not my constituency but if it was I’d vote for Joanna Cherry. She’s leagues ahead of Angus Robertson. Not least because he’s the woke choice. Wonder if pressure will be applied over the selection.

    211. schrodingers cat says:

      @FOS

      a bit??

    212. Juteman says:

      Walter Jones says:
      26 July, 2020 at 11:45 pm
      Did I mention that,

      The Cat
      Bungo
      robbo

      Same person.

      A Sturgeon fanatic.

      Works for SNP HQ.

      Sent to Troll Wings.

      Ignore if possible.

    213. Juteman says:


      Walter Jones says:
      26 July, 2020 at 11:45 pm
      Did I mention that,

      The Cat
      Bungo
      robbo

      Same person.

      A Sturgeon fanatic.

      Works for SNP HQ.

      Sent to Troll Wings.

      Ignore if possible.”

      They have been posting on indy sites for years.
      You arrived 5 minutes ago.

    214. Walter Jones says:

      Juteman

      Thanks for highlighting my post.

      We seem to be in agreement.

      Will we post it one more time, just in case some people missed it.

      Thanks again Juteman.

      Did I mention that,

      The Cat
      Bungo
      robbo

      Same person.

      A Sturgeon fanatic.

      Works for SNP HQ.

      Sent to Troll Wings.

      Ignore if possible.

    215. Walter Jones says:

      Sky News:

      “Sturgeon faces new questions over whether she misled parliament about when she knew of Salmond complaints”

      https://news.sky.com/story/sturgeon-faces-new-questions-over-whether-she-misled-parliament-about-when-she-knew-of-salmond-complaints-12036962

    216. Juteman says:

      @Walter Jones
      Yes we agree.
      “Walter Jones arrived 5 minutes ago”.

    217. schrodingers cat says:

      found on twitter

      “ANTI ALLIANCE CYNICS: THEIR 5 BIG PORKIES REBUTTED .

      Following the announcement of a broad YES Alliance for Independence, offering a realistic ‘umbrella’ option for YES voters on the Holyrood list that could actually win more pro-indy seats, a chorus of the unimaginative, conservative with a small ‘c’, and downright Unionist mischief making voices, have been attempting to drown out all reasoned debate with the same old non-arguments and tired porkie pies.

      All of these arguments and porkies, sometimes cleverly and rhetorically put though they are, disappear with either a few moment’s sober assessment of the facts, or an honest look at what Max the Yes and the Alliance ACTUALLY say, rather than what some people make up that they say

      Porkie No 1: You can’t ‘game the system’ and it would be terribly unfair not to let all those Tory Unionists win seats on the list.

      Not true. You obviously can game the system, because the Tories and Unionists have been ‘gaming the system’ against the people of Scotland for decades. Remember the fixed assembly vote in the 70’s, the suppressed McCrone report on oil and gas, the poll tax experiment? And in 2016 the ‘unofficial’ Unionist electoral alliances that operated at constituency level?

      The truth of the matter is that all political parties attempt to ‘game the system’ to one extent or another every time they contest an election, and that the Alliance for Independence are operating within the rules set by law and the Electoral Commission.

      They make no apologies for wanting to make Holyrood 2021 ‘the independence elections’ and replace dozens of Tories and Unionists on the list with pro-indy MSPs

      Porkie No 2: You’re ‘splitting’ the vote

      Actually the proposal is to ‘unsplit’ the indy vote.
      Max the YES does exactly what it says on the tin. It maximises the impact of the YES vote at the Holyrood elections to create a ‘super-majority’ of indy MSPs and deal a critical blow to Unionism in Scotland.

      The first part of the Max the YES strategy is to call for all YESSER’s – even those who don’t normally vote SNP – to get behind the SNP in EVERY constituency in Scotland in 2021. The second is to call for all YESSER’s to vote for a single ‘umbrella’ Alliance for Independence option on the list.

      The Additional Members System that Holyrood elections are governed by means great success in the constituencies makes it very, very hard to pick up seats on the list. The list vote is divided by every seat won in the region + 1. In 2016 more than 950, 000 votes were cast for the SNP on the list, but only 4 SNP list seats were won. And the Tory Unionists walked into opposition with a big smile adorning Ruth Davidson’s face. With current polls showing the SNP on course to win 70 constituency seats, it could be that case that a million people vote SNP on the list, and not a single list seat be gained.

      On the other hand, because a broad YES Alliance for independence will be standing ONLY on the list, all votes cast for it will count. If just under a quarter of all YES voters cast their vote strategically for Alliance for Independence (AFI) on the list, 16 lists seats could be won for the independence cause. If just under half of YES voters are persuaded to vote for that alternative indy option on the list, 24 list seats could be grasped from the Unionists and put in independence hands.

      Porkie No 3: It’s all ‘Life of Brian’. There are too many indy list parties. They only ever get a tiny vote. What’s the point?

      This is a good line of attack for the those resistant to the Max the YES idea, as it’s superficially ‘true’ and everybody and their granny likes a good Monty Python reference – but what are the facts?

      Max the YES and Alliance for Independence recognise that having too many list parties dilute the effectiveness of the vote. That’s why – from the start – it has set up as broad YES Alliance that will allow YES individuals, YES groups and the smaller YES parties to join and participate under the one umbrella with the single unifying goal of independence.

      All of us can come together for independence, but parties and people retain the right of program and conscience on all others matters. That’s the necessary nature of any genuine grown up Alliance that seeks to achieve a common goal like Independence.

      And while it’s true that new list parties have not fared well at first time of standing traditionally, to try and transfer that to something wholly new in concept, like Alliance for Independence, is like comparing apples with pears. There’s never been anything LIKE Alliance for Independence launched before, with the explicit purpose of kicking Unionists out of list seats and winning a YES ‘supermajority’ in the Scottish Parliament.

      The Alliance has been set up as an electoral vehicle for the whole broad YES movement. If that broad YES movement gets behind it and shapes it, it can become an unstoppable historical force.

      Porkie No 4: They are all zoomers, and anyone with a yes badge can be a candidate.

      Not so much argument as insult and abuse.

      Is anyone really suggesting that people with 50 years’ service to independence and the SNP – like ex-MSP of nine years Dave Thompson – are novices? Or ex-SNP MSP John Wilson? The Alliance for Independence founding team have hundreds of years of experience and independence support between them.

      Our candidates will be selected democratically by our members in the regions and by a process of negotiation with any of the smaller parties who join. Our aim is to put forward a terrific, experienced and dynamic range of pro-indy candidates on every list for Holyrood 2021.

      Porkie No 5: It’s a front for Tommy Sheridan (or any other convenient ‘hate’ figure)

      Again, facts are better than fibs.

      Tommy Sheridan and Solidarity have expressed an interest in the Alliance concept, and urged other small parties and YES groups to look at it seriously. The Alliance welcomes that but Solidarity and Tommy have not been involved in the setting up of the Alliance.

      The Alliance would like ALL of the other small YES parties – Solidarity, SSP, ISP and the Greens – to be part of our single Alliance umbrella on a fair and inclusive basis – alongside and in partnership with our individual YES members and YES group support. The Alliance has said it will write to all of these parties with a proposal for discussion once launched.

      Finally, the essence of what Max the YES and Alliance for Independence proposes is contained in the single visual meme below.

      Please share this short article and that meme-pic. #MaxtheYES
      The Alliance for Independence is not only still standing, it is growing in strength this very minute.”

    218. Robert Louis says:

      So Angus Robertson has been endorsed for the Edinburgh central seat by Pete Wishart. Well, that tells us everything about why Angus should not be selected.

      Joanna Cherry is the candidate who will work for independence. Angus just wants to have a seat and salary. Angus is the ‘establishment’ man. Has he even been to an independence march? Joanna Cherry certainly has many times.

      As somebody on twitter has kindly pointed out, there has been a pro independence majority in Holyrood and Westminster for at least a decade now, yet still Nicola Sturgeon does NOTHING. The SNP, the do-nothing party.

      Joanna in Edinburgh central will shake all that up at Holyrood. We don’t just want her selected to stand, we actually NEED her selected to stand.

    219. Rm says:

      Schrodingers cat @ 7.28, This will be the way to ending the union and will produce some real patriots who will help drive it through, the career politicians in the SNP will not be happy though, what a shame.

    220. schrodingers cat says:

      @rm

      not sure who in the snp will be inconvenienced by this, since, as it is pointed out, the chances of any snp list msps getting elected is virtually zero

      as an snp member, im looking forward to the bonfire of unionist list msp next holyrood election

    221. Rm says:

      @ Schrödinger’s cat, are the SNP going to endorse this, there’s some problem in the SNP why didn’t they fight for Scotland during the Brexit fiasco, career politicians aren’t worried about anything but their salary and would rather the status quo to build up their pension pot over many years, something’s not right somewhere they seem to have forgotten what they’ve been voted in for, Independence for Scotland.

    222. schrodingers cat says:

      Rm says:
      are the SNP going to endorse this
      —————–

      i’m pretty certain they cant, the electoral commission would refuse to allow them to stand

      have a look at wullie rennies comments today demanding that the EC block this party cos “it’s SNP”

    223. schrodingers cat says:

      calling the snp unionists makes you look like a spoon

    224. Contrary says:

      @ian brotherhood last night at 9.40pm or thereabouts

      I will look up milquetoast – I always like a new word (I hope!).

      The debates on here can be somewhat robust and it’s often between people that already know each other so it can be off-putting for many of – yes, conservative – the Scottish public. I like robust debate myself, but it can be difficult to find it with all the white noise that’s around here, and I find the format on this site difficult to follow – each to their own though – which is a shame because there are a lot of interesting views and takes on different topics here – but I think an occasional delve to pick up general chat is better than nothing. I like other people’s opinions, when they are real opinions. When you read a lot of comments, you gradually pick up the ‘purposeful’ memes and themes that are thrown in to disrupt things.

      On my usual home of John’s blog, I found myself too scared to write on certain topics,,, and that’s where I thought – hold on – then (well if I hadn’t been poorly I would have) I turned into a ball of fury when people were dying because of scotgov decisions at the start of pandemic but it was not allowed to be criticised (people defending civil servants?!?) – I admit to being shocked – I mean, all you need to do is put pressure on the SNP – they DO respond (or only do?) to popular opinion,,, well, on some things,,, but no one was willing to do it! People’s lives! Everyone either made excuses (it was Westminster wot done it the SNP is powerless) or wheesht we won’t get independence if you criticise the SNP ,,, eh? People are dying, and I’m meant to shut up because our all-powerful but at the same time not-powerful political leaders, who were making shit decisions, MUST be right,, just because.

      To be blunt, fuck that. But there’s no point in me going off in a huff. So the slow process of trying to make people aware of exactly what they are doing has to start.

      To die, and have others in my country die just to enable the political image of a political party look squeaky clean because of the imaginary idea that that somehow (no proof, no reasoning) changes folk from No to Yes? Well, NO I won’t shut up, and I won’t bury my head in the sand and pretend everything is fluffy and everyone loves each other and singing kumbiya around the campfire. It’s the real world, these are real lives, and we do have real hostile forces acting against us – pretending all is fine leads to madness. Anyway, the SNP changed tack and have luckily taken us from the brink – but not because SNP supporters made them! So, as long as we are on the right path for now, I’m happy to praise the SNP for what they HAVE done.

      The POINT of having elected representatives in charge is that they can, and SHOULD, be held to account – once you stop that, you invite abuse. And I will not be held to ransom for a vague notion of there might be a mention one day if we’re lucky of independence – if the SNP have decided they want to stick with devolution and take the neoliberal path – fine – but to con us that they’re doing differently to suck up the votes? NOT FINE.

      I needed that rant, sorry – it wasn’t what I was going to say,,,

      There is a serious problem now with people adopting what the security services want us to – there will always be a degree of bandwagon jumping etc and some true believers that can’t see beyond the blinkers, but not as many as we’ve seen – this new dogma of ‘NO DEBATE’ is not healthy on any level. For it to happen on John’s blog felt very wrong. In my article trying to calm down extreme views I got two useful example comments – one ‘for’ the SNP and one ‘against’ the SNP – both were stating as fact something that they offered no evidence for, and didn’t write as an opinion – one was excuses – ‘You can’t criticise the SNP because their (inaction!) has changed minds on independence’ – and the other was abusive defamation of the SNP leadership – BOTH are designed to shut down debate. If you write a mild criticism of SNP you might either invite trolling abusive comments or get accused of wrecking the cause of independence.

      What I’m saying here is, both of the SEEMINGLY opposed polarised views are doing exactly the SAME thing – trying to tamp down ANY criticism of the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon. It’s very hard to keep a reasoned and level-headed analysis of current politics under these circumstances – but please keep trying.

      Also – gaming the system – pure security services trolling. They are just doing their job, but there is no need for us to fall for it so wholeheartedly – remain circumspect on any new buzz-phrases. And don’t believe what ANY politician tells you. (Particularly on economics)

    225. Bob Mack says:

      @SC,

      Come the time of the election ,is there any chance we could establish which Indy supporting party( supposing there are more than one), to select in any given area.

      This would be absolutely essential if more than one Indy party was to stand.

      I hope they work together to make that possible,but you know politics. Might be a job for the Rev.

    226. Breeks says:

      Robert Louis says:
      27 July, 2020 at 7:38 am
      So Angus Robertson has been endorsed for the Edinburgh central seat by Pete Wishart. Well, that tells us everything about why Angus should not be selected.

      I think Wishart is just a publicity seeking wind-up merchant trying to keep himself in the headlines these days, but this whole business of Robertson versus Cherry for the same seat in Edinburgh stinks of rank hypocrisy after all the bile which SNP poured over List seat parties “splitting the SNP vote” when they have no plans to do any such thing, while the SNP against all better judgement is forcing division and “splitting the vote” within it’s own party. SNP hypocrisy writ large.

      As ever however, the really sinister element to all this is still obscured by the on-going anonymity of the conspirators who tried to smear Alex Salmond and have him jailed as a rapist. When those truths begin to ooze out, the landscape will change dramatically, but until then… well… we are shadow boxing.

      This isn’t just a power struggle in the SNP. Something very dark and sinister has infiltrated the SNP, and seems to exert a huge influence. Sadly, it seems very damaging to the prospects of Scottish Independence, and that probably reveals the nature of the thing. To quote Hamlet, Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

      If and when you get the opportunity, back Joanna Cherry. She seems the only alert and functioning anti-body in the SNP’s failing immune system. Instincts tell me her roll in all of this is going to be pivotal.

      I must confess however, Joanna Cherry fighting for control of the SNP seems such a waste besides a brilliant Joanna Cherry breaking free from the SNP and mounting an aggressive legal challenge to Scotland’s colonial subjugation through the international courts. She doesn’t need the SNP’s backing to do that, maybe crowd funding which she would get, because it would be a powerful initiative which would have the YES community cheering from the rafters. I also believe it would call the SNP‘s bluff, and shame them into backing her, or falling apart in acrimonious chaos.

      As ever however, a week spent contemplating these factors is another week lost for us who want to fight Brexit and defend the Scottish Constitution, and another week gained for those who want rampant deregulation loosed upon Scotland, (to force through divergence from EU standards so that Scotland’s prospects of rejoining the EU are damaged), and to see Scotland’s Constitutional Sovereignty smashed, and Scotland locked into the purgatory of perpetual subservience.

    227. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Breeks –

      ‘…the purgatory of perpetual subservience’

      Nice one!

      🙂

    228. Jonathan Marshall says:

      An very interesting article… the devastation and loss of human life that Western Adventurism caused in Iraq Libya and now Syria would certainly stop me standing beside A Campbell or H Clinton for photo opps… As for Russia… well if we just look at the nonsense spouted around Nord Stream 2 and British purchases of cheap Russian oil and gold we would see it for what it is. Imagine the nerve of those dastardly Germans for wanting energy security and cheap to instead of decidedly more expensive freedom gas. As for insults and sleepers… Well Stu we are all ment to be on the same side here maybe we should all use our real names to post rather than hide and perhaps detract from our real purpose… After all it’s not Enders Game.

    229. J Galt says:

      Robbo@10.10pm

      For God’s sake Robbo do as Tinto Chiel suggests and acquaint yourself with some of the facts surrounding the Salisbury event before coming up with silliness like that.

    230. A Person says:

      Robertson has also been endorsed by Oliver Kamm, Times leader-writer and invading-places enthusiast.

    231. Breastplate says:

      Our politicians shouldn’t be in hock to any organisations like friends of Ireland, friends of Norway, friends of France or friends of Israel.
      Neither should they be submitting themselves for re-education to a politician‘s finishing school in the USA where they can make ‘useful’ contacts and inevitably learn to be less truthful with the facade of sincerity for the benefit of another country.

      I would like to think that any new party would have rules against joining these sort of clubs that are designed to advantage themselves to the detriment of others.
      I would hope there was no place for that in Scotland.

      Maybe it’s too late for Scotland as the rot had set in with the Tories, Libdems and Labour long ago and it looks like it is spreading to the SNP who I used to believe were different.
      Maybe they still can be.

    232. Breastplate says:

      J Galt,
      I think you’ll find that Robbo is too busy for that as he is quite busy working with his chums typing out ‘the complete works of Shakespeare’

    233. Lindy says:

      Sums it up for me. Thanks Blair.

    234. Polly says:

      I agree with those saying no party should really be involved with ‘Friends of’ any country. SNP seems one of the last to be lobbied. The Israeli lobby is obviously the one which campaigns most and we can all see the effect that had in USA and also EU and here since they stepped up efforts. It stops justified criticism from anyone within the party which is ‘friends’ of what is after that considered an almost fully aligned entity. Add to that of course that in Israel’s case any criticism is often bombarded with claims of antisemitism however unjustified. I don’t feel we’re going down a good route.

    235. Corrado Mella says:

      Power is attractive to the worst type of people.

      Only those that see power as a means, not an objective, deserve it.

      The conservation of power in the hands of the same people for a longer time than that required to enact their policies is to be avoided at all costs, because if they didn’t manage to achieve their objective in the promised time frame they’re either ineffective, incompetent or malevolent.

      There’s no other reason to remain in power after not reaching your goal than power itself.

      Ignore these warnings at your peril, folks.

    236. crazycat says:

      @ Robert Louis at 7.38

      Don’t know if you’ll see this, since there’s a new article and I’m a bit behind in reading the comments, but:

      Angus Robertson was certainly present at the start of the march in Edinburgh last October, because I saw him being interviewed by the media (don’t know who). He may have then scarpered; I was told later that my own MP was also there right at the start, on his way to a football match!

    237. Balaaargh says:

      This is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario for the SNP. If they go along with the report, they’re cosying up to the establishment, if they reject it then they’re pawns of Putin and that’s the Labour leaflet printed for the next general election. When you’re at the top, the only way is down.

      The enemy of our enemy is most definitely not our friend.



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