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The conclusion not arrived at

Posted on December 01, 2014 by

There’s a curious column in today’s Scottish Sun on the subject of the Smith Commission. We’re going to have to quote quite a large chunk of it to make our point.

“Has everybody forgotten that, just 18 months ago Johann Lamont came up with a plan to give Scotland complete control of income tax?

When Scottish Labour produced its interim report on a new deal for Holyrood it said: ‘It would be possible to devolve all rates, and all income tax receipts, or even to devolve allowances and thresholds.

In our view, a strong case exists for devolving income tax in full, and we are minded to do so. The advantage of devolving income tax — a revenue stream that provides a substantial, stable tax yield – is that it would provide a broader range of fiscal choices, enhancing accountability and responsibility for decisions made by the Scottish Parliament on taxation and public expenditure.

It would also enable the Scottish Government to make the tax system more progressive.’

The initial report from Labour also called for Holyrood to take charge of Air Passenger Duty.

Maybe I should remind you of the reaction to that proposal. Do you remember what Labour MPs said about it? Do you recall how they boycotted the Scottish Labour conference in Inverness?

Have you forgotten that, within half an hour, Margaret Curran, the Shadow Scottish Secretary, was on TV, refusing to endorse the policy? Do you recall that she wouldn’t even admit Ed Miliband had been consulted?

And, a year later, Johann had been whipped into line. Labour’s final recommendation offered ‘three-quarters of the basic rate income tax in Scotland will be under the control of the Scottish Parliament but without the risk that a Scottish Government could force tax competition within the UK by cutting only the top rates.’

In short, Scotland could be trusted to increase income taxes, but not to cut them. And, on airport taxes, Labour decided that, since the airlines want it cut, that must be a bad thing.

It’s astonishing how just one scary opinion poll can concentrate minds. It’s just a pity that Lamont was driven from office before everybody agreed that she was right all along.”

That’s all very well as far as it goes. But the paper’s political editor Andrew Nicoll then goes on to say that Holyrood will now have to decide whether it wants to pursue radical policies and increase taxes to pay for them. That’s a legitimate point, though we and others have dealt in some depth with the practical difficulty of implementing different rates in different parts of the UK (and indeed whether or not the Smith settlement would be a desirable thing anyway).

But it’s not what seems to us the logical extrapolation of the train of thought.

Because what Nicoll correctly observes is that UK Labour really, really don’t want to devolve full control of income tax rates to Scotland, to the point where the party’s Westminster MPs actually boycotted their own conference. Should it somehow win the 2015 election, we’d suggest that it perhaps wouldn’t be the most shocking thing in the world were it to decide that, after having a long hard think about it, maybe it didn’t want to do that after all.

After all, we already know the party’s attitude to manifesto promises:

“It’s a mistake to get too worked up about what is and is not being promised since the relationship between word and subsequent deed is far from guaranteed, even if the electoral hurdle is cleared.”

It seems to us to be asking a lot to believe that Westminster Labour has had an en-masse Damascene conversion in the last two months (or in Jim Murphy’s case, 48 hours) to policies it’s consistently and strenuously opposed for years. We know that broadly speaking it’s the party’s MSPs who want more devolution and the MPs who are opposed to it, and in the event of a 2015 victory it’ll be the latter who (literally) have the whip hand. Nobody’s going to give a toss what the MSPs want, especially as nobody currently imagines that they’ll be in power in Edinburgh come 2016.

We already know that David Cameron’s going to have a revolt on his hands if he wins the election and tries to implement the Smith proposals without also imposing “English votes for English laws”. It seems fair to say that Labour won’t exactly be bursting to do it either should Ed Miliband be in 10 Downing Street – they started backsliding in public over the commitment to devolve Air Passenger Duty almost immediately.

“The Vow” may well have been signed and sealed in the form of the Smith report. But despite what the Unionist parties and media are desperate to get Scots to believe, the delivery is still a deeply uncertain prospect.

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    111 to “The conclusion not arrived at”

    1. Devorgilla says:

      Well we all knew that, didn’t we? It’s a fix. There will be no change.

      The way I see it is that the more significant thing would be that tax collection take place in Scotland, never mind the rates. That we have our own fiscal system.

    2. Grouse Beater says:

      Little lies breed big lies until life is one long deceit.

    3. Doug Daniel says:

      Not only is it uncertain, but it proves once again that the purpose of devolution is to keep power in the hands of politicians so they can decide the pace of devolution rather than the people, and that they will do everything they can to slow down the rate of progress.

      The amount of power Scots want Holyrood to have is far closer to the SNP and Greens’ positions than the unionist ones. But instead of saying “okay Scotland, what exactly is it you want?”, instead we get commission after commission coming up with the minimum amount of devolution they think they can get away with to placate us. Maybe after 2016 when we vote for the SNP again, they’ll set up another commission and this time offer to give us control over 40% of the budget? Then in 2020 we’ll do it again and maybe get control over 50%?

      People are going to have to get real. It’s clear that the only time unionists are prepared to give us more powers is when we threaten to leave the UK. So do Scots who want more powers want to be stuck voting for the SNP election after election, having referendums every few years to try and coax another few powers out of them? Or are they just going to realise that the only way to get the powers we need is to take them ourselves?

      Brick walls and banging heads come to mind.

    4. ClanDonald says:

      Labour need the support of the Scottish yessers so desperately yet they still treat us with utter contempt. They actually think we’ll all come flooding back in May like loyal little sheep. Well listen up, Labour, I’d rather eat cat food for the rest of my life than vote for you lot again; we ain’t never coming back.

      “Vote for Labour to sacrifice Scotland’s future and save the Labour Party.”

    5. HandandShrimp says:

      I said this on the Guardian, not a single sentence of Smith has been delivered, we are just over the first hurdle and that has been knocked over by Ian Duncan Smith and others in the UK Cabinet. I fully expect Labour MPs and Lords to start whittling away at Smith in due course. Only a hefty number of SNPs are going to concentrate minds to deliver what little is on offer.

    6. schrodingers cat says:

      what i take from this article is a warning that nothing has actually been granted, this is a proposal which will not be addressed until after the general election, ie, the issue has been booted into the long grass marked SEP (somebody elses problem)
      i remember the last scotland bill being shredded in the HOL leaving holyrood with the power to legislate over air guns and sod all else.

      this will happen to the smith commission too, although power over road signs will probably be kept purely for its comic value

    7. Devorgilla says:

      The Irish Parliamentary Party did succeed in wringing a number of concessions out of Westminster regarding land law reform by commanding high numbers of MPs. Who knows whether they would have achieved Home Rule eventually through a constitutional electoral route had not the outbreak of WWI in August 1914 intervened to put on hold the Home Rule Bill which had just been introduced the month before. But this was the third bill of this kind, the other two having been defeated. All the indications presently point to Westminster not wanting to allow Scotland meaningful home rule either. Their idea is to treat the Scottish Parliament like one large local authority – Scotlandshire – and control all the levers of power that rightfully belong to the people.

    8. Devorgilla says:

      The more I think about it the more I think that one way forwards for us politically to get out of this blind alley that Westminster has concocted for us in the Smith Commission is to reconvene the Constitutional Convention to assemble all the civic groups that submitted to the Smith Commission and to hammer something out ourselves.

      For one thing, we need to know what Scotland actually thinks and not cobble a doctored report in six weeks that was gerry-mandered by London and the Cabinet. The latest opinion poll shows 63% want more than Smith. We owe it to them.

    9. Macart says:

      Power devolved is power… etc.

      They really are the most unashamedly duplicitous, two faced, hypocritical, backstabbing bunch of self serving careerists.

      And that’s their good points.

    10. Clootie says:

      Cameron will celebrate St. Andrews Day. Labour will promise to “listen & change”…until after you vote next May.

      We missed the Independence opportunity. We must not fail in getting maximum leverage from a divided Westminster. It is now critical to send down a block of MP’s who will actually fight for the people of Scotland. It is an unfortunate fact that Labour MP’s will not do so. It is therefore critical to use the first past the post system that has been abused by Labour to our advantage for once. Fight for a 40%+ SNP vote at the 2014GE for real influence.

    11. Doug Daniel says:

      Devorgilla – that’s actually a pretty brilliant idea. It’s one thing to point at opinion polls and say “hey look, 60%+ want this power devolved”, but it would be far harder to ignore if we had a solid proposal of what powers people want the parliament to have. We then present that to the politicians, and say “give us these powers in full, or we’ll vote for independence”.

      And we all know what the outcome of that would be…

    12. desimond says:

      Why am i hearing Bryan ferry in my head?

      And now the marriage vow is very sacred
      The man has put us together and you ought to make us
      Stick together c’m on c’m on let’s stick together
      You know we made a vow to leave one another never.

      The ultimate slap in the face will be a Blue Tory-Red Tory alliance in May with Theresa May and Ed Balls side by side saying “We will put any differences aside for now at this dangerous time in the world”.

    13. wingman 2020 says:

      “The Vow” may well have been signed and sealed in the form of the Smith report. But despite what the Unionist parties and media are desperate to get Scots to believe, the delivery is still a deeply uncertain prospect.

      Sorry Stu… Understatement of the year. It simply isn’t going to get delivered in any respect. The SNP know this. The whole thing is a massive charade to return the Scottish electorate away from the SNP, Independence and back to a Labour fold.

      Once Westminster has this surety for the GE, they are back on solid ground for another five years.

      There is ONLY one objective with the Smith Commission… Make the Scottish electorate believe that they got something and that economic circumstances will now improve.

      IF there was any other explanation… The Unionist media would be explaining and pointing out precisely how Scotland would be better off. They would be explaining exactly how the Smith Commission would deliver powers that would allow the SG to attack poverty. They cannot and they won’t.

      Smith couldn’t explain it to Bernard Ponsonby. Everything has Features, Advantages and Benefits… Smith talked about the Features…

      The Unionist media are pretending that there are some Advantages and Benefits… But in fact cannot list them specifically. Neither can Murphy.

    14. Cath says:

      The latest opinion poll shows 63% want more than Smith. We owe it to them.

      Actually I’d say at least some of that number owe it to us.

    15. wingman 2020 says:

      “Cameron will celebrate St. Andrews Day. Labour will promise to “listen & change”…until after you vote next May.”


    16. Brian Powell says:

      Nicola Sturgeon speaking to business leaders, showing she is a leader at the European and world level.

      Jim Murphy grubbing around, touting political tactics, to drum up votes to keep Labour in Scotland breathing.

    17. Cath says:

      IF there was any other explanation… The Unionist media would be explaining and pointing out precisely how Scotland would be better off. They would be explaining exactly how the Smith Commission would deliver powers that would allow the SG to attack poverty. They cannot and they won’t.

      Exactly this. All we’re hearing is “the vow has been delivered”; “See, we’ve given you more, now shut up”. “You lost, get over it” etc, etc.

      No one is willing or able to actually stand up and say, “This is a great deal because…” or argue with those who are criticising it in any way which involves real debate about it. It’s just “nyah nyah we’ve won and you’ll have to accept this”.

      That’s not good enough, and shouldn’t be good enough for anyone who cares about politics or decent governance. The fact it IS enough for so many in the Westminster parties says a lot about them.

    18. wingman 2020 says:

      @Devorgilla @Doug Daniel

      “The more I think about it the more I think that one way forwards for us politically to get out of this blind alley that Westminster has concocted for us in the Smith Commission is to reconvene the Constitutional Convention to assemble all the civic groups that submitted to the Smith Commission and to hammer something out ourselves.

      For one thing, we need to know what Scotland actually thinks and not cobble a doctored report in six weeks that was gerry-mandered by London and the Cabinet. The latest opinion poll shows 63% want more than Smith. We owe it to them.”

      This is indeed what is needed. Get on to the front foot. Put what is wanted by the majority in black and white. Act as if we are already in charge of our own destiny. Stop scrambling for scraps off the Westminster table.

      It is time we shaped our own future, and demanded it instead of negotiating with people with vested interests, hidden agendas and NO intention of delivering anything of significance.

    19. heedtracker says:

      Scotland’s almost irrelevant now. The Smith fraud has seen to that. What does matter is what UKIP does with EVEL. Farage has had been fawned over by the BBC but he’s going to make England even more vote UKIP angry over their devo-max con for scrounger Scotland. Both red and blue Tories have their work cut out deceiving England the same way they’ve defrauded Scotland. They really weally love Scotland though. Let the bagpipes “ring out” from the islands of Argyll to the streets of New York” yes blue Tory boy really did say that. Thanks again proud Scot buts.

    20. msean says:

      Diversion and misdirection again,they love it when we get diverted up a cul de sac talking about what should be devolved or not,just don’t lose sight of independence while we discuss it. Labour and the other technicoloured tories don’t want any change at all. Ever. Scotland is the piggy bank and arms dump and grouse shooting holiday home for royalty all at once.

    21. Willie G says:

      Sorry but I’m already well past trying to force through the Smith commissions chicken feed offerings. Sure high numbers of SNP MPs will strengthen our hand in that respect but is that all we want ????? That would be like finding a howitzer and loading it with rubber ammo.
      1/ wipe out the Tories in Scotland.
      2/ wipe out Labour in Scotland.
      3/ wipe out the lib dems in Scotland
      Then aim for the stars politically.
      Doing less would be a disservice to the 45% who believe in Scotland and a high proportion of the 55% who now know we have been well and truly had.

    22. wingman 2020 says:

      @Doug Daniel

      Time for a meeting with reliable and ‘verified’ like minded people.

    23. jackie g says:

      Breaking news

      Gordon Brown to stand down as MPFormer Prime Minister Gordon Brown is preparing to announce that he will stand down from parliament in 2015.

      He is expected to confirm his intentions in a speech to the local Labour Party in his Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency this evening.

      Mr Brown will have served 32 years at Westminster by the time of the general election.

      according to MSM, they are deriding the SG and Nicola for being too radical with the new land reforms but give space to this clown.

      Of course this clown is more important than our elected govt.

    24. Mealer says:

      a constitutional convention has to be part of the way forward,but it has to be dominated by civic Scotland rather than political parties.

    25. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Complete control of Income Tax-Bollocks!

      There is no control of unearned income nor income tax reliefs. The only way to increase finances is to increase income tax across the board. Effecting people who can’t afford it.

      That is the whole rationale of The Smith Commission. Make sure that real control remains at Westminster and tax rates do not really change throughout the UK. As a consequence, The Scottish Government will not be able to counter huge austerity cuts.

    26. hadrianswall says:

      If Lab get a majority, forget about Smith. Balls will ensure it is kicked into the long grass. There are no SLAB MP’s of any gravitas to stop this.
      BTW, I wondered about Browns speech and why he was making it as he will not be standing in GE. No doubt he has been promised a lordship for saving the union. Darling will be lucky to get a knighthood for nearly losing the union.

    27. Macart says:

      @ Doug and Devorgilla

      Possibility of a popular and public driven poll/canvassing on powers?

      Presented through the CC and with the popular backing of the public it would certainly be hard to ignore.

    28. donald anderson says:

      Messer Schmidt love bombs with Devo Mince.

    29. Valerie says:

      A civic group would at least highlight we want to reject this tripe. Look at all the group’s quoted as disappointed.

      Just read a piece on Bella by Mike Small, and not for the first time, I read – what we’re the Greens and SNP doing among this?

      They need to be careful here, because they know their new members are more ‘aggressive’, they are in a slightly precarious position here.

    30. Onwards says:

      It will be interesting to see how the smith proposals are worded in their manifesto.

      I suspect it will be vague enough to allow backtracking. We wont be seeing wording like ‘100%’ or ‘in full’

    31. Helena Brown says:

      Don’t know if anyone else heard Martin Gilbert on R4 this morning, on the small matter of the Smith Commission having given the Scots what they they mostly wanted. Shall I say I was shouting at the radio, I came to the conclusion that though he said he was relaxed about Scottish Independence, he had be got at by the establishment, because he is either a fool or it has to be that.

    32. schrodingers cat says:

      the unionists can argue all they like about their definition of devo max
      i suggest they stick it in their manifesto and let the people of scotland decide

      it would be difficult for andrew “brillo” neil to argue the toss with alex salmond when alex has the benefit of a democrating mandate from the people of scotland to support his definition.

    33. Kenny says:

      Doug makes a good point. It would also help to steer the SNP away from the triumphalist vein it appears to be slipping into if the SNP was seen to be actively building a consensus, actually listening to civic Scotland and actually setting the agenda based on what people want rather than “re-running the referendum.” Sure, the media and the British Nationalists won’t accept it and will still attack the SNP relentlessly, but people aren’t immune to reality, no matter what the Daily Record says. Actual consensus-building is much more useful than pretending there’s a consensus out of Smith and working from there.

      At the same time – and I’m not an SNP member – the SNP needs to figure out what to do with those 100,000 members. My view would be to split them into small teams of 10-20 with a weekly meeting to talk about what’s happening and get assigned your street for the week. Send them out in pairs for a couple of hours every week from now until the election (at least) and get every door in Scotland knocked. For now, approach them in a “we’re trying to find out what people want” kind of way. Build the trust, build the relationships, learn about how people feel, get some real feedback on why the vote went the way it did. Then when it comes to hard campaigning time, the intelligence is all in place. You know who’s voting what way and why. You know the hardcore unionists you can ignore and the SNP hardcore you don’t need to worry about. Time can then be spent focussing on the waverers. Also, having that detailed information about what people actually think not only gives the SNP a tactical advantage but more importantly, lets voters see that the SNP is just a bunch of ordinary Scots trying to make their country better.

    34. Helena Brown says:

      Willie G says: @11.43am, we have to hope that a lot of the 45% do not return to the fold. I am at least hoping that those who were moved to join the SNP at least vote for them. We will be facing more relentless propaganda for the Election and people need to remember the damage that was done to the cause by this during the Referendum.

    35. Ruairidh Waddell says:

      @Doug Daniel, @Devorgilla I actually disagree with you. I think we have gone past this point. The SNP need to further seize the initiative here and spend the next three months on a broad listening campaign themselves and fight the GE2015 & SPE2016 on a manifesto of delivering the powers that people really want to see Scotland have.

      We do have to give the electorate a little credit in terms of their greater enlightenment over the past 3 years. As indyref showed they are (in the majority) not as gullible as we think and the SNP need to use the GE campaign publicity to clearly show how far short the Smith Commission proposals are of devomax/homerule/federalism and make a clear argument for what the alternative proposal is.

      They are in a unique position of probably being able to fight for this and win concessions in a hung Parliament and then being able to quickly implement them in a post 2016 Scottish Parliament where they (without counting chickens) will probably have at least a workable majority. If we do this and proper notice is not taken by Westminster then we have every right to go back to the ballot box for showdown part II in the next Scottish Parliamentary term.

    36. gerry parker says:

      We just need to ask the unionists every day.

      “what new powers have been delivered?”

    37. Doug D says:

      Devorgilla, Doug Daniel – I’m also in favour of reconstituting the Constitutional Convention. We need a way forward that brings along the “significant autonomy but not independence” crowd, the pro-Scottish weak Unionists, something that would unite a huge proportion of the Scottish public and civic Scotland. We need this for democratic reasons as much as pro-indy reasons because right now if the people could speak they would say they wanted significant autonomy just short of independence. A constitutional convention could be that peoples’ voice. A convention, then the peoples’ proposals, then a referendum on that, or an Indyref if (when) that’s not granted.

    38. gillie says:

      Do we need to reconvene the Constitutional Convention?

      Why not look at all the submissions from the Smith Commission. I bet you could quickly determine popular proposals for a ‘people’s powerhouse parliament’.

    39. Luigi says:

      Devorgilla says:

      1 December, 2014 at 11:17 am

      The more I think about it the more I think that one way forwards for us politically to get out of this blind alley that Westminster has concocted for us in the Smith Commission is to reconvene the Constitutional Convention to assemble all the civic groups that submitted to the Smith Commission and to hammer something out ourselves.

      Excellent idea. We need something to focus on, up to May 2015 and beyond. The Constitutional Convention would make it very difficult for BBC Labour to frame it as another WM party battle.

    40. muttley79 says:

      As far as I can tell Miliband is virtually unelectable anyway. I would be amazed if Labour won in May. Even if they are the largest party in May, but without an overall majority, the Union is finished, as they would have Scottish Labour MPs voting on English domestic matters.

      After the EVEL debate and the Tories making it a high profile issue, Labour would effectively be signing the Union’s death warrant, at least in its present form. In the event of a narrow Labour win, the Tories and the vast majority of the MSM would be going ape shit on the West Lothian Question.

      If you take away, or reduce significantly, the prestige, the status, and the amount of power Scottish Labour MPs have enjoyed down at Westminster in the past (or present), the Union is effectively dead, or at the very least in real trouble.

      Therefore, Professor Tom Devine is right when he said there is either going to be federalism in the UK, or independence. Independence is the most likely outcome because I cannot see the British establishment having the patience, the motivation, nor the inclination to carry out the complex setting up of a federal UK state.

    41. Macart says:

      The National may be of some use in garnering public opinion on powers. A good special to run asking the people what they want? Do they feel the parties have delivered on anything? Have they lived down to expectations? That kinda thing. 😉

    42. muttley79 says:

      A renewed Constitutional Convention would need to be set up by civic groups in Scotland, such as the STUC, the churches, voluntary groups etc. A new CC would almost certainly support real Devo max, or pretty close to it. It would actually be very amusing if it did reconvene. This is because the Unionists would almost certainly have to do what the SNP did in the late 1980s, which is to say they would need to withdraw from it. The MSM were bitterly hostile to the SNP walking out, so it would be funny in itself to witness their reaction to any Unionist withdrawal.

      It would also have the advantage of massively pissing off and annoying Gerry Hassan, who loathes all the “Civic Scotland” talk…

    43. muttley79 says:


      Most of the submissions to the Smith Commission appeared to support much more substantial devolution. There was apparently some unionist submissions from Channel Four and Bristol Airport etc. However, these appear to be in the minority.

    44. Grouse Beater says:

      A constitutional convention has … to be dominated by civic Scotland rather than political parties.

      I agree.

      The establishment of a semi-permanent People’s Convention is a fine idea, a standing committee able to set agenda and arrange to discuss it in open court, so to speak, one that can ask politicians to give evidence or opinion before it, and that provides a clear voice to help explain and educate.

      It wouldn’t have mandatory powers to call people and sitting politicians to meetings. Those disinclined to attend will feel obliged to make public their reason.

      The chair should alter annually, findings and proposals published – publications reprinted in The National newspaper.

      In that role it should have the right to disagree with government policy as well as suggest objectives, whether it’s an SNP administration or another.

      A convention has a real function representing civic mood, giving a platform to the concerned citizen, and who knows, might be worth continuing after independence is regained.

      It needs a modicum of funds to cover administration costs, and a website where it’s work and dealings are presented to the public it serves. At this stage fees for key staff are a mitigating factor, unless it can attract sound, committed volunteers to meet several times a year.

      A People’s Convention is a good idea.

    45. Nana Smith says:

      Amazing what the GMB did not support…

      GMB did not support the devolution of the state pension, corporation tax, employment legislation nor a separate Scottish minimum wage. This is not for ideological reasons but because we do not believe such a move would benefit working people in Scotland, but rather the opposite.

    46. Grouse Beater says:

      I cannot see the British establishment having the patience, the motivation, nor the inclination to carry out the complex setting up of a federal UK state.

      Power devolved is power lost – you’re right; they’ll resist anything than runs close to independence to their dying breath.

    47. mumsyhugs says:

      O/t Tesco in Forres are actually selling The National – and it’s not hidden either but in full glorious view! Perhaps our supermarkets are finally realising it’s not a clever idea to alienate close on half the voting public who have been voting with their feet and heading out the door elsewhere!

    48. Robert Louis says:

      Doug Daniel, Wingman2020 and others,

      I wholly agree with the sentiments being raised regarding the Smith charade. I also agree, that it is clear, that if we do not have the metaphorical gun of an independence referendum pointing at Westminster, then Scotland will get treated with the utmost contempt as evidence by this pathetic ‘report’ by the unelected Smith. The suggestion therefore, that we convene a constitutional commission forthwith, to allow civic Scotland to set out in a clear way, the powers which Scots want, is indeed a good one. Let us demand the powers that Scots want, NOT what Westminster wishes to patronisingly bestow upon us.

      It is time for the Scottish Government to start behaving as a Government, and to start DEMANDING the powers Scots want (via a Scottish constitutional commission), instead of sitting by and letting Smith unfold. Let’s convene a Scottish constitutional commission incorporating civic Scotland, and put Smith where it rightly belongs – in the bin.

      Their is another point I want to make, however, and that is this, the Scottish Government should be absolutely outraged by the final report from Smith, yet what I hear are comments such as ‘Well, we welcome any new powers’ but it doesn’t go far enough’. Really??? Where is the anger? Where is the outrage? The Smith Commission hasn’t even given Scots devo nano, instead it has given Scotland devo NOTHING. It is a sick joke.

      The only upside of Smith, is that I think it makes the prospect of another indy referendum much more likely within the next two years.

    49. muttley79 says:

      I agree with the idea of a new Constitutional Convention/People’s Convention for Scotland. It would have to have a board that was made up of moderate unionists and gradualist independence representatives. In my opinion, it would be better to have no former or current politicians on the coordinating committee/board as well, as they bring their own agendas. It could/should be driven by what the people of Scotland want as a whole, and be neutral on the independence question (in terms of both sides).

    50. Willie Hogg says:

      A number of people above have suggested that “civic Scotland” should produce a counter DevoMax proposition, which independance leaning candidates in GE2015 could adopt as their own. But who is to convene such a body? Its time for Yes Scotland to spend whatever is left in the kitty.

    51. Nana Smith says:

      SNP depute leader and Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie MP has challenged the UK Government to deliver real investment that would bring Barnett consequentials to Scotland.

      This follows reports of new investment in the NHS and infrastructure by the UK Government ahead of Wednesday’s Autumn statement at the same time as it has been predicted that George Osborne will fail on all his targets on borrowing and the deficit.

      “If the Chancellor makes the rumoured spending announcements this week he must be absolutely honest about what the implications for Scotland might be.

      “A £2 billion investment in the NHS – as reported – should bring around £200 million of consequentials to Scotland. We already know that £700 million of the money is within the health service – if other funding is just moved around – then benefits to Scotland could be limited.

      ‘’The Chancellor is fooling nobody. He is making these spending announcements as a pre-cursor to the awful forecasts for more cuts and more missed targets we are going to get on Wednesday. His tactic is blatant – he is front loading all this future spending on projects before all his failures are revealed in the Autumn statement. The Chancellor needs to be absolutely clear where all this pre- election extra spending largesse is coming from.

      “George Osborne has a woeful record of missing all his targets on borrowing and the deficit. His austerity programme has only just started – with huge Tory cuts needed in the next parliament to which Labour have signed up. This coalition’s economic strategy has failed – to get Scotland back on the road to sustained recovery we need real investment and a fair share of any extra spending – not more Westminster promises and targets.”

    52. Robert Louis says:


      I think you will find, it is unionists who accuse the SNP of triumphalism. As a member, I see no evidence of triumphalism whatsoever. They are right to be joyous at growing their membership, as ANY political party would.

      You need to read past the unionist trolls and spin.

    53. IAB says:

      It’s time for the major push – devo max in the 2015 and 2016 elections. A few years to get it settled then saor Alba.

    54. muttley79 says:

      I forgot to mention in my last post, any new Constitutional Commission should return to the original philosophy that powers should be considered on the basis of good reasons why they should not be devolved, instead of the Smith Commission’s retreat from the original principle of the 1998 Scotland Act. Therefore, in effect it would be following an assumed pro-change agenda, guided by the popular participation of the independence referendum, and the opinion polls on more powers.

    55. wingman 2020 says:

      So….. when is the first meeting to set up the workings of the People’s Convention?

      There must easily be thirty of us in here with the Political, Admin, Web Design, Communication, Marketing and Fund Raising skills to get this off the ground.

      The resources are all here…

      What is to prevent us having a working meeting within the next 10 days?

    56. wingman 2020 says:

      PS I’d be very happy to facilitate and organise the debate to capture all the ideas and structure. This would be needed in order to focus and harness the input and to make best use of the time.

      There are a number of tools and techniques, including MetaPlanning that may be used to ‘organise’ the wealth of input and help shape it into something that can be recommended in an initial report.

    57. fred blogger says:

      Grouse Beater
      absolutely, it has now to be a people’s constitutional convention, phase 1 has already taken place, the indyref YES campaign.
      i wouldn’t want to plot labours twists and turns on a map, but i’m certain their position has not changed one little bit.
      they want to rule the people.
      “we know you want change”, but it’s not just a fresh change of clothes we are after.
      but change that is obvious and always has been obvious, to end poverty and bring about social justice.
      why do we even need to demand this of a so called socialist labour party?
      but we did have to continue to state the obvious over and over again, until we are heard, we have been by the scottish national collective, inclusive us/we!
      yes, we want change and the consequences of demanding that change means voting for new beginnings, and rejecting cloth eared politics.

    58. ben madigan says:

      @ Muttley 79 and grousebeater re
      “I cannot see the British establishment having the patience, the motivation, nor the inclination to carry out the complex setting up of a federal UK state”.

      In my view, federalism with its separation of powers, written constitution and so on, is alien to Westminster. It won’t happen!!

    59. Valerie says:

      As a new member of SNP, I am peed off there is not a louder condemnation, that they did their best, but its pretty rubbish – or words to that effect.

      I have just posted on the wall of my local branch FB page, and there is a branch meeting next week, so can I please suggest other SNP party members do something to make your disgust known.

      I said it was a waste of time and money, and would like to see more condemnation from the leadership to that effect.

    60. muttley79 says:


      It would have to involve groups like STUC, Unite, the rest of the trade unions in Scotland, the voluntary/third sector groups, the main religions, secular bodies, universities and colleagues, charities, lawyers groups, etc. Wings is pro-independence, a real CC would have to be neutral on Yes/No.

    61. jackie g says:


      just read your link.

      That man is deluded, here are my top bits from jim:

      He said growing up poor with four generations of his family living under the same roof in an impoverished part of Glasgow made him a socialist and gave him the right credentials to lead the party. There would be no tuition fees under his watch and the country would be a fairer place to live.

      and the best bit!

      “It’s not their fault they voted yes. It’s our fault. We got something wrong.

      As if having priniciples and wanting the best for your country is a fault?

      Socialist Murphy could not spell the word..geez this man missed his calling as a comedian as he is bloody hilarious.

      We should collect all the jim Murpy quotes in a book it would be a bestseller.

    62. muttley79 says:

      @ben madigan

      Yes, I am inclined to agree.

    63. Graham says:

      Smith has completely ignored submissions from members of the public who overwhelmingly wanted at least Devo Max.

    64. heedtracker says:

      Another teamGB fraud gets mopped up the week after the Lord Smith cunning stunt goes down. So much for their “No Scots oil left if you vote YES” shyste.

    65. jackie g says:


      i am also a new member and have been sent an email to say that Nicola is having a webchat tonight at 7.30pm for all the new members who did not get to the roadshow events.

      I have already posted a question but i am sure the topic reg the outcome of the Smith commision will come up.

      Someone has also posted today that Stewart Hosie is on the case at Westminster regarding the outcome.

    66. Grouse Beater says:

      Fed Blogger:
      Grouse Beater, absolutely, it has now to be a people’s constitutional convention.

      I made the subtle change from the mere ‘constitutional’ convention for the obvious reason the population is invariable ignored by its unionist politicians, some union executives, and media too busy in inculcating us with messages of fear and loathing!

      It has to be a genuine ‘voice of the people’ and not a dry academmic talking shop. It has to channel anger and intent.

    67. desimond says:

      Lets have a Convention?

      Have i fell asleep and woke up to find Douglas Alexander clones have started writing on Wings?

    68. galamcennalath says:

      At this instant I’m sure there are a lot of Scots who believe Smith will lead to something constructive. They took Federal Brown and others at their word. They get their news from the BBC and the Daily Record. They haven’t seen beyond the smoke and mirrors.

      The critical time is when it becomes apparent to a much wider percentage that the Vow, promises and Smith will lead to absolutely nothing worthwhile. I suggest this might happen sometime between WM 2015 and Holyrood 2016. Which ever party wins In 2015 will make clear they intend to implement nothing, neither Lab or Tory want Scotland to have even Smith powers. The DevoMax dreamers will finally see it will never happen.

      Then, we all enter a new and exciting phase.

    69. Ken500 says:

      Westminster do not want Scotland to be better run, more successful, fairer and more democratic.
      Most of Westminster should be in jail. The majority are just out for what they can get from the misuse of public money. Westminster secrecy and lies.

      Vote out Unionist politicians 7/5/15

    70. galamcennalath says:

      ben madigan says:
      “In my view, federalism with its separation of powers, written constitution and so on, is alien to Westminster. It won’t happen!!”

      Yes. There are just too many vested interests in WM who don’t want the can of worms that is significant constitutional change opened.

      The only group pushing for change are Scots, and WM in its entirety just wishes we would go away and stop shuggling their apple cart.

      Even minor tweaks like EVEL will not happen IMO. Their solution is to ensure Holyrood has so few powers, EVEL won’t be necessary.

    71. muttley79 says:


      If you read the posts you may well see that it is completely different from the idea of a CC that Alexander has. This is one in which the political parties are not dictating the agenda; in other words it comes from what the voters want.

    72. wingman 2020 says:


      Absolutely agree. No argument with any of your points.

      What I am suggesting is an organising committee. We get it off the ground.

    73. fred blogger says:

      Grouse Beater
      yes, a restoration of self esteem aka self confidence.
      one of my favourite authors/speakers, quaker dr bob johnson, is now writing a book called “the science of ‘intent’,” and plans to publish it as a free e-book.

    74. wingman 2020 says:



    75. Gordon Brown sharing and pooling and resetting and can do and will do on `BBC Parliament`
      The Brown Broadcasting Company.
      So much empty rhetoric,so many lies ,same old scare stories ,the man is a treacherous bag of wind and a danger to the people of Scotland.

    76. Dr Jim says:

      @Helena Brown
      One of the few keeping it real,good on you…

    77. Karmanaut says:


      I think the reason that SNPs stance “We welcome any new powers, but it isn’t enough” seems quite tame is that they expect these limited powers to be filtered out in parliament.

      If they condemned them strongly now as being weak and pointless, then it will be so much easier for the government and HOL to strip them all away, which is what is likely to happen. “Well, if you don’t want it, we can fix that.”

      I expect they’ll block lowering income tax rates, thereby rendering that “power” unusable. I expect they’ll block Air Passenger Duty, too.

    78. desimond says:

      I was making a joke but in all honesty, I think any Convention talk is just earnest dreaming and duly plays into the Unionist hands by reducing focus down to “Oh Lets see what we can do with a little extra”.

      Im not wishing to cause any arguments but people concentrating on a civic convention is just the sort of distractive tactics the Unionist leaders would love.

      I also like how the STUC are being cited given the Unions part in defending the Union. Just cause they moaned last week does not make our enemies friend our friend.

    79. muttley79 says:


      The STUC have a very good record on constitutional change in Scotland. They supported Yes in 1979, 1997, and were neutral this year, and there was no doubt support for independence among their ranks.


      Do you mean setting up a organising committee, and then to pass it on to others?

    80. Dr Jim says:

      Revenge of the Sith Commission? come on we all know it means nothing, nada, zilch, it’s the usual Brit tactic of kicking the can further down the road, more time passes, then they promise more time will be invested in looking at better ways of blah blah blah and lessons will be learned and blah blah blah, c’mon give up hope and die you thick Jocks we’ve done it to you before and we’ll do it again coz we know you’ll fall for it every time, best just give up now.. I’ve listened and watched the same Shite for 65years of my life, some of the younger folks might think, Aye, but it’ll be different this time, NO it wont, there’s only one thing they understand, POWER, the Irish did it with force, no way advocating that nonsense VOTES! pure and simple, drive them out with the will of the people SNP is the strongest route, you dont have to be a member, you dont have to agree with everything, that’s democracy, obtain the main objective then we own our country and pick over the details later, that’s freedom, that’s self determination, that’s Independence!!!!
      I feel a song coming on….

    81. Valerie says:

      @Karmanaut, take your point, but if its likely to happen anyway??? (that we lose via the HoL)

      They need to take a strategic decision on that one, play nice, and see what the HoL takes out of Devo mince, or lose the support of the burgeoning membership?

      They just need to say enough. The Daily Heil is running front page on Sturgeon wanting to punish the hard working middle classes because she asking for more tax powers! They are getting shat on anyway.

    82. Graeme Doig says:

      I have no real idea of the logistics or credence of the suggestion of a CC as it would be in reality but i have to say it sounds like a good idea.
      The idea that a wide group could come together publicly and discuss Smith and the alternatives to it would certainly keep the focus on it’s inadequacies.
      I share the frustration but also have to trust that the SG know what they are doing in playing along with this farce.
      A CC would allow real debate and criticism and maybe force the msm to have to report on such.

    83. gillie says:

      What about a People’s Petition, a New Scottish Covenant, signed by Scots based on a common consensus derived from submissions to the Smith Commission?

      No more conventions or commissions, I have had my fill.

      With 6 months to go to the UK elections we can forcibly put this at the heart of the political debate.

    84. george ferguson says:

      I see not much upside in the Smith recommedations . Perhaps better Tory backbenchers binned them. And we reset ad GB would say. Second ref more likely

    85. george ferguson says:

      Is it central to SNP strategy that tory backbenchers throw a wobbly and get Smith binned? I hope so because there is not a lot of upside in the Smith recommendations. Not much opportunity to really make a difference. Part of me thinks SNP should have walked away but then ….

    86. yerkitbreeks says:

      I am resigned to filibustering by Westminster MPs when the Schmidt proposals get scrutinised in Committee.

      On the other hand I’m sure Inde is inevitable so I will enjoy Revenue Scotland etc getting practice with whatever they’re allowed to deal with at this juncture.

    87. Lollysmum says:

      Sometimes I despair. A week ago everyone was praising SNP & their governance & now you are complaining about them doing nothing. Is this nothing:
      2 years of a referendum campaign
      Leadership taken on by a new leader just a few weeks ago.
      Same new leader also installed last week as First Minister
      Party getting to grips with a massive influx of new members & having to work out ways of managing their expectations
      Scotland being railroaded into participating in the Smith Commission farce & the aftermath from that.
      Holding the SNP tour around the country to allow people to get to know the SNP as people rather than remote politicians.
      Annual conference in Perth
      SNP Women’s Conference in Ayr
      Producing Scotgov Annual Workplan for the next year
      whilst also running the Government of Scotland
      Planning & implementing a strategy for fighting a general election in just 6 months time

      And all everyone can say is that they aren’t shouting enough about Smith & that they should have walked out.

      I am no lover of political parties but come on folks you have a bloody good parliament that is run well by the SNP, earning high levels of trust from voters and now you are turning on them. Either you want parliamentarians who demonstrate that there is a consensual way to do politics or you don’t but right now, they are damned if they do & damned if they don’t. They can’t win either way.

      Quite honestly, they aren’t in government to respond to everyone’s slightest whim, they have to build for the long term & they aren’t going to do that by shouting from the rooftops-we wuz robbed -it wuz the big boys wot did it. In the past they’ve been accused of blaming everyone but themselves and have been saddled with a reputation for ‘sour grapes’. Do you want them to continue in that vein? Wouldn’t that cause voters to lose confidence in Scotgov & SNP when the opposite is needed? Professionalism & responsible governance is what impresses voters not the gutter politics, backbiting & smearing used by WM parties & particularly SLAB.Do you want them to sink to WM level?

      SNP will have a plan for all the eventualities but let’s face it they aren’t going to broadcast any of it here or anywhere else for that matter.

      I’m impressed by all that they have done in two short months & feel that your criticism is both unfair & unfounded. They do say that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone so you need to be aware of the damage you can do in these pages because once its posted it’s there for ever.

      Just calm down please & think of your blood pressures otherwise we’ll have a shortage of intelligent commenters here who can think things through calmly & rationally & reach logical conclusions leading to presenting workable ideas & solutions.

      And now in the words of John King-I’ll get my coat!!

    88. Nana Smith says:


      Excellent post!!

    89. geeo says:

      10 minute Gordy broon “wankfest” (pardon the language) on STV news…!!

      Had to check he was not dead ffs…!

      40 second story on Nic Sturgeon…actual SG leader, go figure huh?

      I i did not love that big telly in the corner, it would have been a goner.

    90. Sandra Wilson says:

      Well said Lollysmum. I was reading some of the posts with increasing anxiety. Keep calm and work for freedom.

    91. Paula Rose says:

      Lollysmum – get that coat off you’re not going anywhere! xx

    92. Devorgilla says:

      Hi, thanks to all who have responded positively to my idea of reconvening the CC. Count me in if you organise something!

      I think we need to be proactive about our destiny and not passively wait on Westminster coming up with something. We can’t have them taking the initiative and defining the agenda.

      We also need to analyse what civic Scotland has actually thought about devo max. Nobody thinks that all those representations from STUC, SCVO, churches, Commonweal, RIC, seriously got any serious going through as policy ideas, or even what the ‘settled will’ was. We can’t allow the Unionists to use the Smith stitch up to define the ‘settled will’ for us. The Smith Commission submissions express that clearly but who is listening? And we all need to know.

      I was thinking that convening a CC and what its analysis of the consensus of the Smith Commission representations from civic Scotland were, would represent an election ticket on which any future Yes Alliance might stand next May.

      It will be the best way of ‘holding their feet to the fire’ – the whole lot of them, SNP and the Greens too. I don’t think you can or should exclude political parties from membership of the CC – but they should not run it. They can take their seat in the pews along with the rest in this national conversation.

    93. K1 says:

      I second Nana’s commendation of Lollysmum’s post.

      Can we not see that this is exactly what they want, to feed into their narrative. We have to be in this now, for the long game. Irrespective of the justifiable frustration and anger of what is taking place.

      Manandboy said in the early ours of this morning that the British establishment has declared war on the independence movement. He is right. This is a pincer movement that is underway to undermine the SNP and reduce their power base and if they reacted in any other way than they have, can you imagine the spin? Look at it already when they have merely pointed out that it does not allow us the ability to create jobs and tackle poverty in any meaningful long terms sense.

      They are baiting us and the SNP. They will paint us as badly as they need to, to win their long term game. Which is to destroy the SNP. They do not care about the people.

      The SNP have shown they have integrity and actually do care about the people. We have to take this. We have to stay together on this at all times. We cannot fight amongst ourselves. Nicola and SNP have to play by WM rules and the political protocols that are involved in this.

      We have come so far as Lollysmum eloquently observes. We have all been through worse. I place my trust in our goverment at this time, this is the first time in history that we have ever been even close to the current conditions; these are the final days of an establishment that are in their death throes.

      Why do I say this? Because as manadboy expressed his dismay in the early hours of this morning I realised they are at war with us because we are powerful. The vote was too close. They have seen nothing like this. They will throw everything at us now. We are to be reckoned with and the only way forward that I can see is to stick with our own government’s agenda and have faith in them.

      Let’s not give them any amunition. We cannot let our passion get the better of us, not now, not ever.

    94. Lenny Hartley says:


      Well said.

      O/T I was at the SG Finance Committee meeting on Arran today, John Swinney is on top of his brief, if there is a better finance minister in Europe, I will eat my hat.

      At one point a Labour MSP asked for clarification on a budget item, Swinney said without consultation and from the top of his head, and I paraphrase a little, the figure is on page 175, table 2. of the budget document. (It was page 175 but cant remember the table number 🙂 )

      Only once during a two hour meeting did he have to seek clarification from his special advisor. I would have expected him to have been briefed by Ken Gibson and John Mason what there questions were going to be, but Im sure the three Labour MSP’s would not have given him any notice.

      Our limited finances are in safe hands.

    95. wingman 2020 says:

      @K1 and others
      “We have come so far as Lollysmum eloquently observes. We have all been through worse. I place my trust in our goverment at this time, this is the first time in history that we have ever been even close to the current conditions; these are the final days of an establishment that are in their death throes.

      Why do I say this? Because as manadboy expressed his dismay in the early hours of this morning I realised they are at war with us because we are powerful. The vote was too close. They have seen nothing like this. They will throw everything at us now. We are to be reckoned with and the only way forward that I can see is to stick with our own government’s agenda and have faith in them.

      I didn’t criticise the SNP, but I can see no reason why they shouldn’t be challenged, criticised, pushed or otherwise informed by people (on here or otherwise) what is expected or required. This is after all a forum of ideas?

      Any party worth its salt can take a little bit of ‘advice’ whether it is misguided, naive or inappropriate.

      Devorgilla’s idea of a convention is a good one. It doesn’t cut across anything the SNP does… If anything it may well be a non-political body from which the SNP can draw information and strength.

      One of our problems is too much chat and waiting instead of people grasping the nettle.
      This initiative is a good one. If only to demonstrate that the electorate in Scotland will not be silenced by political manoeuvres,

      By political manoeuvres, I mean the various attempts by the Westminster cabal to deny the SNP further progress.

    96. wingman 2020 says:

      @Doug Daniel

      “People are going to have to get real. It’s clear that the only time unionists are prepared to give us more powers is when we threaten to leave the UK. So do Scots who want more powers want to be stuck voting for the SNP election after election, having referendums every few years to try and coax another few powers out of them? Or are they just going to realise that the only way to get the powers we need is to take them ourselves?”

      How right you are.

      To be honest, if I don’t see an appetite and collaboration for action, anytime soon, I will withdraw from the whole debate. I might as well go work abroad than make myself stressed by the situation. Seriously.

    97. K1 says:

      It is a forum of ideas wingman and my idea is that we have to remain utterly committed to the political process as it is unfolding. We knew that this was going to happen. That the smith comm. was going to be a whitewash. That it would be potrayed as ‘vow delivered’, seriously we never doubted that it would be otherwise…did we?

      We all voted Yes. By hook and by crook they got their No. The pantomime that has ensued from that vote was outlined by Stu a year ago, at least, before a vote was ever cast.

      There isn’t going to be a faster route. I don’t know if people can accept this. We are where we are. We either trust the process that we now find ourselves a part of or we allow ourselves to become demented with their absurd nonsense. To me that’s like fighting shadows.

      I was agreeing with Lollysmum, on the bigger perspective of what has taken place in a fairly short period of time and I think it’s vital to try to keep that in mind, when we read, hear or see any of the msm spin.

      We simply are a force to be reckoned with because We Exist. We are already in the battle and this massive propaganda operation is underway because we are still a serious threat. I am saying by all means vent, but don’t take them seriously, cause that’s what they want, do not strengthen our opponents hand by getting wound up by it all. That let’s them know they are getting it right.

      I am also suggesting some faith in our goverment. I don’t have any problem with critiquing our government. What I don’t get is what is it they have done wrong exactly on this ocassion? As far as I can see, they have done nothing that needs criticising. It’s been elaborated by others on this thread; what else could they have done?

      In terms of a people’s convention, sure it’s a good idea, but is this the best use of everyone’s energies? For you and several others yes maybe it is. Go for it. For me, I have no interest in joining any group to discuss the f***kin’ obvious.

      We put the SNP in government by a majority. They represent us, they are the nearest thing we have to a living breathing people’s government on these isles (they care for the people). They know that these recommedations aren’t what the majority want, they know that WM will not honour even these paltry offerings.

      All they can say publicly is that the people of Scotland will decide. And by that I take it to mean; if when May comes Labour is wiped out and there is a large contingent of SNP politicians heading to WM. Then and only then do they have that mandate from the people of Scotland to go ahead with the full implementation of Smith and other strong bargaining leverage at their disposal.

      The result was No. They are constantly getting it in the ear since the vote that they didn’t win. It has to be all of Scotland that is behind them. 7.5.15 is when we know. Everything else, to my mind, is a distraction.

      Don’t let the bastards drag you down…to their level 🙂

    98. Lollysmum says:

      I wasn’t criticising you or your posts. The idea you posed was a good one but not one you can just decide to do on here. You need to get others to buy into it first so that means looking outside the confines of these pages/posters. That is probably the starting point -sounding others out on whether the idea is a goer. I’m thinking of Common Weal as one of the first ports of call because this is the sort of thing they’ve been gearing up for since the referendum.
      Anyway, that’s just one idea to throw into the mix.

      To my post-I actually started writing it last night because I was starting to become alarmed at some of the posts over the last 4 days or so where everything that was wrong was being laid at SNP’s door & I thought that was unjust. Much of it was clearly prompted by how badly some folks were feeling about the myth commission & why weren’t the SNP hitting back.

      It would seem that everyone wants the SNP to do everything but with the best will in the world it just isn’t possible or even desirable.If Scotland wants grown up politics for itself then it has to show that it can do it & do it well so that means no going off at half cock on something when they are supposed to be doing something else. That way lies mistakes & quite often disaster.

      Debunking lies is what this site & others do very publicly-Scotgov may not openly praise WoS but they do value it’s strength to take a subject & run with it till the end-like a dog with a bone if you will.Shouting about & publicising those lies to a wide audience is a strenth as it gets the word out to all who will listen.

      As others have said SNP has to play the game of grown up politics if it is to do well in the GE in May.It has to fight the battles that it can do well in & not get caught up in things which divert it from that main purpose -winning seats at WM.Without those seats, Scotland is struggling to move forward.

      Several posts have jumped out at me where someone has said I joined SNP to do this & if they aren’t going to do it I might as well leave. People seem to expect that everything will be done & done today-e.g Yes Alliance-there has been serious efforts to get this going but it has to work for each of the concerned groups. At the end of the day Scotland needs the candidates with the best chances of winning to stand. You don’t take risks in the upcoming election because the outcome is far too important.

      The Scottish elections for Holyrood are different again.You can afford to take some risks & independent candidates could do well in those seats.

      We just have to let the parties have their conversations with Yes groups etc but it will all boil down to if you stand under our banner you will have to abide by our rules because with a name like SNP Alliance on their ticket, a candidate who says or does something wrong will get slated in the press but it will be the actual party that is held responsible for their actions or words. That goes for any political party not just SNP.

      As we comment on here about such things & it comes across to readers as criticism then that gives other commentators permission to take those comments elsewhere. So the criticism grows & then starts to snowball & get out of hand.

      So really my post was a very long word of caution about what we say here. I deleted my comment last night because I thought I was overreacting but today I thought better of it as I reread some of the past recent posts.

      It certainly wasn’t aimed at you or anyone else specifically & I’m sorry if you thought it was. At the time of writing I hadn’t even read your suggestion & the comments about it. I was just concerned at the possible damage we might be doing to the cause we all support.

    99. Fred says:

      Deffo a lollipop for Lollysmum. 🙂

    100. wingman 2020 says:

      “It certainly wasn’t aimed at you or anyone else specifically & I’m sorry if you thought it was.”

      I didn’t. I merely said that I didn’t criticise the SNP but do not see why people cannot comment if this is what they feel. This is a forum.

      And the idea of the constitution wasn’t mine… But I thought it was an excellent idea and one worth running with. But as usual… there will be long waffly discussions and not much action.

    101. wingman 2020 says:


      The political process is a farce.. and a long drawn out farce at that. With as much chance of us determining the outcome as flying to Mars.

      The Constitution idea is one of the best ideas I have heard on here. But of course, it will get talked into oblivion as usual.

      I’m out.

    102. HenBroon says:

      I think maybe we will have to come to terms with the brutal fact that the colonisation of Scotland has been much more effective than we ever imagined. Watching these plastic Jocks on the box has turned my stomach I have hardly watched the telly since the referendum, I am sick to the marrow of these fuckers. Perhaps we will have to accept that the UK state has Scotland by the bollocks and will never ever let go, and I truly believe will resort to military action to keem us. They have literally got away with murder. We predicted and we knew that they would use every dirty trick in the book and they have and they are not even past the first paragraph. Please let me be wrong.

    103. Well said, Lollysmum. This is a long game and the Scottish government needs to pick the ground it fights on and to chose the time for this. It is understandable people feel frustrated but perhaps a refreshing break over the Christmas period is needed by all, to come back full of vigour in January for a concerted effort towards May.

    104. Lollysmum says:

      Why thank you Dorothy
      Does that mean that Stu gets to take Christmas off as well? What will all the other commentators do without him snapping at their heels I wonder.

      You are right it is frustration causing the problems now but it is also the fact that people’s emotions are so bound up in freeing Scotland that it can get the better of them at times. It doesn’t help to find that people are again waiting on the next move by politicians when really we all want to take the fight to them. It will come though-just be ready to pounce.

    105. macduff says:

      Whit is it with the “SMITH” thing ? Is it catching ? I hope not as none of them support Indy …..!!!!!!! There’s Ian Duncan Smith ! Sarah Smith ! The SMITH commission ….all hitfolk for yookay and red tory guttersnipes….will it be Jones next ….one wonders.

    106. Robert Kerr says:

      @ macduff

      SMITH is a quintessentially English name!.

      A job of work. making bits out of iron!

      Reminding us that our Celtic names are for the most part mere patronymics! Therefore inferior.

      Do not EVER underestimate the BritNat Establishment.

      This was publish recently in a MSM newspaper. I am too busy now to find the link.

      Off to Midlands and South Wales for a week.

      Keep fighting the good fight

    107. donald anderson says:

      Smith is also the most common Scottish name. Every village had a smith. Gow is the3Gaelic translation. Many Gaelic names have been anglicised. Many dropped the Mac, Son of, at the beginning, to son at he end. MacAndrew, Anderson, etc.

    108. Bill McLean says:

      Robert Kerr – went to the English surnames page on Ancestry only to find Kilpatrick listed as one????? Isn’t Kil Gaelic for church and Patrick is not originally an English name is it?

    109. Bill McLean says:

      Robert Kerr – went to the English surnames page on Ancestry only to find Kilpatrick listed as one????? Isn’t Kil Gaelic for church and Patrick is not originally an English name is it? Patrick is surely only an anglification!

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