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Wings Over Scotland

The Hillary Step

Posted on December 31, 2019 by

The 2010s end in a matter of hours, and everyone and their genderfluid dog is writing retrospectives of the 10 years just past. This site, which came into existence in the second year of the decade, has very little interest in following suit – we’ve always been about the future.

But a cursory glance over the shoulder does reveal one immediately striking fact that’s worthy of passing note.

Scottish politics in the 2010s divides remarkably neatly into a pair of five-year chunks: 2010-2014, taking us up to the independence referendum of September in the latter year, and 2015-2019 inclusive.

The first major political event of 2010 was a UK general election, at which Labour won 41 of the 59 seats in Scotland (unchanged from 2005) with 42% of the vote, more than twice the SNP’s 19.9% share. After the shock of the 2007 Holyrood election, many in the party regarded the 2010 result as a restoration of normality and the reaffirmation of Scotland as Labour’s birthright.

That view was memorably encapsulated by a famous website comment from Scottish Labour activist Duncan Hothersall, which has passed into Yes-movement folklore:

History of course records that it was Labour who imploded with in-fighting and are now a total irrelevance in Scotland, trailing in third in this year’s election with a pitiful 18.6% of the vote and just a single MP. (If you count by seats, Labour came FOURTH behind the Lib Dems.) The Scottish branch office has burned through five different leaders in the decade, not counting interim ones, none able to arrest the slide.

But we’re only tangentially concerned with the disintegration of Scottish Labour. For the SNP, and the independence movement it leads, the first half of the 2010s was a time of spectacular unbroken success. Having previously won a minority administration at Holyrood by the narrowest margin possible, Alex Salmond led the nationalists to an unprecedented overall majority in 2011, secured an independence referendum and came within a hair’s breadth of winning it against ridiculous odds.

(Hothersall, with his trademark predictive acumen, foresaw a 40-point drubbing.)

(While another once-prominent Scottish Labour activist and BBC Scotland regular, Ian Smart, reckoned that Yes would lose by nearer 50 points.)

But “within a hair’s breadth” isn’t enough, and in the wake of the 55-45 defeat Salmond fell on his sword, despite a spectacular surge in SNP membership and support prior to his resignation two months after the referendum.

His successor Nicola Sturgeon grabbed onto the tail of a party that was hurtling into the atmosphere like a Saturn V rocket, and which duly wiped out Labour (along with the Tories and Lib Dems) at the following year’s UK election – the first vote of the second half of the decade – reducing them to a single MP each.

But from that point on, gravity tightened its grip.

The SNP’s 56 MPs were unable to secure a single meaningful concession throughout the Scotland Act negotiations which were to supposedly enact the “Vow” made by the Unionist parties prior to the referendum. Every amendment put forward by the SNP, even those supported by the solitary Labour and Lib Dem MPs, was effectively vetoed by the sole Scottish Tory elected, David Mundell.

The staggering, record-breaking 49.97% of the vote achieved by the SNP at the 2015 election would be the party’s high point. It lost its Holyrood majority the following year, and in the 2017 UK election its vote share dropped to just 37%, shedding a third of its voters and nearly 40% of its MPs.

Its domestic record sputtered and stumbled, suffering a series of embarrassing defeats over issues like the Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act and the proposed Named Persons legislation and seeing years of progress over crime, education and hospital waiting-list figures begin to reverse.

Despite collecting no fewer than SIX electoral mandates in five years by racking up victories in 2015, 2016, 2017 (twice) and 2019 (twice), no progress of any measurable kind was made towards securing a second referendum on independence in the wake of the UK’s Brexit vote and Scotland’s resounding choice to remain in the EU.

A formal request in March 2017 for a new Section 30 order was rebuffed by Theresa May, and a similar fate seems certain to await the one issued earlier this month. The SNP refuses to elaborate on how it will respond if and when the expected point-blank refusal arrives, and while the party faithful remain doggedly convinced that a surprise masterplan will suddenly be unveiled, the time for stalling is about to run out.

In the meantime, activists retain a level of hubris that reminds this site uncannily of Duncan Hothersall in 2010.

Just as with Labour before them, elements of the SNP have convinced themselves that people have nowhere else to go in pursuit of their main goal (those being socialism and independence respectively), and so those people will always turn out and vote for them, however much nose-holding is required.

The lesson of 2017, when 500,000 SNP voters stayed at home over a manifesto they didn’t like, appears to have been swept aside just like Labour dismissed 2007 as a freak blip in the false context of 2010.

But the harsh reality is that the second half of the 2010s has been a story of failure masquerading as success for the SNP. Despite the utter implosion of their former main opponents – Labour’s vote share in Scotland this year was down by a quarter even compared to their 2015 catastrophe – and the giant gift of Brexit, the SNP were still down five points and nine MPs from their peak, in a first-past-the-post election where voting SNP was an absolute no-brainer for Yes supporters.

The party’s complacency makes sense if you view it solely through the lens of power. There is little meaningful threat to its position in the next Holyrood election. The slim pro-independence majority in the chamber could easily be lost if the 2020 indyref Nicola Sturgeon insists on promising isn’t delivered (which it won’t be) and a section of disgruntled supporters don’t turn out, but it’s almost beyond imagination that it wouldn’t still be the largest party and form a government with the bonus luxury of being able to blame its minority status for any lack of achievement.

(The Tories are operating at the absolute maximum ceiling of diehard Loyalist bigots and Brexiters, and goodness knows what Scottish Labour could hope to dredge from its shallow and sludgy talent puddle to begin to revive itself by then.)

But without dramatic and concrete action in the next 12 months, the SNP’s supposed primary goal is dead in the water. 2011’s absolute majority on 45% of the vote was a fluke unlikely to be repeated, and if the UK government has managed to rebuff an indyref for the whole of 2020 it’ll have no pressing practical reason to suddenly grant one in 2021.

(Because what could Scotland threaten it with, if it hadn’t done so by then? We’d be four years from the next UK election, at which the worst we could do would be reduce the number of Tory MPs by six, and the Holyrood electoral system will always ensure a healthy number of Tory MSPs there. The people will have no voice before 2025, by which time everyone will have come to terms with whatever consequences Brexit brings and the SNP will be even less popular after 17 years of power.)

So for the independence movement, 2020 is a full-scale emergency. It really is then or (effectively) never. But for the SNP as a party of political power, it’s more like a gap year. Its elected representatives are secure on the gravy train whatever happens, lucrative jobs stretching out ahead of them for years to come regardless.

Since 2015 the SNP has sat comfortably on top of the Hillary Step of independence, a difficult-to-reach spot just shy of the summit, repeatedly calling Yes supporters up the mountain only to send them back down, while it sat around lazily enjoying the views even as forbidding weather drew in and the time left to reach the top ticked away.

Like a more recently well-known Hillary, the party has taken the security of its situation and the certainty of its ultimate ascent for granted. But here’s the thing, readers: the Hillary Step doesn’t exist any more. Even seemingly eternal rocks can crumble away without warning and send anyone sitting on them plummeting into the abyss.

We cannot afford to waste the first year of the 2020s the way the last five years of the 2010s have been wasted. Half a decade has been frittered away for nothing. It’s time to get climbing again, because even if there’s a chance of failure, it’s better to die trying than to not try and freeze to death anyway.

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    1. 31 12 19 13:56

      The Hillary Step | speymouth

    236 to “The Hillary Step”

    1. Algernon Pondlife says:

      The argument for caution assumes that the already disintegrated democratic norms will somehow take over at Westminster again. It’s “now or never”. If we fail now it will put it no further into the long grass than delaying it would.
      This means that there becomes little point in supporting the SNP in government after this year and the only reason to support them at Westminster would be if they applied the tactics of the Irish movement or something equally radical and disruptive.

    2. Ruglonian says:

      Thank you Stu for spelling out the situation in such a clear way for the blind of faith.
      If this reality is still willfully avoided, by some in the movement, then at least we’ll know where we stand going forward.

      The Friends Of Wings stall will be at the rally in Glasgow on the 11/1 – where we’ll no doubt still see many new faces along with the old – as we continue our discussions on the practical ways we can all personally advocate for Scottish independence!

      All the best for the new year pals x

    3. I voted SNP at the GE. I had to hold my nose. I can’t bring myself to vote for them ever again. I can’t stand third-rate cretins, fresh out of uni or off market stalls they worked on, trying to dictate my morality to me, what to think or say or do, parroting deranged American middle class identity politics shite. As for Ms. Sturgeon and her wee jobs-for-the-girls feminist cabal at the top of the SNP tree, well, I get the feeling the Alex Salmond case will shake loose a lot of political debris, and I hope he reds the lot of them.

    4. Doug says:

      I and my family simply cannot hang around waiting for Independence.
      Because the cause is “lead” by the SNP I too fear the slow gradualism approach simply can’t work any more. We need to be bold and take that next step NOW. Because the window is closing fast. The EU are waiting every nation in Europe is baffled that we aren’t already on the streets demanding independence.
      Of course there are the marches but they are easily ignored by a London Controlled Media.
      Civil disobedience might harm fellow Scots as well and again will be ignored if only held in Scotland.
      I am not sure what options are for producing pressure for progress both in Holyrood and Westminster. But pressure needs to be applied – a boycott of some media brands perhaps or products or stores?

    5. Jim Fraser says:


      You have written many challenging, thought-provoking, and useful pieces of analysis over the years, especially those like the Wee Blue Book and your de-bunking of almost every lie and half-thruth that comes sailing at us in the news media. You cannot be thanked enough for that. No one else seems to have been up for it at such length and your determination is admirable.

      But your judgement is, I’m sorry to say, not infallible (and I know you would never claim it to be). I think you are deeply sincere, for example, in seeing sex and gender politics to be an issue of some great importance in society. But your judgement in bringing trans issues into and alongside your output on self-determination was off, in my opinion (and certainly when you had another popular Stuart Campbell channel where you could talk about them to a sizeable audiience).

      So, it may be complete complacency on my part, but I have to say I’m content to trust the judgement of Nicola Sturgeon and the people around her to navigate away through the tricky period before us. In doing so she may not be as much of a firebrand as many people would like to see her be. But I want people at the helm who are going to build something that brings along a number of those people who currently are scared of what independence might bring.

      I know you’re committed to the same outcome, and I’m certain you can play a big part in bringing it to fruition. In this, the Hillary Step is a good metaphor, I agree, for we will need to be brave. I just want to make sure when we get to the summit it is a place that has been worth fighting for, and not one marred by division amongst friends.

      I wish you and everyone here a very good New Year, and expect to see you all in Glasgow for the march on the 11th.

      All my best,


    6. Graham Fordyce says:

      I reckon that even your negativity (and I don’t mean that critically) is yet another sign that the status quo is simply not an option. Among those ardently in support of independence, feelings of passion are surely at their height. Those feelings will not dissipate because of the Tory landslide: they will increase. Something will have to give. I don’t think Boris gives a monkeys about Scotland’s future. He’ll be quite content with his little England.It will keep him and his party in power for generations. If the outcome is based solely on passion, we’re home and dry. I appreciate that’s not the only ingredient, however. Above all else, we need to retain belief in ourselves and the worth of independence.

    7. alasdair galloway says:

      @Algernon Pondlife, you write “This means that there becomes little point in supporting the SNP in government after this year”. So what is your poison my friend? Vote for Jackson Carlaw in the hope of making Scotland a wee bit more like England, though with the cat o’nine tails administered a bit more gently? Do Labour have the talent to even muster a government? God help the budget if Jackie Baillie and her calculator become Finance Minister? And, even if it is Hogmanay, let’s not hit the depths of Willie Rennie and Cole-Hamilton skipping along the road. So, even if only in the sense of avoiding the three amigos there is a point, is there not?
      As for Westminster, I agree with the fundamentals of the Rev’s argument – that when Johnson says “No”, we dont just say “oh alright then”. There really does need to be a response.
      However one thought. Are we ready for the fight? Has the policy work been done to resist the no doubt even more alarmist claims of whatever they call Better Together this time. CLEARLY it should have been done, and it is a greater crime than not getting a referendum that it has not been, which is where I disagree with the Rev. Yes there is an emergency, but its not to do with getting a referendum in place. It’s about getting all the parts of a campaign in place that will win any such referendum. Both these things are necessary – a case without a referendum wont work. But a referendum without an effective case wont work either. And are we likely to get another chance?

    8. Republicofscotland says:

      Some really good points there, especially yes voters having no alternatives to the SNP on independence.

      Its times like this we miss Alex Salmond, I can’t say for certain that we won’t hold a indyref next year. However if we don’t we may need to look for alternatives to vote for at Holyrood in the future. The big problem is, by then just how much damage will Westminster have done to Scotland, and will it be irreversible.

    9. Auld Rock says:

      I’m not one for making New Year Resolutions but I’d like to suggest that we all make one for 2020. It goes like this, “In 2020 I/we resolve to carry forward the struggle for INDEPENDENCE but without the acrimony, in-fighting, backstabbing and all other negative expressions conveyed on the Wings site in recent months.”

      I’d also just like to remind you all that back in the ’45 it was in-fighting amongst the Generals when the road to London was totally unprotected and the country would have been won, instead, it ended up in the catastrophe that was Culloden, think long and hard about this before you make negative posts in 2020, please for Scotland’s sake.

      Just remember to add a drop of water when the midnight bells ring out tonight – Best of Wishes for 2020.

    10. ahundredthidiot says:

      Nail on Head.

    11. robertknight says:

      I know it’s laziness on my part, but can I just cut’n’paste yesterday’s post? Thanks…

      robertknight says:
      30 December, 2019 at 7:10 pm
      At the end of the day, the likes of me and others on here who consider current SNP leadership policies for gaining independence to be flawed, unworkable or unimaginative, will never the less hold our noses and place an X in the box next to the SNP candidate every time.

      We know full well that the SNP is the only vehicle for achieving our desired goal.

      The trouble is, the SNP are acutely aware of that fact and, as with any monopoly, will act primarily in the best interests of the SNP.

      So we’ll turn up for the marches, distribute the flyers, put our hands in our pockets and seek to persuade our friends, relatives and colleagues. But we’ll not stop criticising where it’s justified – we’re not in the realm of the Dear Leader! You only need look to the Labour Party to see how that ends.

    12. David R says:

      Continue to be impressed by your continued work on getting independence especially when the clowns that would govern an indy Scotland hate you and many of those that support you.

      I can’t see any of the new breed of career politicians attracted to the SNP by a life with their noses in the trough wanting to risk that with indy and new parties forming.

      Labour has shown you can get a lot of mileage from a false promise.

    13. David says:

      Good article Stu. I think the Independence supporters are holding their nerve and giving Nicola the benefit of the doubt. Let her try and get the Section 30 order. Boris is almost certain to refuse. He may agree to a section 30 if he is persuaded he can win a second referendum now but not later. When he says no what is Nicola going to do? If she doesn’t deliver, the movement will fragment.

    14. Republicofscotland says:

      Re my 1.53pm comment in which I named Alex Salmond. I shouldve added Happy Birthday Alex, who turned 65 years of age today.

      Have good one Eck.

    15. Algernon Pondlife says:

      alasdair galloway

      That interpretation of my post seems absurd. The way forward then has to be a combination of a new party aimed exclusively at independence and whatever extra-parliamentary activities that can be dreamt up and sustained. With luck this could lead to coalitions at Holyrood that would control (obliterate) the woke and other malign influences in the SNP.
      We don’t give up. We fight harder. We recognize the reality of the unionists intentions not their polite “democratic” cover.
      Finally, “the policy work” being done is normally an excuse for delay and obfuscation, because most real policies only become clear at the point of independence. There has been and continues to be much work on a constitution and on the obvious need for an immediate Scottish currency. The time for it and everything else to emerge is during the transition, not providing a stick for the unionists during the campaign.

    16. John Thomson says:

      That’s more like you, thank you and don’t stop. Get your wings party ready still think SNP 1 wings 2 unless advised

    17. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “So, it may be complete complacency on my part, but I have to say I’m content to trust the judgement of Nicola Sturgeon and the people around her to navigate away through the tricky period before us.”

      We’ll see who’s right soon enough. I hope it’s you. But it isn’t.

    18. Dave Beveridge says:

      “everyone will have come to terms with whatever consequences Brexit brings”

      And this is the big danger. “Do you REALLY want the further disruption that independence will bring with border guards that’ll prevent the easy flow of trade and big nets put up to stop migratory birds flying south, etc, etc…”

      Project Fear2 – same as the original but on steroids.

    19. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Post-indy, the SNP will fracture. We all know that.

      So much frustration and enmity is being generated right now by careerist fence-sitters who dream of a lifetime gig as mandarins or politicos in the ‘new’ Scotland – they are hindering a cohesive attack to secure the independence they claim to crave.

      No names, no fingering, but we all know characters – some of whom were regulars right here back in the day – who would blood-eagle their own grannies for a sniff at tasty gigs within an indy govt. They cannot and will not dare breathe a word of dissent within earshot of the leadership.

      They have to be confronted. But who will do it? For such a confrontation to be worthwhile i.e. to energise those of us who are all-but out of patience, it would have to be someone significant within the SNP as any criticism from outwith is easily dismissed.

      But who?

      I have a couple of names in mind but am curious to see if anyone else will suggest them.

      The SNP will fracture post-indy, aye, but if we don’t get indy in the first place, what does it matter?

      Let’s just induce the fractures, get the nasty stuff over with, have a proper clear-out of the dead wood, then use every trick in the book to get WM and Tories the fuck out of our lives once and for all.

    20. Algernon Pondlife says:

      Ian Brotherhood:

      “Let’s just induce the fractures, get the nasty stuff over with, have a proper clear-out of the dead wood, then use every trick in the book to get WM and Tories the fuck out of our lives once and for all.”

      If we don’t get a referendum in 2020 and equally if it fails, this becomes an important part of what to do next. But we have to do it without becoming factionalizing purists.

    21. Colin Alexander says:

      Stu Campbell

      So are you up for a court fight for Scotland right to exercise her sovereignty and challenge the “Queen in Parliament” UK Parliamentary sovereignty / and legality of the Union?

      An independence Party?

      Or what?

      (Excellent summary of the situation. Well done).

    22. Richard says:

      Hi Stu

      Any progress on launching the Wings Party to stand as list candidates?

    23. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Algernon Pondlife (2.34) –

      Do you mean like the ‘factionalizing purists’ who have already infiltrated the SNP and are openly threatening to alienate approx half of the Scottish electorate?

    24. Gary45% says:

      Ian Brotherhood@2.24
      Nice One,
      I will hopefully get the chance for a blether at the WoS stall on the 11th, we’ve spoken before at earlier rallies, along with Ronnie A, Paula R and the PNR, although you will not remember me. I have a few names also but will not start a witch hunt on this site.
      I still feel the only way is still an SNP vote/ show of support, as they are the media face of the campaign, It makes sense that the SNP will dissolve/ morph into something else post Indy.
      I have and will continue to criticise them for many failings (in my eyes), but there is no suitable alternative at the present moment.
      Its taken them decades to get where they are, another new party! how long will it take to get the same public backing?

    25. What are we supposed to think when the SNP appear to be doing nothing and saying nothing the ordinary SNP voters are the ones who are doing all the work for our freedom and acting unpaid unlike the msps we need the SNP to act deeds not silence as for asking what can we do I would say what can we NOT DO ??? Remember the old saying where is a will there is a way

    26. Bob Mack says:

      Excellent article Stu. It also is penned by a guy who has given his all for Independence, so it is sincere.

      We al! want another Referendum as soon as possible, and thus exist in a symbiotic relstionship with the only party who can for now, at least, make that happen.

      Your evidence indicates that this may not be for some time to come and I agree. Brexit will change many things, not least the way these islands that form the UK are governed.

      People gel! me that Johnson will have to listen, but on these very pages since 2012, you have pointed out again and again how Westminster ignores Scotlands voice. Now they are suddenly going to listen? No, me neither.

      The people who want Independence will have a dilemma especially if as you precict the SNP do not obtain the Section 30 mandate by 2020. Where do we go?

      The horse has already bolted on one great opportunity, but that is history. We must have more than one alternative for the future.

    27. Algernon Pondlife says:

      @Ian Brotherhood (2.45)-

      That stain on its own makes me glad I never joined the party.
      But I was thinking also of avoiding going down the track of the history of the left, or even Robespierre’s “the Mountain is pure”. The goal is independence not independence with —- [insert your favourite ideology]. For which reason their should be no major “reform” (and especially the abolition of reality in favour of ideology) pre-indy which alienates any supporters (and particularly 51% of the population). If we do not trust an independent population to develop sound social and economic policies then why are we doing it?

    28. lothian lad says:

      I used to think “steady”……Hold…. Hold…..things will naturally go the same way when we had thatcherism and the drive for devolution. ie. eventually time will be kind to us as the hated tories will make people vote yes.

      However, a cold realisation is dawning thanks to the posts of Stu and Craig Murray…. the SNP are the longest serving government and main party in Scotland post Devolution.

      If history tells us anything its that eventually people get tiered of the ruling party over time and are now much more willing to cahnge party if they feel let down by it, or that its just not delivering.

      Make no mistake, the unionist press will stoke the anti – independence machine, but apathy could be our biggest problem. If people get to the stage of … “whats the point”? then we could be facing decades in the wilderness.

      Stu is 100% correct! the SNP wastemonster group is on the gravy train! take a look at Midlothian to see the effects!

      When Scotland changes party, it doesnt mess about!!
      We do not have the luxury of continued support unless we earn it!
      Leadership is required! time to fight! not just be administrators of the Devolution settlement!

    29. Mark says:

      So can a Wings party help with independence at next Scottish Elections?

    30. Jock McDonnell says:

      Ignore all trolls folks. As the Rev says, push for victory in a 2020 referendum. All further political events become irrelevant.

    31. Vivian O'Blivion says:

      Any analysis of strategy towards independence should factor in Northern Ireland. No matter how much Johnson is in denial, his Withdrawal Agreement with Brussels puts Customs checks at Belfast and Larne. The semi semantic changes to the Withdrawal Bill before Christmas telegraphed a free trade deal with America as Johnson’s (Cumming’s) ideal end game. Every deviation from EU regulations and standards incrementally toughens the Customs checks between NI & Great Britain. Johnson is signaling his willingness to become the leader of the Conservative & Unionist Party that “looses” Northern Ireland. To “lose” Scotland would be a different order of magnitude but still, the taboo is broken.

    32. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Gary45% –

      Cheers. Hope to see you on the 11th.

      Can I appeal to any other ‘auld wingers’ to chip in today – even a wee ‘hello’ would do nicely, thanks! – just to remind the trolls and roasters that we’re still around?

      HNY to all.


    33. mogabee says:

      Challenging the SNP is the only way to make them listen.

      They don’t respond to emails.

      They don’t respond to criticism.

      They don’t listen to their activists…

      Take this fight to the heart of OUR parliament. Marches and rallies at Holyrood would be a good place to start.

    34. mogabee says:

      Aye Ian B

      No trolls can get between wingers and wings or they’ll be ‘killed with hammers’. 😀

    35. red sunset says:

      As an “auld winger” here’s my HELLO.
      Usually too busy to do anything else but lurk.
      This coming 700th anniversary year is going to be strewn with crises for many, right across the world and for us right here. There was a lot of careful thought and consideration went into the wording of that Declaration. If we can have the same singleness of purpose that they had, we will win this yet.
      A very guid new year to all Wingers when it comes.

    36. Jason Hoffman says:

      Good article and it’s as cheery as I’m feeling looking into 2020 – probably the year that is going to see the greatest upheaval in the UK in my 50 years.

      Brexit – and a likely hard Brexit – is weeks away. Where Boris and his pals are going to be dragging us all is a big fat unknown but with the Tories, one thing is always certain, it’s going to benefit a few of them most and the rest of us least.

      The Labour party are in no state to oppose them in anything.

      The LibDems never were.

      Which leaves the SNP…

      This is year when they either stand up and be the party prepared to put everything on the line or they’ll be the ones to finally accept that the 2014 referendum really was a once in a generation vote.

      There is no need on Boris’ part to allow a S30 order. With Brexit on the horizon he has the ideal “now is not the time” excuse. But time is not on the side of the SNP and he knows it. Why? Because the natives are getting restless.

      As much as we want independence, we also know that the SNP are the only current method of progressing this. If they are unable to move the issue forward, then the bulk of the SNP support are going to lose hope. Worst case, we turn our backs on politics once and for all.

      The SNP will likely endure the fall out, with many more years of minority governments in Holyrood and a good chunk of MPs in Westminster. We’ll always have the grievance angle of Scotland being ignored by London.

      As for independence, it won’t happen in my lifetime if it does not happen in 2020 or 2021 at the latest.

    37. Robert Graham says:

      Like a lot of folk I haven’t been posting for some time just keeping a eye on what’s going on , and not impressed by some of the obvious arse wipes who seem to have pitched their tents here ,
      much like the National it’s also overrun by halfwits who have been attracted like moths to a light ,

      A good new year to all the original posters here and I understand 2013 till now is a bloody long time , how far have we advanced ? To be honest I haven’t a bloody clue it’s like we are standing still .

      A wee reminder to all who are thinking about giving up very seldom has Stu been wrong , he might get up a few noses but he is telling you what’s he believes is true and not want you want to hear .

    38. Jim says:

      Hi Stu

      Interesting read. Time to start planning for a ‘Wings over Scotland Independence Party’.

      And please move to Scotland so you can be elected and lad the group of MSPs that gets elected

    39. Capella says:

      I was one of the people who joined the SNP in the days after the Indyref. Alex Salmond had already announced his intention to resign in a press conference held, I think, the day after the defeat It was obvious that Nicola Sturgeon would succeed him. So the surge in membership happened after Alex resigned and Nicola took over.

      The huge crowd at the SNP conference in November 2014 was addressed by Nicola as leader.

      While I appreciate that many supporters regard Alex Salmond as a great leader, a little perspective is required. He did lose the referendum. I don’t think Nicola intends to do the same.

      Regarding the years of “doing nothing” – it would have been fatuous to call for a second referendum in 2015. The EU referendum happened in 2016 providing the reason for indyref2. The UK GE happened in 2017 and we have been on the brink of leaving the EU since then with another UK GE in 2019.

      We are still in the EU.

      After January 31st I expect the pace to change (after the Alex Salmond trial which the unionists hope to be able to use to oust Nicola Sturgeon). I certainly hope that the SNP leadership do keep their strategy secret. I am quite certain that they have one and are working to a plan.

      Perspective dear boy.

    40. vlad (not that one) says:

      Ian B @15:27
      A wee ‘hello’ would do nicely.
      OK, here goes:
      Hello Ian an` all.
      Have a cracking good Hogmanay and an excellent New Year.

    41. mountain shadow says:

      Great post Rev. One of your best.

      Nicola must move during 2020.

    42. Conan the Librarian says:

      @Ian Brotherhood

      I’m Spartacus.

    43. Juteman says:

      As an ald Winger, here’s my take on our situation at years end.
      The SNP could do nothing until we were definitely coming out of the EU. A significant % that will now vote Yes, would vote No if they could have stayed in the EU. We needed that last GE to make choices clear.
      I’m hoping that things move on from the end of January.
      If there is no sign of a referendum by the middle of next year, I will join in the criticism of the SNP. Until then, I will hold my fire, even if I am as frustrated as everyone else.

    44. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      Happy New Year to all, stand together behind the SNP if we want independence. Next year will be hard and will no doubt bring some disappointment.

      We must not allow the enemy in its many forms to come between us, you know they will try.

      If you are unhappy with the way the SNP are heading, join the party get to meetings make yourself heard.

      Take some friends with you.

      Folk joining the SNP sends a worrying message to the enemy they do not like it.

      Want to annoy the enemy ? Join the party.

    45. vlad (not that one) says:

      @Capella 16:14 … I certainly hope that the SNP leadership do keep their strategy secret. …
      I also joined the SNP post 2014.
      Re keeping a strategy secret, to be able to keep it secret you need to have one in the first place. Seeing the GRA idiocy makes me wonder about that.

    46. Thought the `Hillary Step` was a reference to Clinton and her failure to become leader of the world when all she had to do was be better than a serial bankrupted reality game show host,


      was it William Grant & Sons Ltd that gave the Unionist Better Together crew £200,000 before Indy1,

      and do the own Drambuie and Glenfiddich.

    47. Col.Blimp IV says:

      The Brexit Referendum was always going to be the SNP’s Rubicon.

      The SNP endorsed Salmond’s “Independence in Europe” strategy, not because there was a pro-EU majority among the membership but because there was a seed of hope that Headlining with an irrefutable theme that Independence was not the leap of blind faith into the unknown portrayed by the Unionist MSM – But a sensible baby-step to a future where we had more control over our own affairs but with the safety net of retaining our links with the EU and by default any mutually beneficial links to the UK (if such things exist).

      20 odd years of bigging up the EU seems to have warped the brains of our leadership – The EU is not now and never has been the prize – It was a means to an end.

      The same end that the Flag-waving Haggis-eaters had when they were deposed by the Salmondeanies back in the Year Zero.(because their strategies were making no headway).

      Scotland’s relationship to the EU has changed, therefore our strategy must change to suit the new circumstances – For my money this should have happened three years ago.

      What’s it to be Nic … Caesar or the Grand old Duke of York?

    48. Capella says:

      @ vlad – I do think they have a strategy. The precisely worded election manifestos suggest a plan to me.

      I agree about the GRA nonsense. I see that as some well meaning people trying to do the right “inclusive” thing being totally manipulated by a bunch of woke entryists. They should know better.

      But they are not alone. The Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens are all very much worse in this respect. Governments across Europe and North and South America ditto. Only the Tories are quietly distancing themselves from it. It’s up to all of us to engage with the consultations in the New Year and make our views crystal clear.

    49. Ian McLean says:

      A grain of personal satisfaction from the above is that the first two people to block me on Twitter were Sean Morton and Duncan Hothershall.
      Realistically it’s not going to be possible to achieve a Sect30 sanctioned #indyref2 in 2020 even in the unlikely event of BJ conceding. This may be a blessing in the longer term as the shambles that will be Brexit will really start to bite in 2021

    50. Col.Blimp IV says:

      Should have said something like – “might prove more fruitful”, between para’s 2&3.

    51. Lenny Hartley says:

      IB hopefully see you on the 11th, also hope every body has a guid New Year and that the Rev is talking Pish, 🙂 one good thing is that folk I know who would never Imagine coming onside have, a couple of them real gob smackers still in shock about two of them, one a Relative who I would bet my bottom dollar would never vote Yes , I have spent over thirty years trying to persuade them of the benefits of Independence to no avail, however the GE changed that , the other a labour activist who I have had many a fight with on social media has sent me two messages saying he is supporting Yes. This was a guy who utterly hated the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon. If folk like that are coming onside maybe the SNP with the help of another Party in the list might despite what Stu says get a Yes Majority in 2021. What they do with it is another story.

    52. Hackalumpoff says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood
      Hello, we’re on the last train to Lurksville, it’s a long trip so will be away some time.

      Here’s a link for Auld Lang Syne

      All Wingers, Britnats and Trolls, have a great Hogmanay and an excellent New Year.

      Slàinte Mhath

    53. Pete says:

      Ian McLean
      You and your ilk keep saying that Brexit is going to be a disaster.
      How do you know?
      Are you an economic expert?
      As I keep saying, most respected forecasters are now predicting quite good growth in the next few years.
      The UK even beat most of the eurozone countries last year despite the political upheavals which were going on.
      How was that possible?
      I think you need a planB as you are making a lot of ill founded assumptions.

    54. twathater says:

      @ Ian B I agree with all your sentiments and I salute you sir for your post on yesindyref2 where you made it clear that you would not be falling out with lots of old wingers , but you would still be sticking with Stu and WOS for now

      Recently we have had many former well known posters return to comment but it is with the condition that Stu and others , stop with as many perceive negative posts and comments re Nicola and the SNP

      As I have stated many times in the past , I am not a member BUT I am a voter who has lived under the corruption and malaise of liebour for decades , I had a great excitement when I helped vote SNP into government in Scotland because I BELIEVED they were the party to FREE Scotland from the clutches of this rancid union and I believed in their honesty and integrity

      Unfortunately I am now disheartened that the party I once thought had the drive , determination and fight to Wrestle our FREEDOM has turned into a wet blanket of PC focused self serving wokes where independence comes way back behind gender critical issues

      I watched MANY tv broadcasts where Ian Blackford and others stated CATEGORICALLY that Scotland would NOT be dragged out of the EU , yet today I received an email showing the FM’s speech saying that we WILL be leaving the EU on the 31st Jan 2020 , where is the consistency , where is the fight , where is the DEFIANCE , where is the DETERMINATION

      All I see is capitulation and subservience, if the FM had the integrity and honesty I naively believed she had she would recall ALL her MP’S and resign her SG and hold a Holyrood election with the sole mandate that if a SNP government is returned it shows that the sovereign will of the Scottish people is that she has been instructed to dissolve the treaty of union

      This may be simplistic but is the constant denigration , slurs , demonisation and BEGGING for our right to determine our own future , is this how a supposed proud , brave nation and people be behaving , what we consider to be ours ( freedom ) we should be TAKING not begging for

    55. ScotsRenewables says:

      Excellent post from Stu, most of which I agree with. (Unusual in recent weeks . . . )

      I still believe though that Nicola is not stupid and is still ambitious for Scotland and her name in the history books as its liberator. I believe she will pull the necessary rabbit out of the hat this year. She knows if she doesn’t then she is toast.

      If she does not – in fact, if there is still no referendum date after after the party’s Spring conference, then we are fucked. I was talking with the local grassroots organiser today, and we both agreed on that – it’s 2020 or bust for the SNP as the primary drivers of indy.

      So – I am working on the basis that 2020 is referendum year, going to work hard over the next four months to do anything I can – IT, doorknocking, whatever. After that, if there is no referendum on the horizon then my bolt is shot and we will definitely need to be looking at a new home for our 2nd votes next year.

      I don’t see it being a new Wings party though. Too much bad blood. Any alternative 2nd vote needs at least tacit acceptance by the SNP or grudging non-condemnation rather than a thundering ‘both votes SNP ditch the vile cybernats’ message over and over.

      Of course, we already have a pro-independence List party in the Greens, so perhaps they can be rehabilitated. If not, then we need a leader everyone can get behind, maybe Leslie Riddoch. More than one Winger could stand for any new party, but I really do;t think the Wings ID is going to stand the rigours of an election campaign.

      But fuckit . . . that’s all idle speculation. Stu thinks there will definitely be no referendum this year, I think he may be wrong. Let’s hope that just for once I and my fellow optimists are right, eh?

      Happy Hogmanay and an Independent New Year to us all ! See you on the 11th.

    56. Ian Foulds says:

      ramblings – possibly – since I have started ‘celebrating’ 2020.

      we have Wings and we have the Green Party.

      there has been much discussion as to List Parties, due to the apparently frightening position many consider the SNP are now projected as a tainted party which might have abandoned its reason for its existence.

      so how do we promote wings/greens to be the backup/supporting power in Holyrood (should it still exist after next year) in the event SNP suffer a setback in 2020, in order to keep the Unionists in their box and the push for Independence alive.

    57. Ian Brotherhood says:

      If you want to see an example of arrogance that sends so many of us around the bend, check out this:

      You don’t need a date for a referendum to campaign. This is just an excuse that I am getting fed up of hearing.
      4:36 PM · Dec 30, 2019

      And if that isn’t enough to demonstrate the kind of hubris we’re dealing with, have a look at her responses to the replies.

      Hunter, Cameron Archibald, and their ilk have probably done more to damage the SNP’s standing in other members’ eyes than the efforts of all opposition parties combined.

      So I ask again – who in the SNP is prepared to publicly take on these characters?

      Can anyone suggest a name?

    58. Unionist Media BDSM Club says:

      “The SNP aren’t really that keen on independence.”

      “And the reason’s because their snouts are in the trough.”

      This is now nearly gospel on this site, and in other places too. So it would be appreciated if people could provide evidence to back it up.

      At first glance it seems unlikely to be true. I hope people can see that. It’s never mentioned as the remotest possibility by foreign journalists, for instance. It’s a belief only held by a small minority of the Yes movement too. It’s a niche opinion. SNP reps have been refusing wage increases on and off for a decade — unlikely trougher behaviour, it would seem.

      But lots of people here feel differently and are extremely confident that they’re right. So it would be great if they could show us what evidence, if any, that confidence is based on.

      Being completely honest with you, the thinking seems to be as follows:

      1. The SNP haven’t yet followed my preferred strategy for achieving independence.
      2. This must mean they’re not that keen on independence.
      3. Probably cos they’re troughers just like Labour.

      If that’s a mischaracterisation, then I apologise and invite you to show us your working. Show us the evidence that makes you so confident in your claims.

      And again, “the SNP haven’t followed my preferred strategy” is not evidence in any shape or form that they’re not keen on independence, never mind that they’re mere troughers. Evidence would be leaked emails, Whatsapp messages, voice recordings and the like confessing to a lack of enthusiasm for indy and/or financial motivations for this. Surely if you know for 100% certain that the SNP are the parasites you believe, some such evidence must exist somewhere. So where is it?

      “If I was in their position, I’d be a trougher too” — that’s not evidence. Nor is “Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it?” Nor is anecdotal, unsourced gossip.

      If any such evidence exists, post it here and a consensus will quickly grow within the indy movement that these people are indeed parasites taking us for a ride. But we need to see the evidence first.

      If no evidence is provided, or if it’s not evidence at all, then we’ll have a clearer idea of the thinking abilities and motivations of those who continue to make these snide and damaging claims about folk who, on the surface at least, are our best hope of achieving indy.

      Cheers, and Happy New Year when it comes.

    59. Andy Anderson says:

      Interesting take on things Stu.

      My personal view is that a referendum will happen in 2021. Could be the Holyrood election. This is best as Brexit will help us no end. I also think Yessers will be more active. Many SNP members do very little do I hope they get out there and talk, talk, talk.

      I worry we vote in 2020 without a clear majority in the opinion polls.

    60. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @twathater, hackalumpoff and Lenny Hartley –

      Blimey! You wait ages for an auld Winger, then…


    61. CameronB Brodie says:

      Jim Fraser @1:51pm
      Sorry, I can’t agree with you. If you don’t see the overarching need to advocate for the legal rights of biological women, then I suggest you need to do a bit more thinking. Possibly re-evaluate who you want to put your trust in.

      Women (notionally) have the same constitutional rights as men. Endorsing gender-ideology in law subverts this, by undermining the legal position of biological women, to satisfy the legal demands of a minority of biological men. It does so by imposing a radical cultural shift in the public’s conception of nature and how humanity relates to it.

      The law currently regards biological women as being equal but different to men. Endorsing gender-ideology in law undoes this legal settlement, and instead legally positions biological women as being the same but inferior to men. Their legal identity must conform to the will of man, as the law now regards the production of human sex as being under the control of man’s will. A legal system that accepts this as reality, has lost touch of moral reason and social reality, so is unlikely to assist in the delivery of justice, including independence for Scotland.

    62. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “This is now nearly gospel on this site, and in other places too. So it would be appreciated if people could provide evidence to back it up.”

      People have given their reasoning in detail. You’re free to disagree but it’s not something that can be empirically proven or disproven.

      It is, however, a plain and visible fact that the current situation is a godsend to the SNP. The Unionist vote is split three ways while the indy vote is concentrated in the SNP because there’s no credible alternative.

      Without independence keeping their vote together, the SNP would be very likely to either splinter as a party or see its vote spin off in all sorts of directions. Actually achieving independence would therefore, beyond any sane dispute, be damaging to the SNP’s prospects of winning elections.

      So it’s a question of what’s more important to them – independence or power. On their current behaviour there is clearly at least an argument to be made that it’s the latter. And that would make them no different to any other political party, so it’s pretty plausible.

    63. Gary45% says:

      Early pit tonight, so just like to say.
      Hippy New Year, peace and love to all Wingers and even the trolls,(you will eventually see sense).
      2019 was a very strange year, here’s to 2020 and an Independence Referendum, we can but hope, cause we’ll never give up).
      I can only speak for myself, but when the shit was coming from everywhere this year, I knew WoS would give me some sort of hope.
      Once again Stu cheers for the helping keep the madness sane!!!
      Have a good one. Ian B, Ronnie A, Mr & Mrs Axe, Mr Peffers. + everyone else, (far too many, but you know who you are).

    64. Colin Alexander says:

      Peter A Bell:

      “I used to say that independence was inevitable…

      “Independence isn’t happening, because the people who should be making it happen aren’t”.

    65. dakk says:

      Enjoyable cautionary tale with the correct tone of constructiveness I think.

      The damage you appeared to try to do to our only current hope for Indy before the crucial recent election still has me vexed at both your own and SNP strategy both.

      The Yes2 campaign needs both Wings and SNP for maximum efficacy.

      Hopefully 2020 will find a complete expedition team leaving base camp on our final ascent.

    66. Gary says:

      Despite your saying, “The lesson of 2017, when 500,000 SNP voters stayed at home over a manifesto they didn’t like, appears to have been swept aside just like Labour dismissed 2007 as a freak blip in the false context of 2010.” People DON’T stay home due to manifestos, no one READS manifestos, NO ONE.

      Combination of wet weather and thinking ‘someone else will vote them in’ are what keeps most people home. Unless they are REALLY fired up they just won’t bother. The aftermath of the IndyRef really DID get folk fired up, hence the result.

      We need to get people fired up in the lead up to the election, not just during the campaigning period. They have to know why it’s important, not just the policies. They need a reason.

      Remember, SNP has inherited lots of people like me, ex lifelong Labour voters. Labour used to have the exact same problem. Whilst wealthy Tory voters wouldn’t mind driving their Jag to the polling station in a hail storm, a heavy shower could put off a harassed single mum coming back from her night shift to then see her kids off to school.

      Independence is an unstoppable force now but the UK Government is an immovable object. They felt bad enough about Ireland and we are STILL led to believe it is a poor country and they can’t manage etc because how could a part of ‘Britain’ that left POSSIBLY manage on it’s own? Scotland is mainland and they will fight to the death for that reason and obviously because we are a cash cow as well.

      As a keep saying to anyone who’ll listen, you don’t move to Plan B without trying Plan A first. Declaring UDI with no vote nor asking for a Section 30 would leave Scotland being unrecognised internationally. It’ll be nearly impossible to do without the UN’s tacit recognition, and recognition of our process. If there’s ANY doubt or wiggle room then recognition could be voted down by the UK or, no doubt, the US & pals.

      Everyone wants Indy this week but it’s not gonna happen. Westminster will have to be worn down and embarrassed into it, they’ll do it when there is NO other choice, maybe not even then. But they WERE forced to give referenda to Gibralta and The Falkland Islands by the UN. But that depends on the government of the day and WHY they are against it, look at the Chagos Islands and how their inhabitants have been treated. The legacy of racism lives on, they wouldn’t DARE do that if the people were white skinned. But just how much better would/will we fare?

      It’s easy to provide problems but better to provide solutions…

    67. Skip_NC says:

      The SNP has two reasons to exist:

      1. The restoration of Scottish national sovereignty;
      2. The furtherance of all Scottish interests.

      That’s it. Nothing else matters. So, at what point does the SNP become a liability in the journey towards independence? At that point, “Wings on the List” is meaningless. We need “Wings in the constituencies” as well.

    68. Helen Yates says:

      My New Year resolution: get back to my life and try and enjoy what time I have left on this rotten planet, cut back drastically on social media, ignore whatever is happening in politics and vow to never vote again if Indyref2 isn’t held in 2020 unless there is an alternative Independence Party on board. I wish you all the best for 2020 and I pray that some dreams can come true, what can I say I’m a dreamer. Happy New Year folks.

    69. robertknight says:

      My enemy is Unionism.

      The enemy of Unionism is the SNP.

      Therefore, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

      That said, a true friend is one who dares to let you know your mistakes, rather than agreeing with you when you’re wrong.

    70. Graf Midgehunter says:

      Ian Brotherhood.

      I’m not so much an auld one, more of a now an’ again… 🙂

      But. Real wingers are a special bunch of Easyriders who won’t take no for an answer.

      “Born to be vile”

      Happy New Year to ALL wingers and those aspiring to be one.
      🙂 🙂

    71. Training Day says:

      @Ian B 5.30

      Still around Ian, although haven’t posted for ages as ‘forward though I canna see, I guess an’ fear..’

      A good HNY to you and all of the auld crew.

    72. Brotyboy says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood

      Hello. See you on the 11th. Will get an earlier bus so I can catch up beforehand, where will you be?

      Been brewing my own wine this last year, will I bring a bottle?

    73. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Graf Midgehunter and Training Day –

      Hoots to you both!


    74. BigD says:

      “Actually achieving independence would therefore, beyond any sane dispute, be damaging to the SNP’s prospects of winning elections.” I really don’t believe this is what motivates SNP people. I see a spectrum of smaller parties after independence transition work is done.
      Meantime plan ‘A’ has got to be about winning and keeping hearts and minds so we do actually increase the Yes vote for when The Referendum happens. Plans B, C.. etc still need to convince the fearties ..

    75. Pete Barton says:

      Good reading, thanks Stuart.

      It’s got my ‘I’ stimulated again.

      Some excellent posts as well, thanks Peeps.

      Just because we don’t know where this is all headed doesn’t mean it’s not heading anywhere.

      The vested state interests would just love to know where it goes, just as much as we do.

      I’ve never been one to blindly follow anyone or anything so I find it as frustrating as most of you.

      If there is a legally and proper way to get our sovereignty recognised, that is the way to go.

      We need the support of the people here in Scotland; which is crucial.

      Grand seeing a few auld names here.

      Hello everyone, smile!

      We didn’t get where we are today without it.

      Keep your faith.

      Slainté for 2020.

    76. Capella says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood – I inadvertently followed Mhairi Hunter on Twitter when I first set up an account. After realising what an idiot she is I unfollowed. There is no need to read the drivel that these people circulate – not even to keep tabs on what they are saying. Save your blood pressure – unfollow!

      I’m thinking of boycotting Twitter altogether in the New Year. They are “deboosting” women for saying biological sex exists. It is fast becoming a misogynistic bloke platform.

      I will probably limit myself to reading blogs and going for nice walks in the countryside..

    77. Unionist Media BDSM Club says:

      I wouldn’t disagree with much of that, Stu, except for “You’re free to disagree but it’s not something that can be empirically proven or disproven.”

      Parties and govts worldwide have let slip in various ways how they’re deceiving voters, so such deceit could indeed by proven in Scotland, and the media would publicise any such proof till doomsday.

      But you’ve confirmed that assumptions about any such deceit are just that: assumptions based on interpretation of behaviour rather on actual proof. Maybe some posters could try to remember that, because they do try hard to communicate utter certainty about this.

      I don’t like politicians, and I’m not wild about certain SNP bigwigs who were personally a pain in the hole and tactically useless for the ground game in 2014. But stating for certain that they’re troughers taking us for some absurd indy ride goes too far for me, especially if no evidence backs it up.

      “an argument can be made” — yeah, that sounds pretty reasonable. As does “We have our eye on you. You’re politicians after all. We trust you for now but don’t abuse that trust.”

      One of Scotland’s great weaknesses is our clannishness and willingness to turn against our allies. If someone wants to accuse you of having been turned into an enemy of indy by the British establishment it would be nuts of me to believe such a serious accusation without proof. And the same applies, for now, to the SNP leadership.

    78. Sharny Dubs says:

      Stu, I think we should look at the longer plan. (2020 looks very dodgy)

      When’s the Wing Party going to take flight….?


      Happy new year all.

    79. Ian Foulds says:

      Rev at 5.40pm

      ‘…So it’s a question of what’s more important to them – independence or power. On their current behaviour there is clearly at least an argument to be made that it’s the latter….’

      Sounds a reasonable shout back to SNP reps at rallies – ‘Independence or Power, what do you want (and when do you want it?)’

    80. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Capella –

      Cheers for the health warning!


      I don’t actually follow Mhairi Hunter but I do dip in to see what she’s on about as and when someone RTs any fresh winds-ups from her.

      Most folk (of the tiny % of the electorate who follow such things) are well and truly scunnered with her and Cameron Archibald and all the other ‘woke’ roasters, but I do believe there’s value in keeping a tab on the tone of what they’re saying. Right now they’re about as cock-sure as anyone could be about anything and seem perfectly happy to dismiss everyone who dares disagree with them.

      But as the ramifications of the GRA reforms become more widely known, Mhairi/Cameron and their buddies will encounter more and more ‘real’ voters telling them exactly what they think of them. And when that happens, the recriminations will start…

      And when the blame-game gets underway and they’re all backtracking like fuck to save their careers? that’s when we’ll find out who was pushing the TRA agenda within the SNP and why these eejts fell for it.

      Sooner the better!

    81. Muscleguy says:

      As a Kiwi I know solid seeming mountains can be anything but. Mt Cook/Aoraki/Aorangi* is NZ’s highest peak in the Southern Alps. A sharp pointed permanently snowcapped magnificence.

      But one winter about 20 years ago a big chunk of the side of the top of the peak slid away and the geologists pronounced themselves amazed. Instead of the solid rock they expected was revealed what they described as ‘more like Weetbix**’. A crushed, jumbled mass of rocks pushed up there by a long succession of the sort of uplift earthquakes which hit Kaikoura and environs recently pushing the Maritime Kaikoura Alps a few metres higher to keep up with the forces of erosion.

      *English/Northern Maori/Southern Maori Since Aorangi is solidly in Ngai Tahu/Waitaita territory I cleave to their pronunciation (Maori is writen phonetically, just rememer all the vowels are short).

      *The ‘a’ here is dropped in the NZ version. Possibly made by a different company even.

    82. Muscleguy says:

      Whoops, I meant Waitaiha. Too many t’s.

    83. Tinto Chiel says:

      Hi, Ian B.

      It’s been a strange year on Wings. I got fed up earlier in the year with a claque of SNP happy-clappers/bovverboys who predominated and grew so tired of scrolling through their contributions that I simply found other things to do.

      I’ve voted SNP in every election since 1974 but only joined (like many others) as an act of defiance in late September 2014. I don’t think the party is very receptive to new ideas and it feels like a very top-down party. Recent comments during the 2019 GE like “I’ll still hold my nose and vote SNP” reminded me of the reasons BLiS______d imploded and these should be a warning to the leadership. The adoption of Alyn Smith and Kenny MacAskill as MPs does not fill me with hope: the last thing we need at this juncture is a Caledonian Fabian Society which is still talking about independence in 2030.

      I could just about have gone along with the FM trying to save England from itself by stopping Brexit if, at the same time, she had continually protested at our being dragged out of the EU against our will, because NOTHING, it seems to me, illustrates so clearly just how rotten this suppose union of equals is: Scotland gets whatever England wants and on a perpetual 1-12 basis. Unfortunately, she stopped making this a recurring theme of her pronouncements post 2016. Rather, we had a vain attempt to stay in a customs union and some kind of single market instead of continually reminding everyone of the utter injustice of our being ripped out of the EU despite our 62% vote.

      As for our host, FWIW I don’t question for a moment his commitment to our independence. IMO he shouldn’t have taken the bait with Dugdale’s infantile comments and I don’t think his Twitter profile does him any favours but he won’t give a toss about that, I’m sure. Please remember, he didn’t originate the GRA madness and he is quite right to press the alarm bell, because this will stick to the Scottish Government and NOT the opposition if the SG gets it wrong. Potentially alienating 51% of your electorate is beyond glaikit.

      Anyhow, I wish all Wingers a happy new year and God, I hope this is the last year we are thrawing and scarting on here. I just want to live in a normal, democratic and just society where my children and grandchildren have a real future.

      Make or break, both politically and for our warming world, is rushing up to meet us.

    84. Capella says:

      @ Ian B – quite agree 🙂
      @ Tinto Chiel – great to see you posting. 🙂

      I’ll wish everyone a Happy New Year now because I will be a bit distracted from now on. Listening to Martyn Bennett wailing away on assorted pipes. We make our own amusements in these high pastures. But will probably look in later.

      Have a peaceful, but eventful 2020 and may all our wishes come true. 🙂

    85. End the union! says:

      Gary @ 6:08

      Exactly, who to trust, a proven political leader of the only credible independence vehicle.


      A blogger who wastes his declining readership’s contributions on personal vendettas whilst undermining the SNP?

      Not a difficult choice!

    86. ahundredthidiot says:

      2019 – Never trust a Tory, never trust a Green

      2020 – ……just the same.

    87. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Capella –

      Thanks for mentioning Martyn Bennett there, haven’t listened to him for ages. (Have been ODing on Ian Brown/Stone Roses for weeks.)

      And aye, it’s great to see TC and a guid few other veterans showing face.

      Ahm gettin aw emotional here!

      🙂 🙂 🙂

    88. ScotsRenewables says:

      ahundredthidiot says:
      31 December, 2019 at 8:16 pm
      2019 – Never trust a Tory, never trust a Green

      2020 – ……just the same.

      Yes, but you are just a frothing zoomer who trusts no-one and wants armed struggle. Or do you actually have a plan? If so, perhaps you can share it with us?

    89. Big Jock says:

      I think people like Pete Wishart completely fail to see the train crash coming on 2020. He thinks we have time to fiddle away love bombing Brit Scots.

      We have a year and then we’re fucked forever.

    90. ScotsRenewables says:

      End the union! says:
      31 December, 2019 at 8:12 pm
      Gary @ 6:08

      Exactly, who to trust, a proven political leader of the only credible independence vehicle.


      A blogger who wastes his declining readership’s contributions on personal vendettas whilst undermining the SNP?

      Well, I still don’t pretend to understand why the last few months have been so agonisingly self-destructive on here, but I for one am prepared to cut Stu some slack – for exactly the same time and for the same reasons I am cutting Nicola some slack.

      Stu may not believe that we are going to get a referendum in 2020, but I am confident he will be back on board with all guns blazing if we do.

      (Just don’t remind him he was wrong, I think he hates that)

    91. ScotsRenewables says:

      Big Jock says:
      31 December, 2019 at 8:21 pm
      We have a year and then we’re fucked forever.

      Pretty much. Wishart is not a brain, more of a musician.

      I am still pretty confident Nicola can read the runes though, and the witterings of Wishart cast a fragrant smokescreen.

      If I am wrong then I will eat Stu’s hat. If he sends me an edible one.

    92. TJenny says:

      End the union! – ‘A blogger who wastes his declining readership’s contributions on personal vendettas whilst undermining the SNP?’.

      Absolute bollocks. The crowdfunder for Wings indy campaigning, WBBs etc, is totally separate to the crowdfunder for his case against Dugdale, and wouldn’t you want to fight to clear your name after being wrongly called a homophobe? I certainly would, which is why, when Stu asked us whether he should pursue a case, we Wingers said yes, and supported him.

      Stop conflating facts into your own version of reality. Twat.

    93. Dan says:

      Late 2019 and more first world problems manifest in Scotland as ceilidhi caller struggles to instruct dancers whilst using PC correct pronouns…

    94. Dan says:

      It’s carnage on the dancefloor…

    95. Capella says:

      @ Ian B – it’s the album “Aye”. Great quotes from Hamish Henderson and Alex Salmond in the sleeve notes.

      Anyway – there’s nothing worth watching since the White Heather Club stopped!

    96. Colin Alexander says:

      We’re oan the march as Nicola’s Army
      We aw support the SNP

      section 30 or plan B?
      the time is coming near

      We’ll get the answer in the coming year.

    97. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Capella –

      What is The White Heather Club?

      (Only joking!)


    98. CameronB Brodie says:

      I do hope the SNP have an extremely good poker face, as I’m beginning to believe the leadership is happy with devolution. But then other matter give my reason to doubt the leadership’s commitment to sanity, let alone the cause.

      In case I haven’t explained myself well, Scotland lacks constitutional justice as Westminster’s refuses to recognise and give proper respect to the legal identity of Scotland and its inhabitants. Subsequently, Scots are legally positioned as second-class citizens by the British state, and the political consciousness of a nation is effectively ignored. Scotland’s legal profession appears happy with this, but then most of them are probably Tories.

      Biological women are being denied proper legal recognition by the Scottish government, and will lack social justice as a consequence. Indeed, the civil-service in Scotland has been ordered to adopt other than best practice in the course of policy development. Gender-ideology is an expression of personal psychology, so belongs in the realm of emotions. Emotions must be recognised by the law, but they do not provide a sufficiently rational base on which ground public policy, which must remain located in the realm of empirical reality. The denial of biological reality undermines the potential for legal reason that is coherent with nature and social reality, so endorsing gender-ideology in law undermines the potential for social justice to occur.

      Hegel, Human Rights, and Political Membership

    99. Capella says:

      @ Ian B

      The immortal Duncan Macrae:

    100. velofello says:

      Hi to Ian Brotherhood and other longterm Wings contributors. I’ve been reading Wings from the start, respect and endorse Rev Stu’s contributions.

      The SNP’s apparent strategy concerns me – I’m a longterm member – it is not in Boris Johnson’s temperament to be benign and logical. So Nicola Sturgeon must post off without delay, her demand for the S30 thingymy , with a time limit response, and await the refusal.Missed the response date Boris? that’s a refusal.

      Then SNP, must get on with rejecting Westminster’ assumed authority over Scotland. – disruption, walkouts, etc etc.

      We need a leader, not an administrator. If the SNP or it’s leadership don’t have the stomach for such activities, then move on over out of the way.

    101. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @velofello –

      ‘We need a leader, not an administrator.’

      Well said sah!


    102. Colin Alexander says:

      velofello said: “Nicola Sturgeon must post off without delay, her demand for the S30 thingymy , with a time limit response”.

      This is the letter:

      “Dear Boris,

      I said on Tuesday that I would be publishing the detailed democratic case for the transfer of power from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament, now being sought by the Scottish Government, by order under section 30 of the Scotland Act or an Act of the UK Parliament, to allow for an independence referendum that is beyond legal challenge. I am enclosing a copy of that document.

      When we spoke on Friday, you reiterated your government’s position on this issue – however, you also committed to engaging seriously with our proposals. Indeed, I believe that on this – as on any issue – you have a duty to do so in a considered and reasonable manner.

      I therefore look forward to discussing matters further with you in the New Year.

      In the meantime, please accept my best wishes for the festive season.

      Best wishes,

      Nicola Sturgeon”

    103. CameronB Brodie says:

      Colin Alexander
      Thanks, that’s me telt. I’ll say no more, other than wish everyone all the best for the New Year, apart from those who would willfully harm Scotland, obvs.

    104. ahundredthidiot says:


      I do not deceive myself that I have control over much of anything outside of my own decision making – and even that is pretty limited. Generally speaking, I only embark on winning strategies, so would rule out any sort of armed struggle that you seem so keen on mentioning. Scotland isn’t worth a single drop of the red stuff.

      I think you’re upset about my comment wrapping Greens with Tories. I will confess that I could be wrong about you – maybe you’re not a Brit after all…….maybe you’re a Loonball Green.

      It would be better to be a Brit.

    105. ahundredthidiot says:

      Wishing everyone a very happy New Year when it comes, all the best and I look forward to reading more in 2020.

    106. Colin Alexander says:

      CameronB Brodie

      Aw the best to you tae.

      Nice to see you regularly contributing again.

    107. Fireproofjim says:

      To all contributors , whether I agree or disagree with you, and especially to Stuart, I hope 2020 brings you all you desire.
      And just for fun Hail Caesar.

    108. Willie says:

      It’s time that a list Wings Party was initiated.

      The SNP, at least in terms of agreement much of the leadership are now a devolution. Comfy in relatively well paid jobs devolution has blunted the fire

      Aside of the electoral benefits Wings list party would be a great support the SNP and help it focus on core values.

    109. Achnababan says:

      Has anyone heard from Robert Peffers recently?

    110. mark whittet says:

      WoS/ Stuart Campbell provides an accurate insight into the blizzard of mainstream media piffle on Scotland’s Independence – and deserves our support and congratulations for this.

      However, he does not deserve our support and congratulations for persistently, and perversely, censoring/ blanking/ non-reporting the news of the creation and formation, aims and objectives of Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party (www.SIRP.Scot) and in so-doing engenders the very divisive and internal strife that it/he purports to abhor)

      Mark R Whittet (LLB, BA)
      Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party
      Mark [at] SIRP [dot] Scot
      Tel 0774 252 9564

    111. Pete Barton says:

      Just watched ‘Selling Scotland’ bbc1.

      Has Donald’s left the building?

      Is there something in the water at PQ??

      Help ma boab.

      Anyone else watch it?

    112. cynicalHighlander says:

      Anyone thinking the Greens are a full on independence party need a reality check as they only jumped on that band wagon to garner dissafected pro indy voters etc and also they are more woke nutters than woke itself. I will never ever vote for the homophobic Scottish Greens as a second list vote.

      The list vote needs a new independence supporting party to garner the anti woke brigade such as myself as biology matters and it protects women as equals to men.

    113. Graf Midgehunter says:

      It’s 2020 in Frankfurt.. HNY to everyone. 🙂

      Ah well, back to the Talisker and the party, maybe I’ll do an encore in an hour’s time………..!

    114. Capella says:

      OMG – Brian Burnett has got out of Glasgow! – is this a first?
      He’s in Stonehaven at a ceilidh. R Scotland if you’re bereft of entertainment.

    115. mumsyhugs says:

      Just popping in to wish everyone a Happy New Year – and that Bojo, IDS and the rest of that cabal get everything that they deserve from Scotland’s friends in the EU 🙂

    116. call me dave says:

      Best wishes for the new year ahead for the Rev and all Wingers and a mention for our sadly absent friends.

    117. Simon Curran says:

      Boris new year message talking about a new chapter for the UK.Well that’s certainly going to be true. I suspect that they’ll be a whole load of positivity spun round Boris and Brexit, the msm are firmly on his side. There’s been a big rise in the minimum wage, he declares his support for the NHS, we are going to get a whole load of hyperbole but I hope Scotland sees through it. Anyhow my last act of 2019 has been to get my train ticket up to Glasgow for 11 January.

    118. Pete Barton says:

      Aye, where’s Robert Peffers?

      I doubt he’ll be up, but y’know I really miss his presence.

      2020, Robert.

      Hope you’re still able, and with us.

    119. Capella says:

      Well done Simon! Time well spent I’d say. Will get there myself if possible.

    120. Meg merrilees says:

      A happy New Year to All Wingers. to those who are still posting and those who are silent readers and those who might sneak a wee peek now and then .

      This is the year. See you all in Glasgow on the 11th. Let’s hope that 2020 will, go down in history as the year that we finally got our freedom.

      To one and all I HOPE 2020 WILL BE GOOD TO YOU AND YOURS.


    121. Meg merrilees says:

      A Guid New Year to Robert Peffers. Sir, come back we miss you.

    122. TJenny says:

      Happy New Year to Stu and all Wingers, with special cheers for Robert Peffers and Ronnie Anderson, oh and Thepnr too.

      2020 – Here we, here we, here we f*****g go… or not.

    123. Pete Barton says:

      So, what’s it to be, Scotland?

      Are we bunnet hustlers, forever paying a price to a UK who cares nothing for our people?

      Do we have self respect?

      It’s make your mind up time shortly.

      Think about it.

      Read up.

      We’re not just a tourist attraction.

      A wee pretendy country.

      Stand up and be counted.

      What do you stand for??

      Clue, it’s not just when you’re told to.

      Happy NY, all of either persuasion.

      2020 is our Rubicon, listen to your heart, use your head.

      Let’s try to make this work.

      For our wains, our self respect and above all, our hearts.

    124. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Happy New Year to Wingers everywhere, those whom I have eyeballed over the years and those who await that dubious pleasure!

    125. Capella says:

      Happy New Year Everybody. 2020 is going to be brilliant. That’s my prediction.

    126. Bob Mack says:

      Happy New Year to all who visit Wings. This has to be our year.

    127. Famous15 says:

      Happy New Year and to annoy Stu Bliadna mhath uir dhut

      But seriously folks this is the year that normality returns and Scotland becomes independent again. I can touch that reality.Its palpable.

      Now IS the day and now IS the hour.

    128. Fairliered says:

      Happy New Year to all Wingers. Let’s get ready for Indyref 2 and freedom.

    129. MorvenM says:

      Happy New Year to all Wingers and remember that “as long as but a hundred of us remain alive…”

    130. cynicalHighlander says:

      A good new year to one and all no matter which side of the fence you are sitting on.

    131. One_Scot says:

      My carefully considered analysis of the fight and desire for Scottish Independence over the last forty years is this, if something positive does not happen within the next year, I am gonna be mighty pissed off.

    132. Liz g says:

      Happy New Year one and all.
      I wish ye aw ye wish yersel xxx 🙂

    133. Grouse Beater says:

      Nicola Sturgeon *did* have a Plan B.

      The plan was to back Labour heavily for a hung parliament, and to do it in return for a second plebiscite on Scotland’s destiny, the quid pro quo, lifting Captain Corbyn to power. She lost.

      She lost big time. She squandered the last two years chasing the inevitability of Brexit as if Scotland’s MPs could actually reverse England’s decision, and she pursued that reckless goal in the face of her MPs receiving daily scorn and dismissal from May, then Boris, his cabinet, underboss Cummings and all the braying politicians in the House of Commons.

      The SNP mounts campaigns, not strategies. Some win, some lose. The gift of absolute power to a neo-fascist Tory administration is an horrendous defeat for Scotland. The SNP, snuggling down to ‘five more years being horse whipped, has no strategy or self-respect at thee most crucial time in Scotland’s history.

      Don’t kid yourselves Nicola has lots of rabbits in her hat hidden under the table. Boris is on his way to skin the only one she has.

    134. Capella says:

      @ Grouse Beater – don’t be so bloody daft. Can the SNP-bad faction never see that it is possible to pursue an objective which is not your real final objective but will gain you some way to the goal. Have you absolutely no idea of tactics? Are there no chess players out there?

    135. frogesque says:

      A good New Year to Wingers and whingers alike.

      Bollocks to the infighting, time to pull together and fight the real enemy.


    136. Grouse Beater says:

      Good luck with following your blind faith, Capella. You’ll need it.

    137. William Wallace says:

      Happy new year to all Wingers. All the very best for 2020 folks.

    138. Pete Barton says:

      @Capella @Grousebeater

      Calm yourselves down.

      It was part of a gambit

      Being seen to be fair to all isn’t a bad thing to attract support.


      We have only one objective.

      Let’s sleep on it..

    139. Capella says:

      @ Pete Barton – I’m perfectly calm. Don’t worry. 🙂

      The SNP is not the enemy.

    140. Pete Barton says:

      George Orwell, bless his BBC cotton socks
      said something along the lines of

      ‘If you want to understand war,you must first try to understand yourself ‘

      Let’s work on it..

      Thankx all for keeping me sane all those years.

      Bless the Wingkeeper,also.

    141. Grouse Beater says:

      I didn’t say the SNP is ‘the enemy’. You guys need to improve your skills extrapolating plain English.

      Dump the ‘stop the in-fighting’ crap. I observe and I listen. I listen a lot to what people are saying, the general public, not Wings adherents, or any other social platform, but the public I meet every day, and they’re saying what Campbell has articulated here.

      Here’s hoping you can see clearer in 2020 and it brings you some happiness.

    142. Brian Sinclair says:

      Hi all,

      I’m a lurker since seems like forever.I’d like to wish all you who have commented on Wings [and have helped keep me sane] a very happy New Year. We will NEVER give up.

      I’d also especially like to add my best wishes to Robert Peffers, hope you’re well pal, I’ve learned so much about my country from your posts

    143. robertknight says:


      “Are there no chess players out there?”

      I dearly hope there are some ‘Grandmasters’ in Bute House. If not, we’re f……

      A guid Ne’er tae ane an a’, an mony may ye see!

    144. Capella says:

      “Good luck with your blind faith” is a bit patronising Grouse Beater. Let me explain:
      Poker players rely on bluff. You have to know when to hold them and when to fold them. However, chess players rely on strategy. Think several moves ahead. Not just your own moves. Your opponents moves as well.

    145. Mark Russell says:

      Closer to home, there’s a climb on the north face of Buachaille Etive Mhor in Glen Coe called Shelf Route, where the crux move is is up a vertical wall then a downward sloping ledge to a good hold – but if you miss it, there’s a catapult into outer space. It’s a leap of faith moment.

      That’s where we are. A deep breath, then go for it.

      Gird the loins…

    146. Anne Marie D says:

      Brian Sinclair

      I am very much like you. Very rarely post but I look here every day. I am certain there are many more of us who do the same. Thousands of us are politically active even if we don’t do social media or below the line comments.

      Have a bit of faith in us silent ones but I do agree 100% with the Rev that the SNP are no longer the independence movement. They simply cannot be both the government and the instrument of change. They have chosen to manage as best they can in the status quo for the benefit of us all. It just means we now need something more radical, more fired up, more in tune with a real overthrow movement and make no mistake we are talking overthrow, albeit peaceful.

      We desperately need another party for the List. It is a simple matter of survival of our dreams. Nothing less. So c’mon Rev you have the contacts and the skills and we need something to hold a red hot poker to any complacency that is in danger of losing our way.

      Happy New Year to one and all

    147. TJenny says:

      Anne Marie D – well said. Who knows, maybe this time it’ll be the YES side that has the silent majority. 😉

    148. alasdair galloway says:

      Good luck with your new party. I am sure Change UK could offer consultancy advice – I mean since not one of them got elected they will need to earn a living somehow.

    149. jockmcx says:

      Happy new year to all,

      Ye know,
      get oan the bus,
      sit at the back o’ the bus,
      sit at the front o’ the bus,
      stay aff the bus?…You decide!

      Scotland can be independant any time it likes.

    150. twathater says:

      Love and best wishes for 2020 to all REAL independence supporters from the twathater family , and to STUART CAMPBELL thanks for all you do but you have an awful lot still to do in the coming weeks , months

      Ian B if a list independence party is formed please could you and Liz G put your names forward to guide the SNP to victory

    151. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Ach well…
      I posted a couple of comments, just after midnight, here and in ‘off-topic’.

      Neither have appeared on the btl comments. I can only assume that is because I was posting from my phone, for the first time ever.

      Onnyhoo, a big HAPPY NEW YEAR to all Wingers I have eyeballed over the past 5 years or so, and also to those Wingers who have still to enjoy me eyeballing them.


    152. Willie says:

      Ah well here we are in 2020 and still not independent.

      Looking back one can see the utter success of the SNP strategy of stopping Brexit.

      Stuck in the devolution trap the newly returned Feeble 48 need to decide what they are going to do with their mandate now that Plan A has hit the rocks and sunk.

      Or will they just turn up and like the SG take the money.

    153. jockmcx says:

      I will bet the price of a bus ticket that no politician is as
      anxious about scotlands future as you are.

      Don’t pay the fair.

      And when the inspector calls…hop off.

      easy… snp or no.

    154. jockmcx says:

      There’s also a baseball bat with the words stop brexit written
      on it…but does anyone have the guts to use it?

      Or should they?

    155. Willie says:

      Too right Twathater when you refer to a List Party to ” guide” the SNP. They certainly need that.

      No one wants to attack the SNP vote but the SNP leadership have to realise that independence is the agenda – independence in Europe even!

      For Hollyrood a list party makes huge sense electorally. However in its creation a List Party also shows folks that there is an alternative party in the wings should the SNP leadership decide that it is an out and out devolution party.

      SNP for devolution with AN Other party for independence.

    156. carjamtic says:

      One drunk to another

      Whats’ that ?

      A speaking clock

      What ? Looking at the copper dinner bong

      Yes watch…goes over and smashes it it with the hammer

      Voice in the distance…

      FFS it’s 4 o’clock in the fucking morning…….

    157. TJenny says:

      carjamtic – that made me lol. 😉 A very happy new year to you.

    158. carjamtic says:



      What I am doing in this shitehole ?

      Well, said God , (your god)

      I threw you multiple life vests, life boats and helicopters….many, many chances, to escape.

      Your choice.
      ( don’t come greeting to me.)

      Happy New Year
      Bon Voyage

    159. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Grouse Beater @ 00:49,

      Oh dear, if you seriously think NS was banking on Corbyn to win, I have an old scrap metal tower in Paris going cheap especially for you. (“Plan B”? – whatever happened to “Plan A” then?)

      It was merely a holding operation, to protect the SNP interest if it were (against all odds) to happen and – most importantly – to convince Labour-leaning voters in Scotland that it was safe for them to vote SNP instead. Because the greatest danger to the SNP in any UKGE has historically been the Labour Party. And this time all the usual Anglocentric media bias made not an iota of difference, the SNP prevailed, and prevailed decisively. And thereby kept our hopes for independence very much alive,

      You sound more like depressive Labourite sour grapes than good sense to me. If you’re truly convinced that the SNP has totally lost the plot, and have given up all hope, best just retire to a quiet wee allotment, and leave us to gamely carry on. We’ll give you a wave when we cross the finish line.

    160. schrodingers cat says:

      then its time for the wbb2

      what you waiting for stu?

    161. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Grouse Beater @ 00:49,

      Oh dear, if you seriously think NS was banking on Corbyn to win, I have an old scrap metal tower in Paris going cheap especially for you. (“Plan B”? – whatever happened to “Plan A” then?)

      This was merely a holding operation, to protect SNP influence if it were (against all prevailing odds) to happen and – most importantly – to convince Labour-leaning voters in Scotland that it was safe for them to vote SNP instead. Because the greatest danger to the SNP in any UKGE has historically been the Labour Party, as is well known. And this time all the usual Anglocentric media bias in favour of The Cartel made not an iota of difference, the SNP prevailed anyway, and prevailed decisively. And thereby kept our hopes for independence very much alive,

      You sound more like depressive Labourite sour g.r.a.p.e.s than good sense to me. If you’re truly convinced that the SNP has totally lost the plot, and have yourself given up all hope, fine, best just retire then to a quiet wee allotment, and leave the resolute to gamely carry on. We’ll give you a wave when we cross the finish line.

    162. Breeks says:

      alasdair galloway says:
      1 January, 2020 at 2:57 am
      Good luck with your new party. I am sure Change UK could offer consultancy advice – I mean since not one of them got elected they will need to earn a living somehow.

      There aren’t any list seats in a first past the post election. Makes winning them kinda problematic.

    163. Grouse Beater says:

      Robert Sutherland “Oh dear, if you seriously think NS was banking on Corbyn to win.”

      Another Winger who cannot read. I state ‘a hung parliament”. And you are denying all the times Nicola appealed to Corbyn to help him and was ignored.

    164. Grouse Beater says:

      “Let me explain” is horrendously condescending, Capella.

      Forget the hoary chess analogy – read Kenny MacAskill’s remarks in the Herald.

    165. Abulhaq says:

      Familiarity has bred contempt. The SNP has taken too much for granted. A party reluctant to call itself nationalist or national, the spearhead of national independence, really?
      Something is not right in the state of Scottish politics.
      A matter of personalities out of sync with the times or just a total lack of imagination and ideas, washed up and washed out?
      Bliadhna ùr mhath!

    166. Breeks says:

      I would speculate the SNP is anxious about a second pro Independence Party for two reasons.

      First, it enables a protest vote to express its frustration. (That’s a particular problem when you’ve just spent 5 years frustrating people).

      Second, it pulls the rug out from under the “who else you gonna vote for?” complacency, and half of the SNP shocktroops are going to need a new catchphrase.

      It isn’t the vehicle of the SNP which people are frustrated with. It’s the fact it’s pulled up in a lay-by and the driver is refusing to drive. Get the bus fkg moving and the growing rebellion in the back seats will subside.

      People want an SNP which embodies their faith, a safe pair of hands that is determined to secure Scotland’s Independence, but what we’re getting is a bizarre and unfathomable enigma with no strategic acumen.

      Ian Blackford can say Scotland will not be removed from Europe, but that ultimatum cannot be left as mere words of no consequence. It has to be made solid. It has to be a binding ultimatum backed up by the unsinkable Dreadnought of Scotland’s Constitutional Sovereignty, not a rowing boat that’s just large enough to carry a nominal majority.

      The SNP seems weak and supine before the will of Westminster, it also seems inexcusably inarticulate about Scotland’s Constitutional rights and legal personality, and similarly lead footed and vulnerable to disruption from bitter and manipulative internal factions. It isn’t addressing people’s legitimate concerns, but leaving them to fester, and dissatisfaction to swell.

      In short, the SNP is morphing into the Labour Party. Anybody who remembers the Animal Farm animated movie will remember when Napoleon and his pigs became indistinguishable from the men they’d overthrown….

      We are not there yet, but Nicola Sturgeon has to start addressing these fires and start putting them out… or go.

      Brexit at the end of this month is a shelf for many people, the cut-off point, and if the SNP is still impotent and complacent as Scotland is meekly drummed out of Europe, then I predict the SNP will be heading for the political wilderness. If they cannot make a Constitutional defence of Scotland in the face of such a catastrophe and injustice like Brexit, then what actual good are they? All we’ll have proved is our horse is a donkey.

      Scotland will have to reconsider putting its faith in a party that is powerless and irrelevant, and content to be a door mat for any run-of-the-mill rogue in Westminster. “Who you gonna vote for” will morph into “why you gonna vote?”, as Scotland succumbs yet again to defeat from victory, and at our own hands yet again.

      Save Scotland from Brexit, and that means PREVENT IT HAPPENING, and use Scotland’s Constitutional integrity to do it. Either shit, or get off the pot.

    167. Roland Smith says:

      If there is not significant movement in 2020 including if necessary filibustering etc. In WM the one thing I disagree with the Rev is the 2021 election. Labour and the Tories are happy to be in coalition in local government so I would say it’s a very good chance you would have a unionist Holyrood government and at that point the dream will be dead.

    168. robertknight says:

      Breeks @09:19

      Couldn’t agree more.

    169. gus1940 says:

      Only An Excuse used to be funny.

    170. Capella says:

      @ Grouse Beater 8.50 – yes you’re right, it was intended to be. I apologise.

      Kenny McKaskill is one of the “former SNP…” who regularly appeared on BBC R Scotland every time a critic of the SNP was required. So I was surprised to see him stand as an MP. Has he got anything positive to say?

    171. TYRAN says:

      “Only an Excuse used to be funny” line is as played out as the show itself. That said the Peloton Bike sketch was a good one. Happy New Year.

    172. Famous15 says:

      This is the year Scotland returns to the normality of being an independent country.

      I know because I have 2020 vision.

    173. Alt Clut says:

      Waited until the end of the thread deliberately.
      Returned to Scotland in late 2012, after 45 years in various parts of England. Always been a leftist activist.Joined YES then SNP during 2013. Constantly active since.

      I’m sticking with it because all of the hard evidence on the doorsteps and the streets is that people are moving our way.

      Gave up on SNP conferences after two years – heavily bureaucratised and rarely possible for membership to overcome that.Yes there are careerists but some of them will make the right choice if indy looks credible in near future.

      Brexit may give us a boost. If it does all is possible. If not we stagnate and split.

      My guess is that if we fail in the next year or two our situation will morph into something similar to early twentieth century Ireland and I’m too old for that.

      Put on your YES hats, get on the streets (bugger the keyboards), win people over and caution them against the careerists.

      It’s a beautiful New Year’s morning, on the Clyde estuary, on a still beautiful planet. Don’t let the bad side of humanity have it. Keep fighting – we can still win.

    174. Colin Alexander says:

      Happy new year to everyone.

      This is the Referendums Bill as passed by the Scottish Parliament. It awaits Royal Assent:

      “How does Royal Assent happen?
      The day after the Bill is passed in the Scottish Parliament letters are sent to the law officers (Advocate General for Scotland, the Lord Advocate and the Attorney General) advising them of the four week period in which they can raise legal objection to the Bill.

      If no objection is made by the law officers, or the four week period has passed, the Presiding Officer writes to Her Majesty The Queen enclosing the Bill and a Royal Warrant for signature – these are then delivered to Buckingham Palace.
      When the Bill and Royal Warrant are returned to the Scottish Parliament, the Warrant is hand-stitched together.
      The documents are then delivered to Registers of Scotland, followed by the National Records of Scotland, in Edinburgh, where the Great Seal of Scotland is applied”. *


      So, by the end of January we will probably know if we are out of the EU and whether the Referendums Bill has become law – or not. One way or another, it’s gonnae be an interesting year ahead.

      I hope it will be a guid new year for the sovereign people of Scotland.

    175. Colin Alexander says:

      copy and paste the link, clicking on it does not work correctly.

    176. Grouse Beater says:

      Capella: “Has he got anything positive to say?”

      What MacAskill says *is* positive.

      He’s trying to get the SNP to do better, same as I am. (I’m not a member nor was when attacked.) Passion should not be dismissed as ‘in-fighting’, not in the new society we hope to create.

      By the way, the SNP officials lining up to praise the passing of the ‘great polymath’, Alasdair Gray, are the same who defiled him when he published his seminal ‘Settlers and Colonials’ essay.

      They actually warned branches not to disseminate his work. “No right thinking person would write such stuff”, said one official, as they did of my attack on the GMB’s illicit tactics against Scotland’s civil rights.

      There’s something seriously craven about how they are going about creating a new society.

    177. Effijy says:

      BBC -Selling Scotland Show last night.

      I thought their conscience had plagued them and they were going to
      Come clean about how they have sold Scotland down the river for years.

      No, their lack of morality continues unabated.

      I watched a repeat of the Kevin Bridges show and was laughing heartily throughout.
      Kev is a real working class character who makes fun with our everyday idiosyncrasies.

      Brian Burnet on the BBC and Sean Batty on STV would never have made second year if they
      Had gone to school with Kev.

      I’m sure they are 2 nice wee guys but personalities with a bit of charisma??

      If you looked in your local bar’s window and they were the only 2 in, would
      Alcohol be enough to get you through the night?

      A couple of Babychams later and you have Cliff Richards greatest hits belting out the Juke Box
      A couple of bawdy tales about Jackie Bird wardrobe malfunctions and then let’s see if we can find a Salad Bar still open after closing time.

    178. MBC says:

      Great article Stuart. You have analysed the situation clearly. But don’t you think that we are in a larger crisis than simply that of the SNP’s ‘failure of leadership’? To me it looks like the constitutional route is well and truly blocked.

      Why is support for independence not rising well above 50%? Can this really be blamed on Nicola Sturgeon?

      And even if it did rise to something like 60% the UK government would still ignore us. I really don’t know where we go from here. I find the future really frightening. They hold all the cards, the money tap, the media, control of parliament and if their noises are to be believed, soon they will silence the judges.

    179. MBC says:

      I’m hearing a lot of voices clamouring for another independence party with more fire in its belly than the staid and stolid SNP. I get that. I tend to agree. But by what magical thinking would this party achieve independence when we are blocked by a whopping Tory majority at Westminster for the next 15-20 years? (I think the Labour Party is finished in England – there will be no meaningful opposition to the Tories for at least a generation).

      It doesn’t address the fact that we appear to have exhausted the limit of constitutional politics. Even if this party, by having more fire in its belly, were to succeed in nudging support for independence to something like 60%M Westminster could and would, I believe, continue to ignore our clamour for independence.

    180. Bob Mack says:

      The Consitutional route is not blocked. It has just not been tried. The claim of Right utilised to depose King James in favour of William is a solid legal precedent.

      It set the seal on The Declaration of Arbroath that the Scottish people were sovereign, not the Monarch.

      The knly reason I can think of about why it has not been tried is that the SNP would probzbly have to prove in court that a majority of Scots favoured that vote.

      The court could reasonably argue that a majority is over 50% of the populace rather than a political majority at Holyrood.

      I think this is the stumbling block.

    181. euan0709 says:

      Time for that bitter wee man Campbell and his chums in the 77th Brigade to go.Readers should have a swatch at reading “Talking Up Scotland !
      An excellent site.

    182. Grouse Beater says:

      MBC: “It doesn’t address the fact that we appear to have exhausted the limit of constitutional politics.”

      A significant remark.

      I penned the essay below some days back and got viciously attacked by that brave upholder of free expression, Mike Small, chronically inept editor of Bella Caledonia pick’n’mix fame.

      ‘Enough With Selfies’:

    183. Colin Alexander says:


      Regarding Unions

      Did anyone see there are allegations now that Unions told the Glasgow City Council Cordia workers that they would get every penny of their equal pay claim but the Unions had made a deal with Stefan Cross’s law firm that those represented by the Unions would also have 6.5% commission taken from their settlement award? (The workers knew nothing about this deal before or afterwards, until much later. They weren’t informed of this).

      It was the Unions in cahoots with Labour who shafted these workers in the first place, negotiating discriminatory pay deals and failing to fight for their rights against what many regarded as a corrupt Labour-run Council.

      However, from the Cordia workers I’ve spoken to, they are insistent it was the workers who decided to strike as settlement negotiations were dragging on with the the newly led SNP / Green Glasgow Council, following the workers’ equal pay court victory, and the workers had simply had enough of being ground down and so took the last resort.

      It turns out Stefan Cross’s law firm (A4ES)was not in compliance with financial regulations since April 2019 and so has suspended all activity.

      See also:

    184. Capella says:

      @ Grouse Beater – I’m not an SNP insider so have no knowledge of their thoughts on Alasdair Grey. But I can understand why they would run a mile from any taint of “blood and soil” nationalism.

      Kenny MacAskill was the Justice Minister in Alex Salmond’s cabinet who released Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds. Rumour has it that he did so at the request of Jack Straw and Tony Blair to assist with oil deals with Libya. Who knows. But I will try to source the article you cite and see what he has to say.

    185. Colin Alexander says:

      Was the Parliament of Scotland legally dissolved when it was declared so by Royal Proclamation?

      Could Scotland’s MPs simply withdraw from the UK Parliament and announce they have reconvened the Parliament of Scotland to exercise Scotland’s sovereignty WITHIN the UK from Edinburgh in equal partnership with the UK Parliament?

      No attempt to declare the Union over or UDI or anything else, simply Scotland’s MPs representing and exercising Scotland’s sovereignty at Edinburgh as equal partners, then declaring a sovereign Scottish veto on Scotland’s Brexit.

      Then informing the EU of this. That Brexit on Scotland is breaching Scottish sovereignty so is unconstitutional condut by the UK member state.

      So Article 50 and Brexit is cancelled.

      This would have to go to court, surely?

    186. Phronesis says:

      The PM speaks having cut and pasted from many past UKOK speeches.To be treated with the contempt it deserves because as the Dom has told us before the Tories don’t really care about the poor or the NHS. There will be no levelling up.

      “As we say goodbye to 2019 we can also turn the page on the division, rancour and uncertainty which has dominated public life and held us back for far too long…We can start a new chapter in the history of our country, in which we come together and move forward united, unleashing the enormous potential of the British people…
      More than that, I want to work with you, as friends and equals, as we build the future this United Kingdom deserves.”

      Yes do let’s build a more fitting future of the United Kingdom that it deserves with its constituent nations ,autonomous in their economic, legislative, welfare and human rights, environmental policies . Crucially as equal partners with full control to determine their own destiny as independent nations in or out of the EU with the government that the citizens of each country voted for.

      Scotland ,the country ,will no longer be held back .As an independent nation state it can unleash a huge tidal wave of potential as it goes forward into the 20s, independently trading within the EU, a new democracy that is a force for good, that looks forward to greener energy,using its spending and trading priorities to build its circular economy .Detoxed from the militarised industrial economic complex that funds illegal wars with arms sales to corrupt regimes that kill some of the poorest people on the planet and removing nuclear weapons from its shores.
      Folks, let an independent Scotland make 2020 the start of something special .

    187. Grouse Beater says:

      Colin Alexander: “It was the Unions in cahoots with Labour who shafted these workers in the first place.”

      That was essentially the core of my essay, Part 1 of a two-part dissertation on ‘Us and Them’, that and GMB bussed in women from England not involved in the negotiations to boost crowd size, and lost at least two days critical pay from those who were actually affected by loss of pay – a cockeyed way to ‘protect’ workers.

    188. Mist001 says:

      Happy new year everyone.

      I’m tempted to rejoin the SNP just for the self satisfaction of leaving them again.

      I’ve been seeing a LOT of posts on Facebook from AUOB about a planned march where they’re talking about tens of thousands turning out. This march will achieve exactly the same result as all their previous marches. A nice day out, a lot of self congratulatory back slapping and a major increase in the days takings from the surrounding pubs, so I suggested to them what I thought would be a better idea, which is……….

      Instead of a meaningless march around the city streets, why not take the tens of thousands to Charlotte Square and protest outside Bute House and put the SNP in a position where they HAVE to listen to the independence supporters and take some kind of action. Makes sense to me but guess what?

      No takers.

      The AUOB thing like the SNP ‘independence’ propaganda, is one big sham and we’re being played because the solution is available but nobody’s interested in solutions. It suits everyone just to keep the independence pot simmering rather than bringing it to the boil.

    189. Capella says:

      @ Grouse Beater – I searched the Herald site and it returned quite a few MacAskill articles critical of the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon. That doesn’t fill me with hope. But I couldn’t see any recent one. Can you give the title?

    190. Grouse Beater says:

      Capella: “I can understand why they would run a mile from any taint of “blood and soil” nationalism.”

      That’s how our enemies described Gray’s essay, hastily endorsed by the SNP, and it was anything but blood and soil. The enthusiasm to crouch before Unionist accusation is contemptible.

      Gray states what we all should acknowledge and understand, that there are any number of English incomers, happily imbued with colonial baggage, who take up influential positions in Scottish society *only* as a steeping stone to what they believe is a better job – a post in London.

      He is particularly exercised by the take-over of our arts scene … you see that in the accents interviewed by BBC Scotland of people who run our major arts institutions and off to London.

      Gray goes on to praise settlers who stay to make a genuine contribution to our economy and our culture.

      Those he dislikes are those of a colonial urge who tell us in various ways we are not good enough to govern our own nation.

      The more of us feel that way, who leave for a future elsewhere because we are blocked from one here, the more incomers will grab the opportunities to climb the greasy pole, here are three obvious culprits beloved of our press and media: Richard Leonard, Prof Adam Tomkins, Alistair Darling, and in so doing exploit their platform to disabuse us from investing in Scotland.

      Normally, we call them ‘carpet-baggers’.

      Here’s the MacAskill article link that you requested:

    191. Tony O"neill says:

      I think that the wings list party is now imperative. Nicola needs to start being a leader not an administrator, and I really fuckin hope she is a she is a shit hot poker player / and chess grand master. She better fuckin be. She and her party really need to start listening to the concerns of the yes movement and stop thinking they always know what’s best. As history shows a failure by leaders to listen, and arrogance will be their undoing.

    192. Abulhaq says:

      On no account must Scottish nationalism be marginalized. Johnson is out to schmooze England with emollient and jingoistic rhetoric. Let him. We are not for schmoozing. We simply do not want what he and his ideological entourage want, a Greater Britain ie England on viagra.
      We must have leadership prepared to stick sharp thorns in BritState’s flabby fundament.
      ‘Niceness’, as advocated by some, just does not cut it.

    193. Capella says:

      @ Grouse Beater – thx for link, here’s the archived version:

      I see it was written by Tom Gordon about 3 months ago. But he is quoting Kenny MacAskill and there is nothing new in his criticisms of the SNP. Now that he is an MP he will have an opportunity to argue his case from the inside.

      I don’t agree with him but that’s OK.

      I do agree with Alasdair Gray in his objection to non Scots heading up most of our big social and cultural institutions. It is a colonial fact of life. The exceptions are those who are themselves unionist “house Jocks” such as Neil Oliver and Donalda Mackinnon.

      But somehow or other the SNP manages to overcome the bias, enough to gain landslide election victories. How can that be explained if not by the strategy and tactics followed by the leadership?

    194. ronnie anderson says:

      Aw the Bestest tae aw the real Wingers ( no the plastic wans ) .

      I will be seeing yous on the 11th Jan at the Wings Stall if Mrs Wumin Ruglonian allows me LoL , some of yous need tae pick up yer mobiles , thats why there cawed mobile they travel wie yous lol anyhows Aw the Bestest again tae You’s & Your Families .

      WE APPEAL since once again the clowns of Auob are causing mayhem before the march on the 11th Jan as the do before every march I put 2 fingers up to All the Comedians of Auob & if you want to do the same get behind SAPB & show the Mackay’s & Co of the Independence movement they wont dictate to us Yessers/Independeistas .

    195. Confused says:

      Gray’s essay, from what I recall was that – Scots should run Scotland …

      – but then he defined “Scots” somewhat liberally – anyone who is committed to the country, more a state of mind than say, a DNA test and application of nuremberg style race laws

      America used (?) to have laws about their officials holding foreign honours, and some countries still don’t recognise e.g. “dual citizenship”

      – the third rate aristos and genteel mediocrities sent up from down south, that-London, are really “agents of a foreign power” and should be recognised as such

      example, from yesterday – all the shite about edinburghs hogmanay, all the monetisation, seems to be the fault of “underbelly” (the rot set in 20 years ago, but its gone too far) – their guy was on the telly, defending his company

      – spot the accent … now this guy, Green, has a bang-on CV, but just looking at him talking – he “doesn’t get it” – he is tone deaf, he only hears what is of interest to him; he does soulless corporate events, that’s it – and it is all hyper organised, hyper controlled – and you pay for it, all the way, and its all cunningly designed so no american or japanese tourist ever bumps into any edinbugger from further north than stockbridge, or further south than the grange; no one “beyond the rim”.

      Surprised no one has mentioned Gray much – no one reads books anymore, they are just source material for film scripts; so what can you do when you have a great artist dropped on you, with a massive trove of amazing work … the answer is, when you have no proper cultural institutions of your own – nothing much. The BBC, nor Hollywood, would have no interest in some “scotch weirdo” – the BBC will just commission another austen costume-drama, and if they ever did have a crack at any of his work, it would be trite, dismissive and patronising. Or if someone made an impassioned case at a pitch – they would get told it was “unfilmable”.

      – the big artistic payoff in an indy Scotland will be this – no longer having to constantly swim agains the tide and leap hurdle after hurdle, just to get anything done. Imagine wanting to make a move about Benny Lynch and trying to sell it to some footlights wanker down in soho?

    196. Colin Alexander says:

      I wondered about Kenny MacAskill becoming an MP candidate and now MP for East Lothian. I thought he’s always been regarded as a close Salmond ally and outspoken critic of Sturgeon’s leadership of the SNP.

      That Mr MacAskill has been elected as an SNP MP, is this an encouraging sign of indy-first support in the SNP?


      Is it a case of he’s been brought in the Sturgeon tent to piss out the way, rather than being outside the tent pissing into the Holyrood colonial administration tent?

    197. Gary45% says:

      Simple answer, even 1 punter protesting outside Bute House and the Yoon media / EBC would be creaming themselves.( Don’t feed the enemy)
      Take the protest to the Scottish “Orifice” in Leith, that’s where the real enemy lie.
      A New Year and we are still on the same bus, lets hope the driver remembers where “she’s” going, mystery tours are a thing of the past.
      Hope everyone had a great night, and not too many “sair heids” this morning.
      Traditional Scottish New Years dinner done already, Veggie Spag bolls.
      Nom, Nom.

    198. Colin Alexander says:

      Ronnie Anderson

      Aw the best to you anaw. What’s AUOB doing that you are critical of?

      What’s SAPB?

    199. stuart mctavish says:

      On subject of Hillary, a pro America independence party could have a bright future post January in event that Col Alexanders plan – or something similar – fails to materialise and conventional constitutional arguments get superceeded by events.

      If such a party could draw unmitigated support from a vindicated, liberated, re-energised (slimline) Alex Salmond and an incorrigible former ambassador for Scotland so much the better – either way the future should always be good, both for men in skirts promising unicorns AND their target audience, so be sure to all have a happy new year/decade and if the fireworks dont start soon enough, never stop demanding that they do.

    200. Grouse Beater says:

      Capella: “Somehow or other the SNP manages to overcome the bias, enough to gain landslide election victories.”

      ….. but not make the radical changes in Scottish society we wish to see implemented or gain that decisive swing to indie we all want to see. The doubters are still doubting and I can only surmise its because they lack irrevocable evidence they want of the benefits, hence my criticism of the SNP’s concentration on Brexit.

      At one minute past midnight on Brexit Day, 120 major powers are removed from Scotland, constraining us even more from gaining liberty.

      On the plus side, I think people of all hues have become wary of hearing promises of solutions laying only with Whitehall, but they are not imbued enough with zeal to swing to autonomy, unless the polls and press are in cahoots to massage numbers.

    201. Capella says:

      @ Grouse Beater – my guess is that Labour doubters were hoping for a Jeremy Corbyn victory. All hope is now gone. Independence is the only route to a centre left Scotland.

      Liberal Democrat doubters were hoping for a Lib Dem coalition with Jo Swinson as king maker. All hope is now gone. Independence is the only route to a centre right Scotland.

      The rest will carry on voting Tory. But that hard core unionist right wing vote is only c 25% of the electorate. Possibly even less. That’s good news for those of us arguing for independence.

    202. scunner says:

      Rumour has it that he did so at the request of Jack Straw and Tony Blair to assist with oil deals with Libya.

      MacAskill wrote a book on the subject: “The Lockerbie Bombing: The Search for Justice”. Straw & Blair tried pulling strings for oil deals but were rebuffed.

      Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds alone while in the process of appealing his conviction, a procedure which would likely have dragged on to his death in custody. The appeal was dropped on release so he died a convicted murderer.

      For most of the ignorant general public, he simply didn’t die quickly enough. Spending 3 years pretty much bedridden while his country dissolved into chaos and destruction (plus he was on the “wrong” side) was hardly freedom.

    203. Dan says:

      Well that’s a couple of hundred of us loony dookers plunged into the sea at midday for our “refreshing” start to 2020.
      We did it for free, but it seems some are now having to pay Underbelly for their dooks.

    204. Mist001 says:

      @ Gary45%

      So what? If it brings Scottish Independence to the attention to the greater British public, to the SNP and to Scotland as a whole, then that can only be a good thing because it’s just stagnating now.

      Anyway, going by what I read here and the other places online, the BBC would just ignore it.

    205. frogesque says:

      AUOB, All Under One Banner

      SAP&DB A name that cannot be mentioned as its Gaelic and forbidden under threat of hammers but is usually translated as ‘Free Scotland’ the last part is Pipes & Drums Band.

      Egos are rampant in AUOB and are dictating the SheBoom will lead the march rather than the Pipes and drums.

      Bloody silly when the pipe band was set up and funded by a crowdfunder and pother donation specifically to lead marches and this is the first one one of the New Year! No disrespect to SheBoom (who the bloody hell are they?) but everyone I have been in touch with fully expects and wants the pipes to lead.

      Now we have AOUB threatening the band with the Police and cancelling the march. They are also remobeing and blocking dissenting voices from their FB pages. As if egos and corruption are bigger than the wider YES movement! They can fuck right off

    206. Brian Doonthetoon says:


      S-a-o-r A-l-b-a Pipe Band?

    207. MBC says:

      What do you do if the limit of constitutional politics has been reached and Westminster continues to ignore our demands for independence? Even when polls show it has reached a comfortable majority?

      I don’t know.

      My guess is that London will do everything to prevent polls ever reaching a comfortable majority. So that this hypothetical conundrum never arises.

      But, supposing it does, my guess is the the SNP hierarchy believe that they will be able to wrench something out of that. But would it be enough? What will it take to get free?

    208. scunner says:

      Take the protest to the Scottish “Orifice” in Leith, that’s where the real enemy lie.

      We know they lie profusely, I presume you meant “reside” 😉

    209. Capella says:

      @ scunner – thx – I haven’t read KMs book. I would much rather believe that Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds.

    210. Colin Alexander says:


      Thank you for the explanation.

      Nae disrespect to SheBoom but, I think the pipe band are fantastic and I would be disappointed if they weren’t leading the march.

    211. Dr Jim says:

      The bitter the sectarian and the sofa politicians would still hate Nicola Sturgeon if she cured cancer tomorrow afternoon

      All these people seem to exist inside the Internet where over 70% of anti SNP trolling and hatred emanates from England and the rest are the aforementioned who find it impossible to change as that would admit they were wrong and they just can’t manage that, personaly I’ve still not met anybody in the outside world who talks like this about the SNP or Nicola Sturgeon, even my Liberal Democrat voting neighbours seem to like her more than some of these online so called supporters of Independence who are resigning their membership on a daily basis, yet the membership is going up

      I suppose it’s the circles you move in, or maybe the circles you don’t, or the computer screen doesn’t tell the whole story, in fact much of the time the computer screen will be happy to tell you what disgruntled opinion you want to agree with so you can shout it too

      The SNP can just make it happen, well no they can’t, that’s up to us the people, then the SNP can and will act on people power, that’s the majority of people’s power, not girny wee foot stampers with a grudge or gripe over how it’s done or when it’s done or if it’s done the *right way*

      Scotland’s power will come from the people and until the people make their demands powerfully loud and clear we still live in a colonised country with only a devolved administration without the full powers of a self governing country

      The detractors endow the FM with power she doesn’t possess then criticise the lack of their desired outcome of not using that imaginary power just like the opposition do in Holyrood every week and cross their fingers that whoever’s listening or reading will fall for the deception

      Much as I admire and like Alex Salmond, he blew it by expressing an air of over confidence bordering on arrogance
      which I don’t believe he meant to but it was used against him constantly as in politics eveything is used against you

      I don’t believe that’s a problem for the current FM, I believe her strategy is the attritional grinding down of her opponents till they lose the will to live, like a female Rocky she’ll keep getting up even when the opposition own the referee

    212. Juteman says:

      Heartfelt post, Dr Jim.

    213. liz says:

      Happy 2020 to all Wingers.
      This is the make or break year, no more messing about from NS.

      There are far too many people who cannot accept any criticism of NS. Her main asset is she’s a very good speaker and she did keep us all on board for a number of years,
      I started to doubt her about 2 years ago. Her speeches at conference were all carefully worded,took me a while to realise that she didn’t say what I thought she had.

      Something scared her badly after she marched us to the top of the hill post Brexit. was it more than just losing some MPs?
      Like many I also joined after 2014 and I do believe Alex was the main reason for everything he had achieved.

      Just think the number of promises the SNP have failed to keep: a choice between indy & Brexit, protecting EU citizens, where is the National Bank, where is the Gov controlled energy company, what happened to the Big Conversation, what happened to the £500k raised for #indyref2?

      I see Mike Russell wants us to sign another pro indy pledge.

    214. twathater says:

      My opinion is that the 50% numbers for indy are not increasing due to the fact that people are not getting the right information that Scotland is a very wealthy nation with natural resources that are the envy of the world

      I commented on a previous post a list of unexhaustive topics that the SNP have failed to rebut or inform people of the benefits to Scotland, I and everyone on this and other indy sites know that the SNP has a battle to get ANY airtime from our biased broadcasters and MSM but even when they do get airtime they are continually unprepared or fail to rebut accusations

      What has happened to the REBUTTAL UNIT that we were promised would expose the misinformation put out , what has happened to the NEW press officer they promoted last year

      If we are to stand ANY chance of convincing people to vote for indy we have to supply them with information that shows the benefits of independence , we have to show the wider public HOW the brit nats are STEALING our resources to benefit the rest of the uk , we have to SHOW and CONVINCE the hesitants that independence is the best way forward for them and their future generations

      Many many individuals are doing just that but it is too slow , we have to reach more people sooner and the only way that can happen is if the SNP SG awaken and rise to the challenge of exposing the LIES and countering the lies with the TRUTH

    215. North chiel says:

      Standby for a “ propaganda blitz” in the new year ( emanating principally from south of the border) on the Scottish government’s Holyrood “ record” . Advised by Alistair Jack & cartel , they will attack Holyrood on “ devolved powers” highlighting Education, health , transport ( rail & ferry ) , etc etc . Make no mistake the objective will be to deny the SNP a majority or minority government and a Unionist cabal with a unionist FM will be the objective for 2021. The usual propagandists at Pathetic Quay & co will of course have a prominent role to play together with a media blitz on radio and newspapers . The Alex Salmond trial will be used in an attempt to discredit our FM and I believe this ultra propaganda attack will continue throughout 2020.
      I sincerely hope that our FM and Scottish government are aware of what is coming and have planned accordingly . Perhaps attack is the best form of defence , and very possibly the “ time for action is nigh” . Is the FM planning radical action , such as a “ snap” Holyrood election ( on single issue ) if the section 30 is not agreed? or perhaps a legal/ constitutional attack re the Act of union? . Is there perhaps manoeuvres to involve the EU to protect our EU citizenship prior to the end of the transition period ? So many questions , and rightly our FM is “keeping her cards close” . However , it looks like “ the gloves are coming off soon” and it’s going to be Bojo v Nicola in 2020. I believe our FM has been formulating her plans for some considerable time for this inevitable “ clash” . Let’s hope she has all angles covered .

    216. Abulhaq says:

      Scots have a monster inferiority complex and the accompanying snivelling is not a pretty sight.
      Malta, Monaco, Nauru, San Marino, Maldives, Tuvalu, Maldives, St Kitts, Grenada, Marshall islands, all UN member states seem not so afflicted.
      Scotland the joke…who’s laughing?

    217. Golfnut says:

      @ North Chiel

      I think it has to be all out attack now… all or nothing and we need to start with the media.

    218. Colin Alexander says:

      Why do we even need an indyref or have independence first, to reconvene the Parliament of Scotland?

      We are already sovereign. We already have a (Parliament of Scotland, in recess / prorogued).

      I would argue it is already the law, so we aren’t changing anything. Just exercising our constitutional rights.

      Show me the law that says Scotland’s MPs cannot reconvene the Parliament of Scotland. ( We already have a Scottish Parliament, albeit a subservient colonial one).

      1.Recall our MPs from WM, reconvene the Parliament of Scotland and form a quorum as the political representatives of Scottish sovereignty.

      2.The PoS pass a bill Vetoing EU Scexit.

      3. They Ask for Royal Assent for the EU Scexit veto Act Vetoing consent for Brexit. Stating Scotland must remain in the EU.

      4. Let the UK State challenge this.

    219. Confused says:

      – here is some deep money stuff, for anyone who has a couple of hours and a pot of coffee to mull over it

      – the point for an indy scotland is that, we’re going to be rich anyway (whatever happens) but if you setup your new financial institutions without the “augean crust” of the city and wall st, you can supercharge yourself even further; this isn’t abstract nonsense, it is how you will build the country’s infrastructure without e.g. the fiasco of the skye bridge.

    220. Grouse Beater says:

      Dr Jim: “The SNP can just make it happen, well no they can’t, that’s up to us.”

      Pointless voting for any pro-autonomy party to carry out their manifesto if that’s the attitude. Pointless getting out of bed.

      We invest power in those we elect – we chivvy them when they veer from that brief or get too lazy or corrupt.

      “Dougal, these model cows here are small; the ones in the field are far away.”

    221. liz says:

      PS anyone but anyone who says WE have a monster inferiority complex is talking mince. Speak for yourself, the rest of us are fine.

    222. sassenach says:

      Dr Jim @3-53pm

      Excellent post, fully agree.

    223. Grouse Beater says:

      Liz: “I see Mike Russell wants us to sign another pro indy pledge.”

      Aye, back to where we started, like a clockwork train set that someone winds up every so often.

    224. Col.Blimp IV says:

      Colin Alexander says:
      1 January, 2020 at 4:53 pm

      “Why do we even need an indyref or have independence first, to reconvene the Parliament of Scotland?”

      Why not indeed, The Parliament of Scotland joined with the Parliament of England to become the Parliament of Great Britain.

      I can see nothing that could prevent Ian Blackford requesting that that the Speaker set some debating time aside for a bill that will define Scotland’s future relationship with the EU to be voted on by members who represent Scottish constituencies.

      We do have after all, a constitutional precedent in “EVEL”, English Votes for English Laws.

      If we are truly in a union of equals “SVSL” must be equally as valid.

    225. John Thomson says:

      Crikey couldn’t agree more only Scots MPs allowed to vote on Scottish matters ie indy.

      How simple can it be. But for the grace of he who commands all Faith’s and non.

      Make it happen.

    226. Anton de Grandier says:

      It looks as if the Holyrood voting system has achieved its founding purpose-draw the SNP in and neuter them.Mind u the SNP have been helpful to that agenda in many ways.Bad policy,abysmal lawmaking-Named Person/OBFA-and now a wholesale takover by identitarian elements pushing an agenda totally at odds with the views of most of the populace.Add that to a large degree of complacency and its looks like game over.
      As the article states the next year is crucial but its difficult to feel optimistic.Section 30 requests will be rebuffed and….what then?More marches?More likely to be an outbreak of recriminations and infighting leading to splintering of the Yes movement.The current disagreements over Gender ID are symptoms of already widening rifts between,and in some cases within,the SNP and activists.
      The march on 11th will be an interesting one.I never attend these however I will this one.It will be interesting to check the mood and enjoy an exchange of views.What I’ve found lately is a large degree of frustration,some of which I think can be felt in this article,with the SNP married to a tension caused,in large part,by the Identity Politics of far left elements in the Party.Mind you,on that point,they’ve had plenty of help from the leadership.
      While I think there is complacency at the top of the SNP I also think there is a complete lack of ideas on how to procede.They’re boxed in.All legal avenues closed off and,as a reputable Party,they couldnt possibly advocate breaking the law.Perhaps I’m being too pessimistic and,of course,theres always the huge unknown of Brexit.Despite what Brexiteers believe,the effects of Brexit have barely begun and have years to play out.What the effects of that will be on the Scottish electorate is anyones guess.

    227. Artyhetty says:

      With 100% of the so called media anti SNP, anti Scotland even existing as a nation in fact, the odds are stacked against independence ever happening. The Britnats and their dodgy pals around the globe plot against Scotland’s independence and it started over 300 years ago.

      What was it that Britnat guy said back in 1707? ‘ We have bagged Scotland and will keep her shackled forever more’ ha ha ha! Or something akin to that. The Britnats are like rabid dogs, with a massive sense of self imprtance and ownership, and their arrogance knows no bounds.

      The Britnats must be livid, with all of the levers of money and power at their disposal, and yet, the SNP outfoxed them in the December GE.

      Re; Golfnut@4.50pm, 1/1/20.

      ‘We need to start with the media’. Thing is which ‘media’, and how? Broadcasting is a reserved power to Westminster, it’s English controlled and Scotland can do sweet FA about it.

      Control of the ‘ media’ is key to controlling the narrative, and many people still view the BBC and STV as gospel, poo-pooing ‘social media’ as untrustworthy! Many people are brainwashed, but, it’s not working to plan for the Britnats, people are more savvy now, in the main.

      The Labour party UK branch in Scotland had the people in a trance for far too long, ‘keep your eyes on this watch, do everything we tell you, always vote Labour even though we are shafting you and your country, ta very muchly’. The SNP snapped their fingers, snap! The spell was broken!

      The ‘media’ so called, the Britnat state controlled story tellers and liars, still have that watch, tick, tock, keep your eyes on the watch Scotland.

      Snap! Breaking people out of the trance is crucial, the ones still mesmerised by the swinging watch.
      Against huge odds though, in Decenber, the SNP did manage to wake up the entranced, but they need to keep snapping their fingers!

      The rocks are never eternal, they do crumble, just hope the SNP have plenty of ropes and a coordinated plan to keep everyone on that mountain, and get Scotland to the top, safely.

    228. Mark Robertson says:

      Anton de Grandier
      Your not the only one with a negative attitude of what is going to happen next !
      If your reading this site its full of negativity ! Deliberatley purposed by STU the Rev with no other solution to offer .
      Stu is doing the same as what he acusses the SNP of doing .

    229. Alistair White says:

      History is full of cases where the hunter becomes the hunted, the animals become the farmers. The SNP becoming the occupying force is not beyond impossible. The calculation behind any person that climbs to the top of the apparatus that brands itself “Scotland’s Voice”, “Scotland’s Future” is whether an uncertain future in the wilderness or continuing power (albeit devolved) is worth the effort and risk. What will imo change things needs to be another political force capable of pushing The SNP to actually achieve indy. What that force would be I have no fucking idea but I agree with others that la la we’ll win them over with the power of our democracy is ridiculous in the face of a UK Government that has no qualms about ignoring the UN. See Chagos.

    230. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Grouse Beater @ 08:46 (01.Jan)

      Apologies for my poor choice of word there, I should have written something like “prevail” rather than “win”. I don’t think anyone (expect maybe Douglas Hothersall) expected Labour to have achieved an outright majority, which would in the event not have served Scotland well in the least, and an outcome on which NS very obviously wasn’t banking. Even another hung parliament which the SNP had “by the short and curlies” was hardly much more likely, though, so that piece of nit-picking aside, the rest of what I wrote I believe stands up.

      Even if the distorted rewards can be great, a UKGE is the hardest contest for the SNP to take on, yet they did so with appropriate tactics, so why complain? The whole WM system is a Cartel fix, but that’s hardly the fault of the SNP.

      The most important consequence, on which I hope we can all agree, is that the SNP must now live up to the expectations of all the voters who put their renewed trust in them, and not subside into another dismal year of wasted opportunity.

    231. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Oh, and getting back onto the original topic, while all the main obstacles to a clear run to IR2 have now been definitively removed, the Hillary Step for the indy movement could be the death of a senior royal. (After all, they are getting on a bit.) Can you just imagine trying to mount an indy campaign in the midst of heavy-duty BritNat eulogising on the BBC?

      Just another reason why time is not necessarily on our side.

      So here’s wishing a healthy and happy year to you and yours, Your Maj!

    232. Andrew (Andy) Crow says:

      Fine. But I’m not prepared to read all that.

      Two things changed.

      The Labour party stopped pretending to be socialist. Well at least in Scotland it did. In England it did pretend to be socialist and got hammered for pretending.

      SNP became the ‘status quo ante’ choice for survival.

      All we need now is for the SNP to understand this is all a complete waste of everybody’s time if we don’t have the currency.

      You don’t get this, Stu. So you are doing damage.

      Get a grip and find out why it matters. ‘Cos it does.

    233. David Agnew says:

      Scottish labour got fat & lazy feeding off fear of the conservatives, for 50 years. They also developed a sense of entitlement that was quite shocking to see. The SNP could so easily find themselves walking that path. People can become disgruntled and stay at home. Just like so many who abandoned Corbyn, in England. It already happened to the SNP in 2017. It could happen again. You know, when considering this and the way forward, I had an odd notion. Maybe it is time the SNP started standing candidates in England. If we cant leave the Union, maybe we should take it over, then count the days till little England demands an Indyref.

    234. Stumac says:

      Richard Murphy has interesting article (about GERS) which is critical of SNPs acceptance of and unwillingness to challenge it. Another voice pushing the SNP to waken up and be more proactive.

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