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The Heartbreaker

Posted on March 02, 2021 by

I became an SNP member aged 15 on the back of the 2014 independence referendum – gutted that we had not taken the step but hoping that it was just a matter of time.

Every Yesser I knew was either in the SNP or had just joined it, so I did too. Like many others, I didn’t want to disappear into the shadows and be put back into our box. We weren’t going anywhere.

Thus Nicola Sturgeon became SNP leader and FM, and rightly so – nobody was more qualified or deserving of the post. I went to her tour of Scotland and began to think how lucky we were that there was one of us, a woman of the people, leading the country.

Someone who spoke honestly, candidly, and you could relate to. Someone who upon speaking everyone’s hearts would open and our smiles would never leave our faces. She reaffirmed my commitment to the SNP and there was no doubt that she was going to take Scotland to new heights.

Alex Salmond had resigned, and even though he was also my hero and without him I would not have joined the SNP nor became interested in politics, the FM was the most important figure. She was FM, he was not. Where Alex Salmond had not succeeded, she would.

In the 2015 election she towered above all the leaders in the election debates, and Scottish Labour was swept aside. In 2016 she got her own personal mandate, the FM was still the star and someone who I adored.

In early March 2017, she called for an independence referendum, this was it. The FM had pulled a rabbit out the hat, the movement was ready, Scotland was leaving the EU against its will and we had the mandate for a referendum. The boldness of this move proved why she was elected SNP leader.

Everything was set, parliament had approved the request, and we were raring to go. The FM was going to lead us into a referendum to escape Brexit, and this time we would win and become an independent country in the EU.

But as we all know, that didn’t happen. The FM, instead of being the leader of the independence movement, became the deputy leader (alongside the likes of warmongers Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair and co) of the “Stop Brexit for the rest of the UK” movement, despite them democratically voting for it.

Worse still, the independence referendum was off, indefinitely, with no clue as to when we’d get the opportunity again. We waited for an update in autumn of 2018, then we waited for spring of 2019, then we voted for the SNP in the EU elections of 2019, and still despite giving the SNP these mandates the Yes movement was none the wiser.

The carrot on the stick was set to continue. Now we had to vote for the SNP in the 2019 UK general election, to give them another mandate. We gave them it, with over 80% of Scottish seats. Again the date was set, for 2020, Parliament voted again for a second referendum, but Boris said no. Stalemate.

It was after her speech in late January 2020 in response to that refusal that I resigned my SNP membership. I could no longer in good conscience be a member of a party that had let Scotland (and specifically SNP members) down on so many occasions.

We were marched up the hill too many times, reached too many false peaks. We were promised a referendum in late 2018 and then early 2019, but it didn’t happen. We were promised Scotland would not be dragged out of the EU, but it was. We were promised a referendum in 2020, but that clearly wasn’t going to happen either.

(Some in the SNP are still in denial about 2020, claiming that COVID-19 prevented a referendum from happening. In which case, how would a referendum have happened? No S30 had been granted, the FM didn’t want to go to court or try a so-called wildcat referendum, so how? Senior SNP figures even said that it wasn’t going to happen.)

The FM promised to protect EU citizens from the Tories, but in that moment she failed them and ever since has left them to the mercy of the UK government.

The FM could have said something like this:

“We can’t have a referendum in 2020 – Boris has said no despite the moral and democratic argument behind us, the clock has run down. I’m sorry this has happened. So we go again in 2021 – if elected to office I pledge to hold a referendum on the 8th of September 2022, with a Section 30 or without one.

I have already commissioned civil servants to begin work on the new updated White Paper. We will have that referendum, and this is a solemn promise which will be upheld”.

But she didn’t – a shame, as it would have kept many SNP members such as myself in the party as we would have gotten honesty rather than the lie of the FM still trying to pretend that there was going to be a referendum in 2020.

At this moment in late January 2020, even as I sat in the University Of Glasgow library pondering my membership, I still thought the FM would take us to independence. I still in my heart believed in her, the person who was my heroine. I still felt I could trust her and she was the only person who could take us to independence. I still believed in her.

I would vote SNP in 2021, no question about it, and I would hold my head up and walk out the polling booth happy about it. Then everything changed.

Alex Salmond was acquitted.

If one considers it, the jury’s verdict of innocence was the worst thing to ever happen to the SNP. Had there been even one guilty charge, who would have cared if the FM broke the ministerial code or her government behaved illegally? The ends – bringing a “sex offender” to justice – would have been seen to justify the means.

Ever since Alex Salmond was acquitted there’s been a concerted effort from her allies to paint the jury as being wrong, and that Salmond was guilty but there just wasn’t enough evidence to convict. Indeed the FM directly questioned the jury’s verdict at a COVID briefing last week.

It was only after reading a Dani Garavelli article and discovering the identity of one of the complainers that my doubts started to appear. Those doubts were deepened by reading Craig Murray’s blog, without which I like many others would be none the wiser and wondering how Alex Salmond had escaped justice, as the media reporting of the defence was so poor.

The SNP to this day has not condemned the illegal nature of the original investigation. The complainer’s identities were not protected by the Scottish Government, it was Alex Salmond who did this. Why didn’t the FM sack Leslie Evans instead of extending her contract? It was Evans who created the unlawful procedure that lost the taxpayer over £600,000 and let down the complainers, Alex Salmond and justice itself.

The actions of the FM in the last six months have completely eroded my trust. She’s been evasive and dishonest at every turn. Her attempts to blame Salmond for her actions, and hiding behind the complainers, has been disgraceful. The committee has been blackmailed into not calling key members of her inner circle£76,000 was spent coaching witnesses who still ended up recanting their evidence, and much more.

If the FM is confident that she didn’t break the ministerial code, why can’t she give a guarantee that she’ll resign if she’s found to have done so? It would be an empty promise from her point of view – just like the one she gave to co-operate fully with the inquiry – so why not do it?

If she refuses to resign after being found to have lied to Parliament by an independent investigator, then she will have dragged herself and the office of the First Minister, as well as our Parliament, down to the depths of Priti Patel – something so horrible that I couldn’t even bring myself to vote SNP in May if it happened.

If she does this but still manages to win the election, she may have won Scotland’s votes, but her place in our hearts will have been lost forever.

.

Benjamin Harrop is a former member of the SNP.

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    145 to “The Heartbreaker”

    1. David says:

      Pretty much how I feel myself.

    2. McLaurin says:

      It’s good to have your clear voice in the mix Benjamin. Young (to me, who’s 54) indy folk aren’t a homogeneous group. Principles matter, more now than at any time I can remember in Scottish politics.

      Let’s hope for a just outcome to the enquiries and perhaps you’ll be able to vote as you wanted to in May.

    3. David Lyon says:

      She will not be ‘winning’ anything if the SNP remain in command of the government.

      She will be occupying that building in the absence of any credible challenge. Existing a mere inch above the cartoon morons who call themselves the opposition.

    4. Republicofscotland says:

      Good article Benjamin, Sturgeon has let down a whole nation of people down including you, instead of leading us out of this nasty union, she has turned her back on independence for her and her party’s own gain, she’s a snake in the grass.

      However we must not lose sight of the goal, which is to dissolve the union, but first we need to see Sturgeon and her vile clique removed from office.

      As for that piccy above I always think Sturgeon looks genuinely happy to be in Campbell’s company, cheek to cheek with the war criminal.

      Now I can’t decide whose the biggest liar Sturgeon or Campbell, probably Sturgeon.

    5. Captain Yossarian says:

      Banjamin Harrop – a young and intelligent guy who feels he has been duped for years by a collection of malfeascant spoofs. Barrow-boys and girls on the make.

      Westminster and Whitehall are watching as this uniquely Scottish shit-show unfolds.

      Is it the parliamentarians who get jailed, the civil-servants, or the lawyers? Maybe all of them?

      Ah, but we live in Scotland and we are uniquely Scottish aren’t we.

    6. Cath says:

      Good article Benjamin. Sums up my journey as well. I never quite believed the allegations to start with and always thought it was a stitch up, but vaguely thought it was a case of “handsy but nowhere near criminal”. I also didn’t figure one of the complainants until after the Kirsty Wark documentary as I really didn’t want to read about the trial when it was happening at all. Too depressing.

      It was the lack of any reporting of the defence – the winning side, the one people would most have wanted to know about: why did the jury decide as they did? – which started me questioning much more than I had. And the more you find out about it, the worse it all becomes. The defence was unbelievably strong, enough to convince a jury to throw out 13 allegations. It’s just the media, rather than reporting it, have carried on with smears and assertions.

      Even at this late stage, I harbour a fond hope both of them were set up and – with a hideous situation designed to imprison Salmond as “Scotland’s Harvey Weinstein” then get Nicola on the cover up – this is the best damage limitation strategy they had. However the more she speaks now, the more she makes that increasingly hard to believe. Wednesday will show once and for all, I think. If she uses her 3 hours to attack Alex again, I’m done with her.

    7. SilverDarling says:

      These sentiments are familiar to many of us Benjamin. Sadly you won’t be getting a video begging you to go back.

    8. alzyerpal says:

      Well reasoned and delivered, Benjamin. I tweeted it in the hope that even just one person from the ‘Wheesht’ crowd will remove their head from the ostrich’s arse and see sense.

    9. Andrew Wilson says:

      A mirror copy of exactly how I feel as well.

    10. Lady Lyon says:

      Well done Benjamin, that deserves a personal video from the FM

    11. kapelmeister says:

      That was a Harrop larrup!

      If Sturgeon wasn’t the extreme narcissist that she is then she’d be feeling pretty small on reading that.

    12. Stu says:

      FFS enough with the wont vote SNP in May nonsense – who you going to vote for?

      Regardless of how badly they have conducted things on a myriad of issues in the last couple of years we are fecking lumbered with them until post indy.

      Hopefully by then something resembling a normal political situation will result and we will have parties we can fully get behind.

    13. Big Jock says:

      I joined the SNP at 18 and left 2 weeks ago at age 51. Think about that. My entire youth and adulthood a member. Through every twist and turn in my life the SNP has been part of it.

      Now I just couldn’t stand to be part of Nicola’s false narrative. She alone has made me and countless other feel the same. I didn’t even get a reply to my email , outlining my reasons.

      When I joined in 1988. Everything was done by the local member. The cheery wee man would come round and talk to my dad and me about Scotland. Then we would and him our fee for the year. We felt like part of something really important. It felt like a club for patriotic Scots.

      Now I just don’t feel anything for the SNP.

    14. Bob Mack says:

      Me Too.. Lol… . Hate to used that phrase in the circumstances, but I should have known better!

    15. AnneDon says:

      I personally know three people who left the SNP on the back of that speech in Jan 2020, depriving the party of decades of experience and support. I wasn’t in the SNP, but it kicked the wind out of me in a way no unionist ever did. That was when I lost faith in the idea Nicola Sturgeon would take us to independence, and nothing since has made me think any different.
      Johnson doesn’t want to be the last Prime Minister of “Great Britain”.
      It appears that Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t want to be the first Prime Minister of Scotland.

    16. C’mon everybody, keep the faith. She’s got a plan you know.

      It must be a really good one, better than the “I’m going to ask for a Section 30… och well I tried…” that we got before after her fan club assured us “they’d all walked right into oor Nicola’s trap and she’s got them right where she wants them… all her ducks are in a row…”

      Can’t wait to see what it is.

    17. Sharny Dubs says:

      Yeah sad to reflect, but the independence movement is just that, a movement, not a party, not an individual, not a government and certainly not Sturgeon.

      We will prevail.

      I don’t know if I can bring myself to watch her when she gives her “evidence”. The sight and sound of her just makes me so angry.

    18. Frank Waring says:

      One non-contestable fact is that, whatever Alex Salmond has done, the ‘SNP Government’ — whoever that means — is the principle author of its own misfortunes.

    19. Caroline Wilson says:

      A really fascinating insight from a young person. Too often social media encourages us to think of younger independence supporters as a homogeneous bunch possessed of monolithic views, so thanks for challenging that assumption, Benjamin.

      As an, er, less young person, my moment of disaffection with the current SNP came with the campaign of vitriol & vilification against Joanna Cherry & Joan McAlpine – seemingly without condemnation from the leadership, if not tacit approval.

      What a desperate shame for all supporters of independence, that it’s come to this.

    20. Big Jock says:

      Shamy- No I won’t watch her evidence either. I will get the highlights on Wings. You just know how it’s going to go and how she will get out of telling the truth.

    21. A Person says:

      Well, sonny boy, this is why you should never place anybody on a pedestal, they always disappoint!

      Excellently argued article.

    22. Donibristle says:

      I share your disappointment!
      My faith in her disappeared about 2 years ago and thats when I left the SNP.
      But she’s not alone. There’s her sycophants that still follow her fake gospel.
      What was that “Orange Juice” song ?
      Just rip it up and start again….

    23. Christian Schmidt says:

      “The FM, instead of being the leader of the independence movement, became the deputy leader … of the “Stop Brexit for the rest of the UK” movement, despite them democratically voting for it”

      That is a good point. While the SNP did point out at length that Scotland did not for it, and thus should not be made to leave, they should have used this more of a democracy & wedge issue – e.g. state that they would be happy to vote for May’s deal in return for an independence referendum. Or did I miss something?

    24. Chas says:

      Whilst I have never voted for the SNP I am not averse to the thought of an Independent Scotland. However, this would only be on the basis that neither myself and more importantly, my kids and grandkids would not be worse off financially or have reduced services.
      The SNP have never produced the economic and financial case for Independence. ‘It will be fine’ is only for the brain-dead and rabid section of the SNP support, with romantic notions of heather and hills and glens.
      You then look at the hierarchy of the current SNP leadership. Sturgeon, Swinney, Freeman and Forbes being the best of an exceedingly shallow pool. More time and effort has gone into suppressing information than providing it.
      I think it will be a long time, if ever, that an Independant Scotland will emerge. A start can be made now. Present the public with honest, no holds barred, projected finances for scrutiny. Gradually weed out the dross that infects the higher echelons of the Party, who are there for the betterment of themselves rather than the Country. Honesty and values are sadly lacking as is clearly seen in the current inquiry with more to follow. I suspect that the chance for Independence has already gone.

    25. Lawrence says:

      Hearing that the SNP are sending out information on how to Postal Vote with a form on how to go about it.

      Then instructing the person to copy as many off as you like and pass it onto family and friends.

      Postal Voting was another favourite route for Scottish Labour.

    26. FrankM says:

      This entirely echo’s my feelings and thoughts on the topic.
      What has occurred at the heart of Scotland’s so called democracy is shameful.
      Trust has disappeared.
      Mr Salmond has been extremely brave and has completely honoured the trust, respect, pride and faith I had in him, but any trust etc I formerly had in the FM and SNP has completely disappeared.
      SNP – snakes, not politicians (with only a few notable exceptions).

    27. Ian Mac says:

      Many people have travelled the same journey, I think. Which only explains the fury of the SNP remainers who lash out at the slightest criticism or even desire for open, transparent debate and accountability. Wishart, I’m looking at you.
      And Wishart is one of the most egregious, desperately telling people that ‘we are on the brink’ blah blah, implying anyone who utters a word of criticism is some kind of ("Tractor" - Ed) to the cause.
      The result is that people, especially indy supporters, are now viewing the SNP as not synonymous with independence, and that is what Wishart and co are furious about. Because as long as it was, they were guaranteed their absolute power in Scotland, and their meal tickets for life. In fact their success at that level has undone them, so comfortable have they become, and so complacent, while also showing how poor they are at governance.

      in other words independence is a far greater cause than the careers of a motley bunch of SNP MSP’s, many of whom we are now seeing in the light of their mediocrity and blind loyalty. Once the SNP has lost its aura as the only gateway to independence, then other actors who can demonstrate more integrity and ambition will come to the fore, and that would be a very good thing indeed. The lack of any real opposition to the SNP has allowed them to build an autocracy, one which brooks no dissent, and thinks it can do as it pleases, without even any internal democracy or policy discussion. Ask Joanna Cherry.
      The time is up on their project, but not of independence, which will be far better secured anyway by a coalition of interests and parties, and not a grimacing autocratic elite who have hijacked independence for their own agenda.
      The wool has been lifted off from our eyes, and we can see a lot more clearly now. It won’t be going back.

    28. auld highlander says:

      Doubt if she could win a goldfish at the shows. Time for her to disappear into obscurity.

    29. I am still a member, because the people in our branch are honest hardworking and true.

      Also by remaining a member it is possible to judge what is gooing on.

      I think the party can recover, but maybe not soon and maybe not in my lifetime

    30. Anna says:

      can the FM believe that, even if she is given permission for a referendum in 2021 which is unlikely, people will have confidence in Scottish politics after all the shenanigins ?

      We need to be prove to be better than our opponents, not as bad as.

    31. ScottieDog says:

      “ Hearing that the SNP are sending out information on how to Postal Vote with a form on how to go about it.”
      Yes I got one. I’ll be voting in person anyway.

      It seems in all of this, if you want to see a Scottish Parliament that’s fit for purpose you’re a salmond supporter.

      There is nothing I’ve seen yet to make me change my mind that the current SNP leadership would make an absolute Jeremy hunt (to coin a phrase) of an independent Scotland.

    32. kapelmeister says:

      auld highlander @3:22

      “Doubt if she could win a goldfish at the shows.”

      Though if she did, the goldfish could self id as a shark and become her new depute FM.

    33. FrankM says:

      Incidentally, it is not the case that there was insufficient evidence against Alec, he was not guilty on all counts and not proven on one. The evidence overwhelmingly was sufficient for the jury to throw out ALL the complaints.

    34. Morgatron says:

      Well said Benjamin, a thoroughly good articulate article. I’m unfortunately a good bit longer in the tooth than yourself but the feeling of letdown from the SNP doesn’t make the disappointment and betrayal any easier. Hopefully you get to see an independent Scotland in your lifetime.

    35. Susanne Campbell says:

      I first heard you speak as I sat next to you in the audience of debate night. I knew then, you were destined to be great. Well done Benjamin, you speak for so many.

    36. Hamish Kirk says:

      No so far from my thinking.SNP Leadership are interested in POWER and nothing else.

    37. ScottieDog says:

      “ can the FM believe that, even if she is given permission for a referendum in 2021 which is unlikely, people will have confidence in Scottish politics after all the shenanigins ?”

      Precisely. I had a rather heated (whisky fuelled) conversation one Hogmanay with a friend about independence. His argument was that Scotland’s parliament as an independent country would be every bit as corrupt as Westminster. I owe him a single malt.

    38. Ian McCubbin says:

      Well said Benjamin, you speak for many of us with sense and a feeling of being let down repeatedly.
      A pity the NS fan club are not waking up.

    39. Bob Mack says:

      Could you imagine 5 years ago thinking we would have an SNP party unaccountable to its own members, bringing in legislation without consultation, and presiding over a legal system which appears to be answerable only to itself ?

      Me neither. Not a pretty vision.

    40. winifred mccartney says:

      How true – the above is what many of us feel – I still foolishly hope that NS was an unwilling participant in much of this and that it was orchestrated by the civil service being played by WM mandarins – though even I am running out of any hope this is true especially after her actions last week at that covid briefing.

      I just imagine AS was my brother, husband, partner or father and ask how he must feel after having been found not guilty but when so many seek ‘justice for the women’ theycannot accept a not guilty verdict/justice for the man and continue to make insinuations – just show me the man or woman whose behaviour at all times is without fault.

      There is no doubt in my mind that the women involved colluded and were encouraged to exaggerate their complaints. I wish the police had been as diligent in pursuing the abuse cases in WM or in the Cyril Smith, Jimmy Saville and other cases. I also wish that it was not only the supporters of AS who have had charges of Contempt of Court brought against them while others who brought into disrepute the actions of the judge and jury in his case had had no action taken. Justice it would seem depends on which side of the indy debate you are on.

      Every time I compare AS’s behaviour to some of the WM inhabitants it makes me sick – I believed in indy for Scotland because I did not want to be ruled by corrupt Westminster but there is no point in indy if it is just as corrupt- even to being willing to put an innocent man in jail and then continue not to accept his innocence.

    41. kapelmeister says:

      Ian McCubbin @3:30

      “A pity the NS fan club are not waking up.”

      They’re a bunch of Rip Van Wankles.

    42. Dion says:

      The 2019 GE was a key moment.

      There we were in a position that any SNP leader in history could only have dreamed of: a significant bloc in Parliament with the power to keep the government rammed into their self-made constitutional crisis for at least as long as another three years.

      Do we:

      1.) Use this leverage to demand s30 powers in return for passing the PM’s Brexit bill (which was passed in any case, and which Scotland would not be bound to after independence anyway), keeping BJ jammed into the bottom of his barrel until he’s ready to meet these demands?

      2.) Get swept up in the ‘People’s Vote’ nonsense and high approval ratings from English-based ‘Stop Brexit’-ers, letting BJ out from his barrel for the sake of a few extra MPs and relinquishing any and all tactical advantage?

      The Salmond issue is just an additional example of the problem of complete deference within the party to the leadership and zero advisory quality within Sturgeon’s circle – if she has to go, then there are many others in her advisory team, HQ and her own Cabinet who have to be flushed down with her.

    43. ScottieDog says:

      The staffers reek of desperation..
      polls asking about who would be a better FM – Sturgeon, or a guy who isn’t even in politics.
      As for Russian interference. You couldn’t make it up.

    44. Republicofscotland says:

      Scotland has always had a healthy population of Benedict Arnold’s only too willing to sell out Scots and Scotland, Sturgeon is no different from them.

      Here’s a list of turncoats from the 1707 Scottish parliament.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_Union_1707

    45. ScottieDog says:

      “ The result is that people, especially indy supporters, are now viewing the SNP as not synonymous with independence, and that is what Wishart and co are furious about. ”

      Correct, the empress hath no clothes.

    46. wee monkey says:

      Quote

      “The FM promised to protect EU citizens from the Tories, but in that moment she failed them and ever since has left them to the mercy of the UK government”

      Is that right Benjamin? Could you point to where a EU citizen, domiciled, in the UK has been denied vaccination in Scotland.
      —–

      Sound like those over 74 in the

      EUROPEAN UNION

      might actually get a chance at life after all…

      “Austria and Denmark to go it alone after Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic negotiate for jabs outside of EU scheme”

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/02/eu-unity-face-coronavirus-pressure-vaccines-supplies/

    47. Magnus Erlendsson says:

      I totally agree Benjamin – it is heartbreaking.

      The way the SNP have treated the wider Yes movement (and even their own members) since 2014, and the way they have disregarded strategic options out of hand and squandered multiple mandates, is unforgivable.

      I cling to my membership for the time being only because on a local level I know there are still good people doing the best they can. The current administration should hang their heads in shame, although I do think the Crown has revealed itself to be the ultimate bad actor in all this.

    48. Alibi says:

      Just had a letter from no less than Peter Murrell asking me if I would like to renew my membership three months early. That suggests to me they are short of money. No wonder with all the cash wasted paying legal fees. I may renew when the time comes, but Murrell can fuck off. Literally and figuratively. I will be voting SNP in May, but as soon as the election is over will be pressing for change at the top of the party. I will wait till tomorrow to decide what I think of the FM but I hae ma doubts…

    49. David R says:

      During the Indy campaign I was on a Yes stall and was approached by a fella who told me that he’d worked at Holyrood for a number of years and that there was no way it could run an independent Scotland. Before I could respond he walked away.

      Last couple of years I’ve started to see what he meant.

    50. Robert graham says:

      Oh fk I just watched swindler in Hollywood and no I haven’t mistakenly referred to both.
      Swindler taking exception to a question from Murdo Fraser , Swindler before I answer that question the language used by one member of this parliament to another is quite shocking, taking a metaphorical gun to another persons head is unbecoming a member of this parliament.
      Swindler The evidence required is now with the committee
      Frasers question was Why has it taken all this time to produce the requested documentation and it took the threat of a vote of no confidence and a gun to mr Swindlers head to have to make him produce it .
      Aye shock horror from Swindler it’s a wonder ha didn’t need a fkn Ambulance to revive him.
      Fraser the committee has yet to receive them , Swindler they will be in the hands of the committee today and unless Mr Fraser goes to bed at 5:00 he can read them through the night
      Murdo Fraser again asked this won’t give the committee time to prepare before Sturgeon appears tomorrow . Shoulder shrug. or in laymans terms Tough Shit pal .

      That whole exchange epitomises this SNP Government , I always used to give them a free pass because they were on our side , silly me eh Mr Swindler came across as evasive, hardly trustworthy and when you listen to this exchange he was standing dismissing any questions about him providing evidence to a parliamentary Inquiry as a fkn inconvenience and a annoyance

    51. Bill Craig says:

      Lawrence @ 3.18

      The postal vote is personal, and needs the voter’s signature (and date of birth) which will be compared when the postal ballot-paper is received for counting. If the signatures don’t match, the vote will be rejected.

      It’s perfectly legal for an application form for a postal vote to be copied to other folk.

    52. Grahame Case says:

      Benjamin, thanks for sharing,

      I joined the party in 2010 – and let my membership lapse last year for many of the same reasons as you. Out of the Local Yes activists I campaigned with who were SNP members there are so many who have left recently. The party is not the party I joined in 2010- it left me I didn’t leave it

      I’ve just diverted the money I would have paid the SNP towards Now Scotland.

    53. Papko says:

      Phantom Power have a new series of videos out.
      From Yes to No.

      Subtitled
      My journey of disenchantment.

    54. Republicofscotland says:

      I had to laugh a couple of comments in here on how Scotland couldn’t be run as an independent country, meanwhile South of the border the government owned Bank of England is printing out electronic money like there’s no tomorrow.

    55. Glortard says:

      I get why people are resigning from the SNP but it would be better in my opinion if they stayed and brought up these issues in branch meetings and the likes to try and change it from the inside. Or else we will end of with Rhiannon spear finally getting a seat at about the 10th time of trying.

    56. Glen Clova says:

      Excellent summary Benjamin, and don’t be too hard on yourself.
      At least you have the excuse of the idealism of youth for being fooled by a consummate con-artist. And let’s face it, she has had a hell of a lot of good fortune along the way with no credible opposition leader at Holyrood, and a Brexit imposed on us by our neighbour being an absolute gift for her to distract us from independence. By leading the fight against it she became a major player in UK politics and the sight of ‘one of oor ain’ receiving widespread acclaim didn’t do her reputation any harm back home either.

      Despite Sarah Smith getting pelters for claiming that Sturgeon had ‘enjoyed’ the opportunity presented by covid to differentiate herself from Johnson, there’s a lot of truth in it. She only needed to handle it slightly better than her UK counterpart and to communicate the public heath messages more appropriately than him to reinforce her poll ratings.

      Never again must we allow the independence movement to be defined by any one individual or even one party. Hopefully a group of the most able and talented are preparing to ride to the rescue in the near future.

    57. Alison Brown says:

      Yup!! Exactly how I feel!

    58. Fungi guy says:

      I

    59. Republicofscotland says:

      “Give the vote to the English. You’ll be cast adrift fast.”

      You obviously haven’t got a clue your beloved unions government at Westminster, indeed even the opposition parties will never ever allow English folk a vote on the dissolving the union, simply because England would collapse on its arse without the profits from Scottish assets heading down South.

      Don’t you get it England needs Scotland, far more than Scotland needs England. We’ve been paying a part of England’s debt since the union began.

      https://www.thenational.scot/news/19127826.england-favoured-act-union/

    60. Very important questions raised.

      Also, nice to see my latest article referenced in this post.

      https://scotland.substack.com/p/is-alex-salmond-scotlands-oj-simpson

      I’m finishing another article right now. Subscribe to my mailing list on the site to get it immediately.

    61. Fungi guy says:

      I joined in 2014 too. Then I saw the way the wind was blowing, so I left in 2016. They were too comfy with the status quo. People called me a conspiracy theorist. Who’s the theorist now? I had hoped we had a new style of politician, alas. Placemen and women in the main.

    62. Paul D says:

      Great article Ben. I’ve got more than 30 years on you age-wise, but I feel exactly the same about the SNP and Sturgeon, having come across in 2014 after being ‘lifelong’ Labour. Their appalling conduct with Alex may be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, but it also prompted a serious examination of the SNP’s record since 2014, which shows they have achieved precisely sod all under Sturgeon’s leadership.

    63. Glortard says:
      2 March, 2021 at 3:54 pm
      I get why people are resigning from the SNP but it would be better in my opinion if they stayed and brought up these issues in branch meetings and the likes to try and change it from the inside. Or else we will end of with Rhiannon spear finally getting a seat at about the 10th time of trying.

      That is my view exactly and why I am staying in for the present

    64. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “but it would be better in my opinion if they stayed and brought up these issues in branch meetings and the likes to try and change it from the inside.”

      Yeah, that worked really well with the NEC elections.

    65. Craig says:

      It really does break my heart seeing the same hopes and dreams being crushed in one so young, I also feel for those who’ve spent a life time campaigning.

      For most of us now, time is running out, the youngsters will need to carry on the torch and this lad is our future, I hope he takes up a career in politics and fights to get Scotland from Westminster rule.

    66. Jim Bo says:

      I’m sure you write for many people Benjamin, myself included.

    67. Jonathan Marshall says:

      Yep well summed up, I feel the same about both leaders. I left the SNP after the Britex vote… it was a material change and should have been pointed out as much at every opportunity. England voted for Britex and should have been left to get on with it. The SNP should have made it clear that if it was carried through we (Scotland) ‘As equal partners in the Union’ were going our own way… or at the very least taking steps to go our own way, something that we now know never happened… apart from the bombast about how we will never be dragged out of Europe.

    68. Ian Brotherhood says:

      For those who may have missed Murdo Fraser vs John Swinney earlier today:

      http://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/topical-questions-march-2-2021?clip_start=14:14:36

    69. SilverDarling says:

      https://archive.is/Jzcpx

      “PROSECUTORS have released “a number of documents” at the heart of claims Alex Salmond was the victim of a high-level plot to destroy and even jail him.

      The Crown Office handed over the material – described by Mr Salmond as “probably the most shocking thing I have seen in my life”, to the Scottish Parliament after being set a noon deadline.”

      Not sure from the article whether the Committee will get anything worthwhile as the documents have to processed (read REDACTED) first.

    70. Mike Hovit says:

      We all know politicians and civil servants evade and disemble, Benjamin. Its what they do. Including inspirational ones.

      Take Obama: Nobel Peace Prize in first week… for what.. not being a Bush… then 8 further years of war… and achieved what?
      Sad truth is Trump did more for Mid East future using family estate agents than Obama in 8 years with Top Diplomats. He may be a xxxxx but the message ‘Clear the Swamp’ had real resonance with the people.

      Thats why everyone cries for change… cause, after a while, every organisation/institution needs fresh thinking and fresh blood… but the top tier will do anything, including lying and cheating, to hold on to to their seats on the gravy train.

      Hold your nose about the legitamacy of the institution for a moment and look at the placemen and women in the UK House of Lords. With a few honourable exceptions, I reckon 800 of them are there, not for achievement but for reward. And for damn sure, the reward was not for service to the UK citizenship.

      Im no fan, but talking radical, based on achievement, there is no doubt that Farage should be in the HoL… for sophisticated Londonites.. not even thinkable.

      Looking over the fence, Scotland needs another centrist independence party. Yes, it may take votes from the SNP but thats what.I think, they need. Real competition on Indy. So top tier gravy train under threat… then you’ll see the SNP suddenly focus on being the best Independence party and not…. whatever it is they are now…

    71. Luigi says:

      Excellent article. It seems there are growing numbers of SNP orphans and betrayed independenistas, desperately looking for a new home. Nature abhors a vacuum. Consider the once dominant Irish National Party – what happened to them when they took their eyes off the ball and cosied up to closely to the British establishment. History repeats?

      Sadly, the two new indy parties won’t cut it electorally in May, unless they manage to attract one or two very big names into the fold (two immediately come to mind). Now if that happened, all hell would break loose. It probably wont happen before May 2021 unfortunately – I for one wouldn’t blame the big hitters for biding their time – waiting to see how this all unravels over the coming months.

      Nature abhors a vacuum. Politics abhors one even more. Unless the SNP come clean, and get rid of the spoilers, they will go the way of the Irish National Party. Just a matter of time.

    72. John Martini says:

      I wonder how many people will have lost interest in indy thanks to sturgeon et al. Only positive is that we have worked out what a elitist little establishment club that scotland really is.

    73. Ian Mac says:

      No doubt the issuing of the legal advice, or what parts of it they can get away with, are part of the strategy for tomorrow. I expect the Queen Bee will point to them and declare that they have supplied what the committee requested and they have nothing to hide blah blah blah. Neatly avoiding the point that there is a wealth of other evidence they are sitting on, and the advice will probably be redacted of anything incriminating anyway. She is getting very Boris with her PR tactics. No doubt she will keep talking rubbish in order to cut down any time for detailed questions.

    74. holymacmoses says:

      That’s a clear and reasoned piece of Writing Mr Harrop, thanks a million for writing here on behalf of many young people who desperately want to live in an Independent country and feel let down by the current leadership.

      But don’t give up.

      When we lost the referendum in 2014 and Mr Salmond resigned, the movement didn’t fall apart. Thanks to the great legacy of Mr Salmond and the early work of Ms Sturgeon, and of course to Mr Campbell, the Independence movement grew and grew.

      The current leadership are a political party and not an Independence movement and that is fact. It is useful to have a political party to work through, but only when that organ is committed to the original cause, and we all know that Ms Sturgeon and her current allies are far too happy on a gravy train to be committing themselves elsewhere. The SNP needs new authority and more focus.

      It’s the people who make independence possible and young men like you can be the driving force behind a sharp move to grasp the nettle and take our chance while it is ripe and ready .

      Cheers and all the best for your future.

    75. iain MacGillivray says:

      I agree with Ian Mac above 3:19pm, the scales are off our eyes, SNP are not Independence, or likely to bring it to us, and that is a good realisation. We need something good and honest to fill the vacuum. The unfolding as described in the article by Benjamin really brings it home, all those years, all those promises, the brexit folly – and remember Blackford stating very ominously and repeatedly that we would not be taken out of Europe against our will – Aye right ye are..and here we are, still waiting on Boris to let us go. A total failure to deliver, yet the wheesht brigade await the joker being played. I guess the joke is on us. No mention in the story either about the GRA/HCB Wokerati debacle and NEC shenanigans but I guess that would have been yet another straw for long after the camel’s back was broken.

    76. Republicofscotland says:

      Mike @4.36pm.

      Oh we don’t need to go as far as the USA to look for lying corrupt PM’s or governments just across the border will do fine.

      Sure Sturgeon has brought Scotland and its parliament into disrepute, but we here in Scotland have a long way to go before we reach the levels of skullduggery South of the border.

      https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/declassified-uk/

    77. Bill says:

      Sturgeons level of thickness was exposed some time ago when she declared in the leaders debates that’d she’d launch Trident if she had to.

      Em, you can’t directly give an order to launch Trident. It’s a shared Nato asset that are hard wired to their targets. They can’t be unilaterally launched nor can they be re-programmed. Every leader in that debate shamed themselves with lack of knowledge they should have had. I prayed NS wouldn’t fall into same trap.

      Utterly thick as fuck.

    78. Eileen Carson says:

      I “saw the light” at GE candidate hustings of 2019. Agree entirely with your sentiments.

    79. Astonished says:

      I agree with Benjamin – well said Sir.

      What I cannot understand is the FM’s idiotic pushing (to the detriment of everything else – especially independence ) of the genderwoowoo nonsense and the stasi thought crime bill.

      If these two policies were dropped (and they are enormous vote losers ) ; a plebiscite declared for May then I am certain the party would unite for independence.

      I cannot understand why the FM continues to push these daft policies.

      Genderwoowoo and the stasi crime bill can only succeed when they ride on the coattails of the independence movement. They are so idiotic that they will stop many (including me) from voting for the SNP).

      Possibly that is her plan. She also failed to recognize an innocent man and welcome him back into the party that owes him so much. Therefore she must go and go soon.

    80. Alf Baird says:

      Somebody likes tae hiv thair photie taken wi politicians.

      Aa kent thay SNP were a tooshtie o duds when thon 56 sat thair bahookies doon in Wastmeenster in 2015, an steyed thair.

    81. boris says:

      https://caltonjock.com/2021/03/02/holyrood-inquiry-full-update-oct-dec-2017-including-input-from-salmond-sturgeon-and-many-others/

      Nicola Sturgeon

      The Scottish Government would have had nothing to ‘handle’ had complaints not been raised about Alex Salmond’s conduct. It was the concerns raised about his conduct, an aspect of which, by his own admission, he apologised for, that gave rise to this matter.

      Note: Not true: The procedure was put in place at the request of Nicola Sturgeon to address the pressing matter of MSP and former minister, Mark McDonald, who on 4 Nov 2017, was ordered by her, to resign from his ministerial office in response to complaints that had been made against him about offensive content in social media messages he had sent. He was subsequently suspended from the Party but, to the consternation of Nicola Sturgeon he decided to retain his position as an MSP as an independent member until May 2021.

      See Hynd’s exchange of information with a Spad in the Scottish Government:
      Hynd forwarded the Cabinet Office in London response:

      To a private secretary in the Scottish Government, who replied: “Oh dear, I did wonder if that would be their reaction. Not sure how long their review will take but the First Minister and Leslie Evans are keen to resolve quickly and discuss on Tuesday. I suspect we don’t have a policy on former civil servants. But we are looking at this in the context of the overall review of policies and the justification for having something about Ministers is the action that Parliament is taking in light of allegations about MSP conduct which includes a recent SG Minister?”. (Mark Macdonald not Alex Salmond) They piggy-backed Alex Salmond and added him to the list. But the procedure was never used against mark MacDonald. Why not?

      The first allegation against Alex Salmond did not surface until very late in November 2017 and by this time the team of civil servants and a Spad from Nicola Sturgeon’s Office were discussing the 5th draft of the Procedure.

    82. Robert graham says:

      The day shift are going at it today by the looks of it Aye we noticed you Ha Ha off you pop to WGD

      You lot are all in the Bawjaws fan club now according to the inmates over the wall yep yer all bleedn Unionists now.

      Now after three Rule bri ——————— Ha Ha it’s the way they tel em

    83. Skip_NC says:

      If I’d had the literary skill, I could have written that article thirty-five years ago. Except I wouldn’t have needed to.

    84. Robert Louis says:

      Benjamin, an excellent article, which reflects the views and uuter dismay of many who support independence.

      I personally cannot fathom how so many golden opportunities could be wasted by one politician. Mandate after mandate after resounding mandate, yet still she did nothing.

      But, we are told, IF we alll vote SNP in May, then ‘mibbes’ they will ‘consider’ ‘looking into’ ‘seeking permission’ to ‘plan’ a referendum, which she would ‘like to see happen’ ‘before the next electoral cycle’, once the economy recovers from covid.

      I simply no longer believe or trust a word Nicola Sturgeon says. She was handed a political golden ticket other politicians merely dream of, and has squandered it all.

      If she goes, I will rejoice, along with many, many other indy supporters.

    85. Graham says:

      Yeah, that worked really well with the NEC elections.

      You can’t just start a new party every time you disagree with its leadership, and just because the NEC didn’t work well, having even fewer dissenting member voices can only make things worse.

      (Didn’t Cherry get elected? How would that have worked if all her sympathetic members had already quit?)

    86. Derek Cameron says:

      They want your vote and then they want you to STFU.

    87. Republicofscotland says:

      George Galloway, who’s voting Tory in May’s elections, and now appears to all the world as a British state actor, is scheming on his twitter feed about tactical voting.

      Galloway who bellows to the world about independence for every oppressed country and region, except his place of births, is intent on putting a unionist party in government in Scotland, thankfully this tractor-ed will fail, and I hope miserably to do so.

    88. Bob Maxwell says:

      Jeezo, the Lord Advocate has been on the Advocaat, licking his lips like a member of V, sitting back smirking with more erm’s and uh’s than a packet of erm’s and uh’s. His agent pal was not much better, enjoys a bit rocking back and forward, looking up to his right for magpies.

      ‘I pity the fool who believes these shysters’!
      Clubber Lang 1885

    89. Frank anderson says:

      Stu, it did work with the NEC elections. Unfortunately, the entryists have used substitutes for affiliate groups, to force changes. Regional Reps can’t appoint a substitute! With the Equality and Women’s convenors already on the NEC, why do these affiliates need representation?
      Staying in the Party to finalise the changes we need is the best option. Everyone admits that we have many honest, hard working local members/activists, they need to step up to what has happened with the entryists.

    90. robertknight says:

      Can’t disagree with any of the Mr Harrop, thankyou for sharing.

      Yours…

      A former SNP Member/Candidate/Office Bearer/Activist/Voter etc.

    91. Effigy says:

      City firms revealed in the final months of 2020 that they planned to shift nearly £100bn in assets to the EU, taking the total value of assets lost to the bloc since the Brexit vote to £1.3 trillion, according to a new survey.

      The data from consulting group EY pointed to a last-minute push by firms before 31 December after the UK-EU trade deal did not offer concessions for the UK’s dominant financial services sector. It forced companies to move staff and assets to the continent in order to continue serving EU customers.

    92. Effigy says:

      The spokesman refused to deny a Daily Mail story saying that Boris Johnson wants to set up a charity to pay for refurbishments to the Downing Street flat where he lives. In his Mail splash, Simon Walters says Johnson is doing this because Carrie Symonds, his fiancee, oversaw a refurbishment that cost more than £100,000 – well beyond the amount allowed at taxpayers’ expense (around £30,000, according to the Mail). The spokesman said details of the refurbishment would be published in the Cabinet Office’s annual report. Asked why the flat needed to be refurbished at all, given that it had a make-over when the Camerons were living there, the spokesman just said it was refurbished periodically. In his story Walters says Johnson is planning a charity because he is unable to meet the full cost himself.

    93. Robert graham says:

      First Minister it’s been reported the civil servants called to give evidence to this committee have been coached and prepared before they gave evidence to this committee
      Do you approve of such actions ?
      Have you been coached and prepared in a similar fashion ?
      In your opinion was the juries verdict in Alex Salmonds criminal trial the correct verdict ?
      Do you believe Alex Salmond has proven his innocence in everything he was charged with ?

      Should uncover some interesting answers

      Taxi for Sturgeon

    94. Geoff Anderson says:

      An Auld heid on a Young man. Well done in describing a painful journey.

      To those who say stay in and fight! A person who lost their position on the NEC not only attends via the unelected affiliation Woke route, she is writing the SNP Woke guidelines! The elected equalities chair ignored.

      Postal Votes. You have to register and receive confirmation.

      Voting SNP in the constituency. A very hard question since the loss of a constituency increases the chances of the Wokerati on the list (Regional Divisor will reduce).
      For me I will vote for an individual (non woke option available)
      No one should even consider voting SNP on the list.
      A lot of variables so you can only do your best.

      The one clear message we can send is denying our list vote.

      The clear message we can send Wokerati MSPs is NOT voting for them which may deliver a Unionist. However I would rather vote JB (Labour) than Marco Biaggi (SNP) and I would if I lived in that constituency.

      How will it turn out ???????

    95. Meg merrilees says:

      Benjamin – thankyou for putting your thoughts onto paper – will it surprise you to realise that you have described exactly how I feel as well.

      When we lost in 2014 it took me a couple of days even to go out of the house I was SO gutted. But I truly believed that Nicola would lead us to Independence and when the Brexit decisions was taken, I reassured myself that it wouldn’t matter because Scotland had voted to remain and Ian Blackford and Nicola assured me that they would not allow Scotland to be torn from Europe.
      Now look where we are!
      Out of Europe, no Indy in sight, and this stramash whereby someone whom we have massive respect for, is being treated in an appalling way and we are all being lied to.

      When did it go wrong? When did she stop wanting Independence?
      Why has Alex Salmond been wiped from the history of the SNP?

      Time to go Nicola, I haven’t left the SNP but it has just about left me. I am only staying because it gives me a vote on things but I think the canker has spread almost throughtout the party now and it may be too late to save the SNP.

      It’S NOT TOO LATE TO SAVE INDEPENDENCE – WE WILL ACHIEVE THAT, but not with Nicola in charge.

    96. kapelmeister says:

      Sturgeon never aspired to be a leader who was simply first among equals. She created a court. And as with all autocratic courts, the courtiers gradually isolate the monarch from reality and don’t wish to be the one who gives the supremo a dose of reality.

    97. Brian Holmes says:

      Considering everything, Surrounding herself with unionists, cozying up to the union media, insisting on a section 30, refusing to even discuss a plan B, driving through unpopular policy, pushing talent out of the party, sidelining the membership, pursuing distractions/lost causes such as Brexit and of course, the Alex Salmond affair. It’s hard to discount that were the union to design a plan to destroy the vehicle to independence, then they couldn’t do a better job than she has…which makes at least me wonder.

    98. Daisy Walker says:

      @ Boris re ‘Nicola Sturgeon

      The Scottish Government would have had nothing to ‘handle’ had complaints not been raised about Alex Salmond’s conduct. It was the concerns raised about his conduct, an aspect of which, by his own admission, he apologised for, that gave rise to this matter.

      Note: Not true: The procedure was put in place …’

      The complaints (civil harassment procedures) from A and B were first raised to staff within Scot Gov as ‘concerns’ on 8th and 10th (ish) Nov 2017.

      They had official meetings with HR on 29/11/17, where presumably they were even more ‘concerned’

      on 16th and 23rd January 2018 – they Officially lodged their complaints as official ‘complaints’ under the new procedure….

      And at the start of February 2018 the Official New Procedure was circulated to all staff to ‘officially’ make use of same.

      So, no colusion there then.

      But you have to wonder at any manager/leader taking it upon themselves to ‘handle’ an employment complaint from 5 – 10 years ago, when the staff member accused no longer works for the firm, or has access to the building?

      Great generals fight the battles that they need to and fight to win – they don’t go looking for historic grievances to make ’cause celebre’ – even with the best will in the world, who on earth has the time or energy for that.

      Still its Nicla, so ‘she must have a secret plan’, no doubt.

      I’m just wondering, if there was CCTV footage of Nicla and co – with audio – plotting the entire thing, and when it came out, Nicla put her hands up, went on the Marr show, admitted the entire shebang and handed herself in to Police thereafter… do you think there would still be those in the Yes community going, ‘whe have to stay loyal to Nicla, look at the polls’… I mean, how much evidence do they need? How stupi? Aghh Pete Wishart… sorry, I’ll shut up now.

    99. Margaret Lindsay says:

      Great article Benjamin. Sums up my feelings and I’m very much older than you.

    100. A Person says:

      -Daisy-

      100% some would go along with that. I’m not trying to be funny, I mean it.

    101. MaggieC says:

      Re Harassment and Complaints Committee ,

      Updates from the written evidence page ,

      Written submission from Kevin Pringle ,

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/Kevin_Pringle.pdf

      Written submission from Duncan Hamilton ,

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/Duncan_Hamilton.pdf

    102. SilverDarling says:

      Legal advice for Roddy Dunlop QC:

      https://twitter.com/BBCPhilipSim/status/1366808561653800965

    103. SilverDarling says:

      From Roddy Dunlop sorry

    104. Mr Harrop’s essay sums up my feelings over the years since 2014. When Yes lost the 2014 referendum (allegedly), my immediate response was to resolve that the fight must continue, and as many thousands of others did, to join the SNP. I’d already voted for the SNP at every election since I was old enough to vote, the first being 1983. I couldn’t have been more pleased when Nicola Sturgeon took over the leadership. I believed she was the ace up our sleeve and felt sure that she would finish the job that Alex Salmond had begun. I was impressed with her ability to talk without resorting to waffle and politician-speak, and believed her to be the very embodiment of honest, down-to-earth Scottishness.

      I began to have doubts when, after two or three years, no progress towards independence had been made, but as many others did at the time, I assured myself that there must be a secret plan and that the powder was being kept dry for the right moment. Of course that moment came and went and nothing happened.

      Now, I struggle to think of any meaningful progress that’s been made under Sturgeon. I can say that Job Centres have become less threatening and more respectful and helpful to those compelled to use them, and of course I approve of the baby boxes. But that’s about it.

      I don’t think I’m alone in struggling to believe that everything that’s happened is simply due to weak leadership or monumental incompetence. Nobody could be that useless! In any case, I don’t believe that Nicola Sturgeon is either stupid or weak. When all the corruption, conspiracy, democracy-denial, division-stoking, policy-vacuums and own-goals are taken together, it looks to me like a deliberate plan to wreck the SNP and independence on multiple fronts.

    105. A lot of disillusioned SNP members have quit and are joining or supporting the ISP party,

      maybe a path you and others could take.

    106. @ Scot Finlayson: I left the SNP several months ago. Blocking Joanna Cherry from standing in Edinburgh Central was the last straw for me. I definitely won’t vote for the SNP while Sturgeon and her acolytes retain their positions. I’m waiting to see what transpires in the immediate future, and shall consider my options accordingly.

    107. Ottomanboi says:

      Being a ‘post millennial’ of mid east ancestry where practically no one trusts the self serving political class, I believe Scotland is maturing. The dewy eyed notion that these guys are in public service solely for the benefit of the citizens is losing its allure.
      Given Scotland’s Unionist history of political chicanery, bribery and cultural suppression it’s about time.
      Think yourself lucky that Scots do at least have the power, should they exercise it, to bin politicians that ‘do not measure up’.

    108. ScottieDog says:

      Is the dam bursting?…

    109. Lothianlad says:

      I was thinking of quitting my SNP membership but wanted to keep it so i could vote out sturgeon when the time came.
      I’ve left the SNP effectively as I wont campaign for them again.

      Should I cancel my membership.
      I despise sturgeon and her cabal.

    110. Ian Spruce says:

      WOW!

      Is it me or do those documents from Pringle/Hamilyon & the legal advise from Dunlop really blow out of the water any defence by SG?

    111. Carol Neill says:

      Well said young man
      I won’t be watching tomorrow,I can’t afford a new iPad or the window it would be chucked through

    112. Alex says:

      She is a political lightweight in search of a legacy, and the cost of her vanity is our shot at independence, and the integrity of the Scottish Parliament.

      She will never give us the vehicle we need to escape the english establishment’s fascism.

    113. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Philip Sim – Exactly as described by Alex Salmond who, so far, has provided us with an honest and verifiable sequence of events.

      As expected, the Lord Advocate comes out of it looking dishonest and politically motivate. Not for the first time, but hopefully for the last time.

    114. gordoz says:

      Well played sir.
      This guy is a find Stu !!!

      Benjamin word for word how I feel about the whole situation.

      Thank you for being so able to articulate the feelings of many who are dismayed not only at what’s happened but also at the resulting collateral continuance via the current FMs actions of evasion.

    115. Dulwich says:

      Despite today’s revelations on the “key” legal advice my belief is that NS will block, deny, refute any suggestion that she & her clique held the agenda of disparaging AS.

      I’m now of the view that the only way she’ll get her just deserts is for one if her clique to capitulate & shit or her shoes. It’s obvious that she’ll never ever accept her actions & everyone surrounding her is seen as expedient which may crack the case against her. I very much hope so because unless AS and his team can comprehensively bury her I’m afraid she’ll just point the finger everywhere else, including that divot of a husband.

      Just watched Swinney on the news from earlier today; what a shop front he is……

    116. Skip_NC says:

      Having read A Person’s link, I can’t get Kenneth Wolstenholme out of my head, for some reason.

    117. Anna says:

      A vote of no confidence in Sturgeon &Swinney and urgent inquiry into Crown Office needed.

    118. A Person says:

      -Skip-

      Man, how did I never put them together?

      I think he ended up as a peer, taking acid and running through the fields, didn’t he?

    119. A Person says:

      Sorry that was Kenneth Widmerpool, I totally misunderstood that hahaha.

    120. ahundredthidiot says:

      Sturgeon only goes when her Whitehall handler says so.

      Not a second sooner……..or else.

    121. Ruby says:

      Thank you Ben I enjoyed reading your article I did however find it a bit sad.
      Sorry that your tender heart was broken.

      “The first cut is the deepest
      Baby, I know, the first cut is the deepest”

      Hopefully with the support of your fellow independence supporters
      “you’ll try to love again’

      Basically what I’m trying to say (very badly) with the aid of song lyrics is that I hope any future heartbreak will be less painful and this experience doesn’t put you off.

      Keep on campaigning, keep on writing articles.

      Keep believing in a ‘happily ever after’

    122. Bob Mack says:

      The legal advice is a blind alley. Remember Sturgeon handed the whole process over to Evans and stood back.
      Evans will cop for that.
      What will sink her though are those letters from Pringle and Hamilton.

      Lighthouse text messages within the SNP are revealed then Murrell et al are also history.

    123. zebedee says:

      Is the following possible?
      . Sturgeon refuses to resign after personal VONC
      . Government is defeated in VOC
      . Sturgeon calls election, with her still as leader
      . committee is aborted since Parliament session ends now
      . Election date remains May

    124. Derek says:

      @Captain Yossarian says:
      2 March, 2021 at 2:49 pm

      Is it the parliamentarians who get jailed, the civil-servants, or the lawyers? Maybe all of them?

      Probably not the lawyers, as they’re taking instructions rather than giving them. If they offer poor advice, though, it might be a matter for the Law Society.

    125. Al-Stuart says:

      .
      Hi Benjamin,

      NINE SIMPLE WORDS

      Thank you for your excellent and heartfelt summation of what should be the words of a future lifelong member of the SNP. I hope you find some solace and a place to cast your vote that will be good for Scotland.

      Benjamin, your thesis led me to recall nine simple words…

      “I didn’t leave the Labour Party, it left me.”

      I feel deja vu after reading the experience written by you. I have to repeat those nine simple words. It feels like others may share this view…

      “I didn’t leave the SNP, it left me.”

      It’s looking like the ONLY hope for Scotland now is if Alex Salmond, Joanna Cherry, Kenny MacAskill and Craig Murray stand as LIST MSP candidates at Holyrood on 6th May 2021 for a new organisation such as the…

      “ISP” or something like…

      “Scottish IndyRef2 Guaranteed Party”

      One issue, no “trans” selfish minority highjacking nor any other piggybacked gerrymandered takeover of the next Scottish government.

      Just a one-issue party, with one single policy…

      An Independence Referendum for Scotland.

      NO Section 30 order required. That last one which Alex Salmond and David Cameron signed was a courtesy to the U.K.

      England does not own Scotland’s Title Deeds.

      We are a sovereign nation. It is our international legal right to unilaterally withdraw from the Treaty of Union.

      Nations amend, redraft, refine withdraw and nullify treaties every year.

      Scotland is legally competent to unilaterally decide on whether to hold IndyRef2.

      If we elect an IndyRef2 party, even one that provides just 15 to 20 MSPs then we will only give “confidence and supply” support to allow the remaining SNP to be in power providing the new First Minister (not Nicola Sturgeon), stays honest and guarantees Scotland IndyRef2.

      Benjamin, I hope you are able to find a political party to vote for.

      After I watched Alex Salmond give his evidence at the Fabiani Inquiry, Alex is one of perhaps only three politicians I trust and trust absolutely.

      The other 1,036,828 politicians on this planet are all tainted with political bias (fair enough), but 95% of them are gerrymandering narcissistic corrupted individuals.

    126. Alf Baird says:

      Skip_NC @ 6:44 pm

      “I can’t get Kenneth Wolstenholme out of my head”

      Ah Wolstenholme, the man who described Celtic as the first ‘Anglo Saxon’ football team to win the European Cup. That came as a bit of a shock to both Scots and Irish.

    127. Al voice of reason says:

      Benjamin,
      When you buy into a dream house and then find it is riddled with rot, it is sometimes better to look to the future and demolish to the four walls, or even ground level, and rebuild it better and update it for a long furure.

    128. Fionan says:

      A very enlightening story from the perspective of the younger generations, those who still have their whole lives ahead of them in whatever kind of country we can make of Scotland.

      There are roads ahead which can still lead to indy, roads which you younger people still can walk. One of these would be to join and support the AFI party, an all-encompassing alliance party of independence supporters from all walks of life as the SNP used to be, the only party now which seeks to join forces throughout the indy movement to work together to achieve indy. That is the hallmark which shows it isn’t full of seekers of gravy train tickets, all jumping on the band wagon created by the increasing disillusionment with the snp.

      Its ethos is to pull the indy movement back together to fight as one.

      The evidence linked to above from Dunlop et al is finally quite heartening. It shows that AS has indeed produced evidence via corroboration, of the stitch-up which has Sturgeon at its very heart, or should that be at its birth!It seems to have left Sturgeon and cronies very quiet in the corner!

    129. ben madigan says:

      what the Spectator says about the legal advice https://archive.vn/deINR

    130. Mike Hovit says:

      Just saw rerun of Yes Minister on BBC 4.
      Humpy… Leslie..
      What do you think…

      In my book, the best of that series will stand with Machiavelli in terms of essential political education.

      Jay and Lynn, Gentlemen, I salute you.
      Cast outstanding also.

    131. Kcor says:

      Very well said Benjamin.

      The witch conned genuine independence supporters.

      We hated Thatcher, but at least she did what she did openly.

    132. Clavie Cheil says:

      Aye. It is where I am at and have been for years. It isn’t just heartbreaking, it leaves me empty and angry.

    133. Skip_NC says:

      Alf Baird, actually, I was thinking of the very end of the 1966 [REDACTED] Cup Final. I am a bit young to remember the 1967 European Cup Final, so never heard that he described Celtic thus. Dearie me.

    134. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Mike Hovit…

      Advice for the committee tomorrow, as to what to look out for.

      Yes Prime Minster Dealing With Questions.

      youtube.com/watch?v=UnnY4O3oDpk

    135. TOMMY SHERIDAN says:

      Excellent article but sad to read. So many people have been let down. Thanks for sharing your disappointment with us Benjamin.

    136. Plato Chips says:

      Refreshing to know that even our young generation have morals such as this, much hope for the future of Scotland when we finally do regain our independence.

    137. Kiwilassie says:

      Well said Benjamin Harrop.
      For a young man in your early 20s, You definitely have an old head on your young shoulders.
      I really enjoyed reading your journey with the SNP since 2014 & agree with all you’ve said.

    138. Brian says:

      Anyone remember after the 1997 GE and Labour replaced the Tories and for a time everything was going well until the Iraq war.

      That is what it feels like now.

    139. Rick H Johnston says:

      Benjamin, Hang in there. Can see you still care about your country.
      Remember this – it’s five long years till the next scottish parliament elections and unionists are sowing division and confusion.
      It’s divide and rule, but if folk are rejoining the SNP in numbers after Nicola Sturgeon’s grilling/interrogation then we shouldn’t stand aside and let the unionists win.
      Good to see Tommy Sheridan back BTW.

    140. lawrenceab says:

      @ A Person 3:14pm

      “Il ne faut pas toucher aux idoles; la dorure vous reste aux mains”
      (Flaubert. Mme. Bovary)



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