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The rock in the hard place

Posted on January 25, 2021 by

Way back in December 2019, when the SNP were once more returned triumphant, the mantra chant was of an independence referendum the coming autumn. Of course, coronavirus consumed 2020 but the reality was a referendum was never coming that year, irrespective of rhetoric. Neither planning, policy nor even funding was in place.

And those leading the chant, in Parliament or in public, knew it.

Now there’s come a new year, but sadly not a new dawn. The mantra chant simply moved on to the referendum being autumn this year. Again it was dutifully proclaimed in Parliament and public, long beyond the point of any credibility. And once again, the likelihood of it being held is all but nil unless strategy changes.

The reasons have moved from before, even if aspects of planning, policy and funding still remain to be addressed. But they’re largely within the control of the party and movement and can be addressed.

The obstacles now are different, and are both self-inflicted through policy as well as practical through time and events. The only way to achieve a referendum this year is therefore to ensure the election’s either a plebiscite or the SNP commits to holding a referendum this autumn, irrespective of Westminster consent.

The emptiness of the party’s “autumn referendum” rhetoric has been exposed oft times before. But now hard facts confront the delusion of a change of heart coming from a Prime Minister who neither possesses a scintilla of compassion for anything other than himself, nor any sympathy for Scottish democracy.

The unlikelihood of Boris Johnson changing his position has been confirmed by his actions on Brexit, the Internal Market Bill and other policies. Despite that, hope though seems to spring eternal in some, with allusions to Boris blinking. “And pigs might fly” springs to mind.

Now the backing of George Osborne has been given to that irredentist line. Indeed, his tenor was even more confrontational, rejecting Scottish democracy and ramping up the level of aggression. The tone itself was worrying but proof yet again that Westminster will neither consent nor can be trusted.

But the real folly of the mantra chant of an autumn referendum’s shown in the hard facts of timeline and scheduled events. For they firmly place the current strategy between a rock and a hard place.

The rock initially seems to be the requirement for Westminster consent. It cannot simply be granted on a whim the day after the Holyrood election, even if Johnson were for turning. A Scottish Government needs approved by the newly constituted Scottish Parliament, they then need to meet and agree to request a S30 order. The UK cabinet has to meet to agree, and even if willing the legislative steps take weeks more.

Beyond that there’d still remain the setting of a date and a requisite campaign period, normally suggested to be six months. Even if it were to be cut in half, there’s no way on Earth all that could be done in time for a vote by autumn, especially with the pandemic still looming over everything.

But the hard place is the real problem.

Glasgow is due to host the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) from 1-12 November 2021. It’s not going to be moved, and with the return to the fold of the USA under President Biden it takes on even greater significance, never mind the need with the continued hurtling of our planet towards extinction.

Its organisation and the security implications are huge. This will be the Commonwealth Games and the G7 rolled into one and then some. Even if post-coronavirus some social distancing is still required and more of the conference goes virtual, it’s still going to be the biggest jamboree that Scotland’s ever hosted. The great and the good will be jetting in, despite the irony in their travel mode.

Outside assistance will be required for Police Scotland. Military and security services will be mobilized and involved. Leave for officers and staff will be severely curtailed or cancelled entirely, for a period well before the start, as securing premises will be essential given who’ll be coming and the threat that exists, and afterwards everything has to be restored to normal. All that takes time.

In these circumstances, and without even considering the uncertainty added by the continuing coronavirus pandemic and the possibility of the election being postponed, holding a referendum any time near then is a non-starter. Boris Johnson will be presiding over a global event and there’s no way in Hell he’s going to tolerate a referendum campaign casting a shadow over it.

So even in the miraculous event of the UK Government conceding a new indyref after the Holyrood election, it’d simply never countenance one anywhere within months either side of COP26. (And it couldn’t even if it wanted to.) It’s an immovable boulder slap bang in the middle of the “road to a referendum”. The rock in the hard place.

The idea of vote in 2021 is therefore already a dead duck, no matter what. This time, the mantra is already shifting to talk of a new vote being “within the lifetime of the next Parliament”. No matter what they might say in public, nobody within a million miles of the Scottish Government is preparing for a referendum in 2021, because there simply isn’t any chance of it happening logistically, let alone politically.

But independence is essential so that our nation is represented at these events, not just a few privileged individuals allowed to watch from the sidelines. There’ll always be an excuse to put everything off another year, and another and another. And if you fool me once, shame on you. But when you fool me twice, and three times and four times, shame on me.

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    271 to “The rock in the hard place”

    1. aulbea1 says:

      Pretty simple – no plebiscite no votes SNP. With NS there will never be Independence.

    2. Daisy Walker says:

      Very well said Kenny, and bravos for putting head above parapet to do so.

    3. Mountain shadow says:

      Kenny.

      Why don’t you and Angus resign from the SNP and become more militant in the push for independence?

      You can then pursue independence with more vigour than the likes of Pension Pete?

    4. Sarah says:

      @ Kenny: can you not persuade the 15 MSPs who aren’t standing in May to threaten early resignation if the leadership doesn’t change?

      And force the release of evidence to the Fabiani inquiry – and if not permitted because “anonymity” then at least get that committee to resign en masse?

      We must have honest government.

      One person wields the power to stop the people being asked if they want their country back. That is outrageous.

    5. Margaret Tees says:

      Is there any chance of a referendum taking place alongside the election? (Two ballot papers)

    6. Hugh Jarse says:

      Blinking right Mr MacAskill.
      Plebiscite it is then.

      There’s one thing in our way, or i should have said one person…

      So mate, give us a rough idea.
      What % of your colleagues, here and in that awful Other place are the good guys, and will do the right thing, not just think about their own selfish needs?

      Looking on from the outside, you’re one of a few.

    7. Sarah says:

      @ Mountain Shadow: the SNP vote is ready made. If the party can be cleansed from within then the block vote is there in support.

      A new party has to be spot on and lucky to attract such numbers quickly enough. The Brexit Party did it and I think a Yes party could, but it hasn’t appeared.

    8. Calum says:

      I genuinely don’t understand Sturgeon’s thinking. She could go down in history as the leader who regained Scotland’s Independence. Such a monumental achievement might even gloss over her involvement in the Salmond affair to an extent.

      Instead, what? A few extra years on her FM salary? And I doubt the history books will be particularly kind to her…

    9. Iain Wee Brocher says:

      So why don’t you resign with other Westmidden MP’s or others resign and stand on the Regional Lists in May Kenny. Under an Independence Banner that is.

    10. Name (required) says:

      How is that simple truths are seen as radical these days?

      good article.

    11. Alf Baird says:

      Well said Kenny MacAskill!

      A plebiscite election in May it is then. Much as the SNP ‘radicals’, Solidarity and other bona fide indy parties are now proposing.

      Will the SNP elite now please throw Mike Russell’s 11-point nonsense in the bucket and rejoin the independence movement in time for May’s big celebration? Or are they going to remain party poopers and go the way of ‘Scottish’ Labour?

    12. SilverDarling says:

      When you read Kenny or anyone else willing to countenance there is another way to do things you realise just how small and timid the party line for the SNP has become.

      Placeholders like Tom Arthur and Wishart who just want to keep plodding along and only see problems, not solutions.

      I caught some of Kaye Adams this morning where a Yoon form Stonehaven was quoting Wings, bringing stuff into the open. He was summarily shut down as Adams spluttered to stop anything about Murrell et al.

      It demonstrates that it suits everyone in the British establishment to have this situation as the status quo. Nicola Sturgeon’s grubby government presenting what for them is the reality of Independence when for some of us it is anathema. We want open process and structure, free from UK involvement and taint. We want to start again.

    13. Bob Mack says:

      Thanks Kenny. I am pretty sick to death of the SNP hierarchy telling me Independence is just around the next corner ,only to find I am following them round a decagon.

    14. Jonathan Marshall says:

      Why not lead the ISP Kenny as a political figure who has substantial political capital?

    15. Ian McCubbin says:

      Thanks Kenny, why not work with those genuine SNP MPs and MSPs for Independence and take over the lead of the party. That wy we can achieve a Plebescite election in May and road to Independence with such a group planning the way.

    16. Mia says:

      No plebiscite in the Holyrood Elections? then no vote for the SNP either.

    17. Mac says:

      Someone said on here a little while ago that up to 2001 (I think it was) the SNP made every election a plebiscite.

      Personally I think reverting to that is the best move. I really hope the idea is NOT that this would be a one-off plebiscite.

      (This comment assumes Nicola is gone of course.)

    18. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      Thanks for that Kenny.

      I plan to give the SNP my first vote in May almost certainly for the last time. Second vote goes to another pro Independence Party.

      Following this election and if the SNP, as expected, do not actively promote independence we will not see Scotland as a normal country for many years.

      I will not further support the SNP again and will look to the formation or expansion of an alternative party focused only on independence.

      The new party will have to stand against the failed SNP it will be difficult and slow but there appears to be no other option.

      It is a matter of huge regret that the SNP appear to have failed.

      Like many others I have spent a fair few pounds supporting the SNP I have also walked many miles in all weather posting leaflets etc. All for what?

    19. Steve davison says:

      It has already been reported when the 11 no point plan was revealed that there will be no indie ref from the SNP this year so basically the article above tells us nothing other than Kenny MacAskill is willing to speak out a little .Given the state of his party at the moment and the multiplying ground swell of dissent I would have liked to see a more robust condemnation of what’s occurring as well as more of his fellow MP,s joining in before the ship has lowered the life rafts

    20. Astonished says:

      Well said, Kenny – I think a few MSPs are beginning to figure out they might lose their seat in May.
      .
      A leader should unite the party and maintain party discipline. Nicola only, and I mean only, defends the woke.
      .
      The new NEC are a shower of duds. Worse than useless. And I had such high hopes for them.
      .
      A SNP win in May will only guarantee thought crime legislation and prosecutions. And genderwoowoo. SNP candidates are going to have to defend these proposals in May. I suspect a lot will lose their seats.
      .
      UNLESS THEY DO SOMETHING NOW. SPEAK UP AND SPEAK OUT.

    21. kapelmeister says:

      Call for people to vote ISP2 Kenny. Dare Sturgeon and Murrell to try expelling you from the SNP.

    22. Scozzie says:

      Kenny MacAskill, while it’s appreciated you write guest articles on Wings, the big question is what are you and your like-minded MPs / MSPs doing about forcing the SNP leadership’s hand?

      You mention in your last paragraph ‘a few privileged individuals watching from the sidelines’, it seems to me that’s exactly what our SNP MPs / MSPs are doing (watching from the sidelines) as you let the Leadership ruin the party and the movement’s hopes for independence. It really is time to put on your big boy MP pants, get a coalition of the willing (to coin a phrase) and bring down the leadership from within.

      As we’ve seen in governments gone by – it takes the leadership’s own colleagues to bring them down. Time to earn your worth. You cannot keep ‘watching from the sidelines’ as the party descends further into corruption, cover-up, white-washing, concealment, and treating the electorate as voting fodder.

      In good consciousness can you honourably say the SNP currently represents your politics? If not, do something about it, please.

    23. Alf Baird says:

      Mac @ 11.21

      “Someone said on here a little while ago that up to 2001 (I think it was) the SNP made every election a plebiscite.”

      Yes, every national election in Scotland now and in the future should be about the Scottish people asserting and re-asserting our sovereign authority. Nobody rules over Scotland but the Scottish people!

    24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “can you not persuade the 15 MSPs who aren’t standing in May to threaten early resignation if the leadership doesn’t change?”

      AFAIK there’s no mechanism for removing an SNP leader except at conference, and I doubt the resignation of a few MSPs a matter of weeks before they were standing down anyway would have much impact.

    25. DundeeDancer says:

      O’well indyref2 in 2022 it is then.

    26. Peter S says:

      So the poor, long-suffering can gets to be kicked even further down the road – this time, for once, out of necessity?

    27. Roland Smith says:

      I see the logic however smart thing to do would be legislate straight away for Sept date. Also to state up front that election is plebiscite in the absence of a referendum. If uk going to go down courts route that at least starts that off. Johnson completely delusional this morning in the subject. Doesn’t seem to understand there are 4 NHS services for a start.
      Also during Climate Conference we need the biggest AUOB gatherings ever. Every bridge from the airport festooned with flags, every hotel they use and round the security perimeter thousands of us letting the world know Johnson is a dictator.

    28. Bob Mack says:

      The problem is this Kenny. Yesterday was the National Assembly where most paid participants were locked out.

      Today Pete Wishart tweets that he is pleased the 11 point plan has been accepted by those present. In fact it wasn’t

      This highlights the issue. They want our vote but want us to take no part in THEIR Democratic prrocess. Not ours THEIRS.

      Jts abuse of the highest order and I for one will not sanction it with my vote. Others may feel differently.

      That is their choice. I am too independent minded to be led around by the nose like compliant livestock.

    29. Hatuey says:

      There’s another rock and another hard place. Hanging over it all is the sword Salmocles.

      The reason the SNP have had it easy in the MSM over the last year and a half is down to the leadership’s surrender on indyref2; stating that the only route to a referendum is through a Section 30 is tantamount to surrendering.

      Many here might not buy it but the MSM and Westminster are taking this 11 point plan seriously and we can see already that the gloves are coming off. I listened to The Westminster Hour last night on Radio 4 and the anti-independence propaganda system has was in full swing.

      So, the rock (pressure from within the party to be seen doing something on independence) and the hard place (opposition to independence by the MSM etc.), and above it all, ready to fall and smash everything to pieces…

      The latent power of Salmond scandal came into sharp focus over the last few days, as the rhetoric on independence and the 11 point plan was turned up. It serves an important compromising purpose just by hanging over everything. One move by the SNP towards independence and it falls.

      As long as this situation remains, the SNP are one half decent BBC news article away from decimation. The whole shooting match is compromised beyond belief. And that, above all else, is why I haven’t even read the 11 point plan or Wings’ analysis of it. What’s the point?

      I wish it were otherwise.

    30. Jackie Ballie’s posted on Twitter just now

      “I have written to the Crown Office today to ask them to investigate whether Peter Murrell made a false statement under oath to the Committee under section 44 (1) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995”

    31. Johnny says:

      A thing that doesn’t seem to be acknowledging regarding blinking is that it’s the SNP who’ve blinked time and again when the question of a referendum has been raised with Westminster since 2017.

      Given it’s the same people at the top, what should we expect but more blinking from *our* side and I’m sure Boris and pals will be confident that they’ll stay true to form.

    32. Liz says:

      Margaret Tees says:
      25 January, 2021 at 10:53 am
      Is there any chance of a referendum taking place alongside the election? (Two ballot papers)

      There are already two ballot papers for the May election – constituency and list. Think too many will complain that having 3 will simply confuse folk. End game is SNP are totally unprepared for an indy ref and under NS I don’t see that changing any time soon.

    33. Mac says:

      The rolling plebiscite election is good idea for a number of reasons.

      It means we take away all this once in a generation rubbish, every election becomes a referendum, a poll on independence.

      Indref2 is putting all our political eggs in one basket. If we ‘lose’ it we really are screwed for a generation.

      A rolling plebiscite election is putting our eggs in every basket. It never stops nor cannot it be stopped.

      Winner-take-all-referendums are far too tempting and far too easily nobbled. ‘They’ cheat once, get away with it, and we are screwed with no way out.

      A rolling plebiscite can be cheated sure as well, but then they have to cheat every election at every level from now to the end of time to maintain it. That is a lot harder than nobbling one winner takes all referendum. Plus again it just continues to the next election…

      It will refocuses the party back to is raison d’etre. It ideologically strips away all the hangers on and folk hijacking the party to make it a vehicle for their own personal politics, genderwoowoo or whatever. There is only one goal and everything else is subservient to its attainment.

      I really like the idea and it presents a path forward rather than being stuck in a deliberate dead end of Nicola’s creation.

    34. So… why should I vote SNP when they’re all rhetoric and with “Neither planning, policy nor even funding” in place.

      I don’t care for being lied to.

    35. tartanfever says:

      ‘it’s still going to be the biggest jamboree that Scotland’s ever hosted’

      followed by :

      ‘Outside assistance will be required for Police Scotland. Military and security services will be mobilized and involved. Leave for officers and staff will be severely curtailed or cancelled entirely, for a period well before the start, as securing premises will be essential given who’ll be coming and the threat that exists’

      My take, it’s going to be a riot. With the inaction over Global emissions, the failure of implementations of the Paris Accord to actually achieve anything. This has been planned and implemented by Westminster. It is a disaster in the making.

      Why Sturgeon jumped on this bandwagon I will never understand.

    36. I attended National Assembly

      I was on one of the “conversations” on the plebiscite with the sneering, arrogant Wishart.

      No real excuse from Michael Russell – for whom I have lost much respect – for why the “11 point plan” was published.

      There was huge pushback from the membership.
      Joanna Cherry said she thought we weren’t ready for a plebiscite at HR2021 but wouldn’t rule it out.

      I also saw a lot of the payroll Mennie/Spear etc. rocking up – gradualist all.

      I am disenchanted; I’m a commited party member. I think I understand why both votes SNP now. We’re going to lose a lot of first votes, who just won’t rock up to vote.

    37. Sarah says:

      @ Rev:

      You are right that the leader has to stand down voluntarily – I don’t know of any other mechanism – but I would have thought a threat of any resignations at this juncture would be a huge blow to the leadership prestige as well as pushing the party well below majority.

      The threat by some people would work on others in the party – seeing writing on the wall is a great stimulus, I believe, to recognising the “moral” necessity for action.

    38. Andy Ellis says:

      @Dundeedancer

      #indyref2 in 2022? We should be so lucky. Read the unionist room. There is zero prospect of ANY British nationalist giving consent to a second referendum on the same terms as #indyref1. We’ve seen the Standard piece from Osborne and the new 5 point plan from the Tories, backed up by the willing participation of etiolated Scots like Brown. When they do eventually graciously “allow” us to vote, it will be on their terms: they’ll dictate the timing, the question and who gets to vote. Expect under 18’s to be excluded and Scots in the diaspora in the rest of the UK to be enfranchised.

      “Real” nationalists who want to see progress before 2055 have only 2 options:

      1) Engineer plebiscitary elections for HR2021. Sadly it’s probably already too late for that. If the SG and movement had been planning this over the past few years & getting support for it we might have had a real chance. As things stand the games a bogie with only a few months left, and the political cowardice of the gradualists in the SNP leadership blocking the plebiscitary route.

      2) Accept that we have 5 years until the next election to either cleanse the SNP, or establish a “real” Independence Party. After recent events I have less and less faith the SNP can be saved, or would be worth supporting or joining even if Sturgeon and her cabal are terminated with extreme prejudice in a political sense.

      If anyone can point me to a different route, I’m all ears…..

    39. Cuilean says:

      Heartening to see the National run an article today on who might replace the current FM.

      Did I just hear another faint sound of cracking in a concrete dam, which, when it bursts, will sweep the Murrells away?

    40. Bob says:

      I take it, from this, another welcome and inciteful article by a single SNP MP, that all other SNP MP’s and MSP’s feel protected behind Nicola Sturgeon as party leader/First Minister and that Nicola Sturgeon feels protected in her position.

      Who would have thought the SNP would act to end any aspiration for Independence both within the party and against the majority wishes of the Scottish people, while we all stand by and let it happen.

      Every member of the SNP who sits on their hands during this crisis of confidence are complicit, tainted by their own inaction.

    41. Lorna Campbell says:

      Calum: that is my thinking, too. She could go out like a comet or a shooting star, or she could go out as a failed politician, but she will go out, whatever. We simply cannot afford the pseudo ‘woke’type managerial politics a moment longer than necessary.

      I am not saying that things like climate change are not important; they are crucial to our future. However, making yourself look and feel good in front of the world’s cameras is useless. They actually need to put in place the policies which must be implemented if we are to turn things around. Indeed, it might already be too late and we will end up trying to mitigate the worst aspects of climate change, throwing buckets of money at it, much more than would have been necessary to just spend what we needed to in the beginning to alleviate the side-effects. We will also need to take the poorer countries of the world into account, too, because they are going to suffer the worst of it. Will we, though? I doubt it. Much easier to introduce loathsome policies that will take away the rights of half the population and allow our children to be brainwashed by malevolent science-deniers.

      I am just so fed up up of gesture politics, of people trying to make themselves feel better by appearing to do something when they are actually doing zilch apart from getting some publicity. Pure narcissism. Same goes for independence. They need to make the election a plebiscitary one. If they don’ put that in the Manifesto, then it will be the very last time I ever vote for them, and they will not get my constituency vote. It seems that it is perfectly feasible to take away women’s and children’s rights and put policies in place that the vast majority of people loathe, but putti independence front and centre is beyond their capabilities. If that’s the case, the whole kit and caboodle should just go.

    42. Cuilean says:

      If the SNP voters who despise Sturgeon & Murrell’s takeover of the SNP (where’s the ring fenced funds, Mr Murrell) don’t show, in May, the SNP will lose and Sturgeon will have to resign then. Maybe that’s the way we win back our party (and our country) from this bloated, entitled cancerous growth of a cabal, feeding off our dreams?

    43. Breeks says:


      Jeannie McCrimmon says:
      25 January, 2021 at 11:53 am

      Jackie Ballie’s posted on Twitter just now

      “I have written to the Crown Office today…”

      Aye Jeannie, but that’ll be the same Crown Office which looks like it, and the Lord Advocate running it, are up to their necks in this muck.

      It’s the Crown Office, COPFS which is trying so very hard to prosecute Craig Murray and threaten Alex Salmond with prosecution if he makes certain evidence available to the Inquiry.

      It wouldn’t surprise me IF the COPFS replies to Jackie Baillie’s request, but if they do, they will probably threaten her with prosecution if she seeks to make reference to the reply she gets.

      That said of course, with Jackie Baillie being a Unionist, who knows, maybe she’ll get a free pass from vexatious prosecution.

    44. ScottieDog says:

      Could a pandemic delayed election be an aid to getting our ducks in a row.?
      A September ballot on independence also has some symmetry. Obviously hypothetical given current leadership, but things can change.

    45. Captain Yossarian says:

      2 things –

      1. It would have helped had Joanna Cherry put her name to this too.

      2. Elephants don’t wear 4-inch heels and lipstick but the elephant in the room needs to be removed, or else nothing works.

    46. Muscleguy says:

      No extra ballot papers are required for a plebiscite election. You just declare that the List Vote will be a plebiscite vote with Parties declaring for Yes or No or maybe indifferent (FibDems have to accommodated somehow). Much like the ISP have already pledged to do so. We are a very Yes party. We’re daring the SNP and SGP to do likewise. If they don’t we will tar them as not being true Yessers.

      Then it will become ‘Are you Yes? then vote for the only Yes party the Independence for Scotland Party’.

    47. Effijy says:

      I’m of a mind it would be ideal to have Indy ref 2 at that time when
      The 77th, MI5 and 6 along with corrupt unionist police commanders
      have less time to control the internet’s fake news and create false
      ballot boxes.

      The worlds news services would get to see our Independence desires on the streets.
      An AUOB March thru Glasgow at that time would be glorious, virus permitting.

    48. Alan D says:

      Sounds more like the COP26 is becoming an excellent target for an independence-related protest. If Boris Johnson does not want this big fancy global event overshadowed by the campaign for independence, too bad.

      We’re coming anyway.

    49. tartanfever @ 12:01 pm

      Why Sturgeon jumped on this bandwagon I will never understand.

      Seriously? Just think of the number of cameras that’ll be pointed at her.

    50. NellG says:

      I am in favour of a plebiscite but I just can’t see the SNP being brave enough to go for it, with or without Sturgeon at the helm. I predict they will win the election comfortably but without a majority due to the woke infestation and hate crimes nonsense so we can put indy on the backburner until at least 2026. Once these bills are sneaked through under the radar coupled with the fallout from the Salmond smear they will lose support rapidly.

      Many people predict that the Unionist press and establishment have been keeping their powder dry and will throw everything at the SNP leading into the next election, I think this depends on Sturgeon’s position. If she can hold on they would be quite happy for her to remain in place and ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’. The worst outcome for them is a pro-indy leader leading the SNP and they are not going to find another Nicola who commands such popularity and is ready and willing to sell her soul to remain in power.

      Craig Murray’s worrying revelation the other day about the critical omissions from the inquiry evidence would back this up. They are all working together to stop this coming out in the open and threaten the Murrell’s position. It could be used closer to the election but could also just be a complete whitewash to benefit all Unionist Parties, of which I now include the SNP.

    51. Lothianlad says:

      Sturgeon is going to fuck the SNP up so much that people who had faith in the party drift away.

      Then the indy ref will be so damaged because she and her cabal gave CPR to the unionists.

      She must go!
      Do something practical SNP MP, and start a revolution from within!!

    52. Breastplate says:

      I think it’s unfair that some people here are having a go at Kenny for not doing enough.
      As others have noted, we should be grateful that he actually is putting his head above the parapet and I for one, am grateful.
      I also believe that Kenny should not resign from the SNP, he should continue his work in persuading his colleagues of the value of alternative strategies for independence. I would also like to believe than we can wrest control of the party from the gradualist procrastinators and back into the hands of people who are not “soft on independence.”

      Alas, I believe that we should also prepare ourselves for no progress on independence until the leadership is replaced by a hierarchy that truly seeks independence and I don’t see that happening before the HE.

      I think we should definitely support ISP or equivalent (although ISP seem to be in pole position at the moment) in the list vote.
      We may be voting for them in the constituency vote the following HE if we can’t point the SNP back to independence.

      @Hatuey
      “the sword of Salmocles” I like that.

    53. Breastplate says:

      Effigy,
      I’m pretty sure the SNP run council wouldn’t allow an independence demo of any sort and would quite happily see people jailed for it if they tried, after all, they do have form.

    54. M. Fitzpatrick says:

      Why should a referendum take 6mths? Other countries do it much faster

    55. steelewires says:

      I think that the urgency of independence is increased and the danger of a S 30 Order is made plain by the Boris/Brown plan to save the Union. The final point in their plan is: ‘if there is a referendum one day to control the timing and terms of the vote’.

      If the English Government of the UK has any involvement whatsoever, they will make it almost impossible for a YES vote to win.

    56. Livionian says:

      I respect Kenny’s integrity for speaking out, but he has been saying this same spiel for a while now and it’s clear that being a lone wolf MSP calling out the leadership is a bit of failed strategy in and of itself. This is unlikely but we need dissatisfied elected officials to stick their head over the parapet, leave the party and start a new group out with the SNP. I know that many on here would support them if they did.

      And this climate conference is beyond belief if it still takes place in its current form. The delicious irony of people jetting across the globe to talk about cutting emissions aside, I am absolutely dumbfounded yet again at the UK governments stupidity. They’ve been planned all week about not having strict enough border controls to stop the spread of the virus,but this still gets the OK? Mindboggling

    57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Why should a referendum take 6mths? Other countries do it much faster”

      Do they? Are you sure you’re not just ignorant of their full democratic processes?

    58. Willie says:

      Kenny MacAskill has just set out in unequivical simplicity why Surgeon’s big policy hurrah this weekend is pure pap.

      Tells you also why the National Assembly was a charade and why all chat was muted.

      Time we voted them out. New SNP and ISP required. Let’s make Sturgeon and her gang history.

    59. Daisy Walker says:

      In ordr to have a clear out of the SNP at HE, we need to ID the good guys from the bad, and then Specifically target the bad ones on both list and constituency vote.

      There is an argument that if the SNP don’t get enough votes for a majority (which on both votes snp, means constituency vote), it will dictate the story, and the narrative will be that Scotland no longer wants Indy.

      But, while they might try that, if ISP comes along, gets a defacto vote for Indy, and a significant number of list sets…. that would become the story.

      Now let’s think tactically for a moment, from the Britnat point of view.

      They need NS in place, she’s blocking Indy, splitting the movement, robbing it of any momentum, and promoting corruption and unelectable people and policies at every turn.

      However, they don’t really want the snp to get a clear majority.

      That means they have to wound her, but not ‘kill’ her (metaphorically speaking).

      Not so easy to do.

      Perhaps easier to find a reason not to have a May election. Then with COP26, that means autumn is no go, no one wants a winter election, so May 2022 it is. 1 year and 5 months for them to asset strip Scotland and for folk to adjust to brexshit.

      Sadly, there are a significant chunk of Indy supporters, that would be so damned chuffed to see St Nicola on the world stage, getting to do the opening and closing speech for example (and wouldn’t boris handlers be relieved), that any critical thinking would be lost, as long as she put her tartan shoes on, that’d do it for them.

      She could move in to pastures new, on the world stage, having scuppered Scotland’s chances for the next 20 odd years, if not longer.

      Just some thoughts.

    60. DundeeDancer says:

      @Andy Ellis: 2) Accept that we have 5 years until the next election to either cleanse the SNP.

      Andy, the SNP this weekend changed tack, we are now sailing towards Indyref2 in the first half of the next parliament no matter what Westminster says we are going for it.

    61. Alf Baird says:

      NellG @ 12:39 pm

      “I am in favour of a plebiscite but I just can’t see the SNP being brave enough to go for it, with or without Sturgeon at the helm”

      The Scottish people don’t need to wait on the pampered bourgeois careerist SNP hierarchy. Other indy parties can and would declare May’s election as being a plebiscite on independence in their manifesto, e.g. Solidarity who said this yesterday:

      “Over half the population of Scotland now wants the forthcoming Scottish Parliament elections to be a plebiscite for independence. If the SNP hierarchy is serious about independence, they can simply recognise that, include it in their Election Manifesto, and if a majority vote for Independence supporting Parties, then independence can be declared and an application to the UN can be made for international recognition. It’s that simple”! “Anything less is not good enough”!

      Any serious supporter of independence must surely vote for a party that is fighting May’s election as a plebiscite on independence if that is on offer.

      Lets make independence happen in May! Why wait? Scotland could be sitting at COP21 as a real host State, rather than pushed into an ante-room by UK/England! And at the Euros tae!

    62. Daisy Walker says:

      Incidentally, re cop26.

      Boris will be happy to let Nicola publicly host this. When it’s held, it will be almost 2 years of lock down.

      The public, are quite rightly going to say, what a stupid thing to hold, at a time when everyone else is being told ‘stay home, save lives’. The really switched on ones are going to say, wait a minute, I thought we couldn’t do Indy because of COVID, but this big shindig comes along, that gets you full, centre, stage 1, and that’s ok is it? I smell shite.

    63. DundeeDancer says:

      Need to trust the SNP or get on and sign https://digitalcovenant.co.uk/

    64. M. Fitzpatrick says:

      “Do they? Are you sure you’re not just ignorant of their full democratic processes?”

      No, fairly familiar with both Switzerland and Ireland. For instance, the last one in Ireland passed all legislative stages in April 2019 and was voted on in May. The one before that was passed through the parliament in September and voted on in October 2018
      Switzerland has several per year, again usually within 6w of final approval.
      Of course there is lots of debate prior. But in Scotland, also, there is lots of debate on independence. So, I stand to ask why?

    65. Colin Dawson says:

      As I suspected, the National Assembly was a charade. Just like the National Conference at the end of November, it was a stage managed event designed to suppress ideas and policy suggestion from grass roots members and instead provide a platform from which the inner circle could preach.

      The SNP is not a democratic party run by the members for the members. It is an autocracy, just like virtually every other political party in the UK. The only way to fix this, in my opinion, is to overthrow the inner circle that currently controls the SNP and change the constitution. That could take years. We need independence more urgently than this. What other mechanisms are available?

      I’m running out of reasons to remain a member. Other routes to achieving our independence are possible and, in my opinion, look more likely to succeed. I’m hoping that some very prominent SNP figures, including those MPs that the NEC prevented from standing for Holyrood, will resign from the party, perform a reverse takeover of one of the new indy parties and turn the regional list vote for Holyrood into a plebiscite on independence.

    66. Hugh Jarse says:

      “Trust the SNP…”
      That boat hasn’t just sailed, it’s over the horizon DD !

    67. Andy Ellis says:

      @Dundeedancer

      Not unless you have unequivocally demonstrated that Holyrood has the legal authority to hold referendums without Westminster’s “permission. If the courts say not, then the international community simply won’t accept the result. Nicola and the Sturgeonista loyal were dead set against “wildcat” referendums until a few days ago: now miraculously they’re fine with them? Sorry, that just won’t wash. If the courts give a non definitive answer to Martin Keatings case, it could take years to sort out. We all know the gradualists don’t have the balls to call a non-sanctioned referendum and then date the britnats to take them to court.

      Only plebiscitary elections provide a solution. The question is why the SNP is so dead set against them? They are certainly far more likely to be accepted by the international community than a referendum Westminster refuses to sanction or recognise the outcome of.

      The answer is hard to discern: the SNP lacks the political balls.

    68. Stuart MacKay says:

      A plebiscite this May is the only realistic chance this year. The time left is the only time there is. So, best not delay.

      There’s a non-zero chance that COP26 will get cancelled. Tens of thousands of people flying in from everywhere on the planet. What could possibly go wrong? If it does get cancelled, because the entire planet has not been vaccinated yet, that will be the justification why a referendum or delayed election cannot take place.

      May 2021 or 2026 and beyond? Pick one.

    69. Colin Dawson says:

      Btw, if enough SNP MPs do as I suggest, they could displace the LibDems as the fourth biggest party at Westminster. It would be hilarious to see the outrage of British nationalists to this.

    70. tartanfever says:

      @ Dave Beveridge

      Seriously? Just think of the number of cameras that’ll be pointed at her.

      Very true, I forgot the narcissism. A more risk averse, or careful politician may have had some reservations.

    71. TruthForDummies says:

      @M Fitzpatrick

      Because the electoral commission ask for six months notice to organise an indyref, as they have to register the participants, they also have to test the question which is 12 weeks and they haven’t started yet.

      We cannot by pass the E.C and get democratic legitimacy

    72. Davie Oga says:

      Re: Baillie’s tweet has the “loyal” attacking her and demanding her removal from the committee. Par for the course. Threatening a woman for attempting to do her job properly. Very SNP these days.

      I’ve woken in a conciliatory mindset this morning. As a gesture of goodwill, I’ve decided to buy The FM a present.

      Compliments,

      I am writing to enquire about your “fire proof pants” that last a hundred years.

      https://materialdistrict.com/article/fireproof-pants-100-years/fireproof-pants-100-years-materildistrict-3/

      Do you make these for women?

      Is your 100 year guarantee genuine?

      I would like to by them as a gift and the person requires something with a bit of style that can be worn in a formal setting. I believe that cullotes are quite trendy these days-the fact that they were originally designed to be worn by men would please her mightily. She intends to remain in her job for as long as possible and her pants are exposed to fire on a daily basis. Longevity is important.

      Do you give discounts for bulk orders?

      I may also be interested in purchasing a dozen of your jumpsuits in orange. A couple are for males, but for ease of manufacture, female styling is acceptable for all them. The males aren’t “men” in the classic sense of the word.

      ie Stand up, be a man, and do the right thing.

      Kind regards

      Davie

    73. Donald Raymond says:

      I don’t think the COP26 will be able to go ahead as a viable physical gathering this autumn. There may be an online substitute and a tiny token presence in Glasgow, or else it may be postponed again, or even abandoned altogether and move on to the next venue.

      I don’t think it’s viable to hold a referendum on independence this year either regardless of what happens with COP26. I would hope for 2022 as the best timing for a referendum, assuming significant progress with the virus by then.

      Under different leadership the May 2021 election could have been used to ask for a mandate for independence. But changing the mind of the leadership, or changing the leadership, in time to write independence into the manifesto seems far fetched.

      I don’t know what is the way forward.

      I do take encouragement from the progress to a United Ireland. Because, whatever our local difficulties with SNP leadership and Tory blockage, I can’t imagine a situation where Ireland votes for unity and at the same time Scotland is denied or rejects its own sovereignty.

    74. MaggieC says:

      An interesting tweet from Joanna Cherry ,

      “ Don’t often agree with the author of this article but he’s right that if any witness is found to have lied on oath to the Holyrood Inquiry it would be a very serious matter indeed. Probity in public life transcends party politics “

      https://twitter.com/joannaccherry/status/1353661952795561984?s=20

      And it’s about this article in the Scotsman from Brian Wilson re the Harassment and Complaints Committee ,

      “ Why any witnesses who lie to MSPs’ inquiry should be worried “

      “ By common consent, the Holyrood committee investigating the doomed defence of an action raised by Alex Salmond has gone beyond the stage of farce. “

      https://archive.vn/cJwBd

      I know it’s from Brian Wilson but as Joanna Cherry said we don’t always agree with him but this hopefully has serious consequences for the witnesses that have lied or had to change their evidence to the Committee .

    75. McDuff says:

      I cancelled my membership last year as the SNP is no longer the party of independence.
      Supporters of independence are treated with disdain and their views ignored, so the only way i can influece events is by using my vote over which the SNP has no control.
      So like many others I shall not vote on the constituency and shall vote ISP on the list.

    76. M. Fitzpatrick says:

      “Because the electoral commission ask for six months notice to organise an indyref, as they have to register the participants, they also have to test the question which is 12 weeks and they haven’t started yet.”
      Thats interesting! Thanks.

    77. Mia says:

      Rev, any chance that you could write an article on present alternatives to the SNP in the constituency vote for those of us who can no longer stomach the level of corruption of the SNP’s leadership and their contempt for their voters and blatant quashing of democratic processes?

      I have a lot of respect for Mr MacKaskill, Joanna Cherry and Angus MacNeill and I wish one of them and not this corrupt Westminster puppet was leader of the SNP, but they are not. We are stuck with this fraud of a leader and if the inquiry was ever going to grew some teeth, which in view of the way they are bypassing crucial evidence like Aberdein’s is very, very unlikely, we would get Robertson, which frankly, after the way Ms Cherry was blocked so he could have a free ride to the seat, is no better.

      The idea the SNP in its present composition and under the control of parachuted reverse gradualists like Robertson or Smith will ever allow a plebiscite or rock the boat for a referendum is naive.

      The SNP has wasted enough of our time, powers, money and hopes. It is time to stop looking back at what the SnP could have been and time to stop cutting them slack. It is time to start looking forward, but elsewhere this time. This is our future, our election, our choice. With the 11 points of deception, the SNP blew their chance so hell mend them.

      We have just three months left before this embarrassing, corrupt narcissist masquerading as leader quashes our hopes for independence and democracy for the sake of catching a glimpse of the limelight in that event in Glasgow and be seen with the world leaders to feel important.

      Please could you, at some point, do a review of what alternatives are there for us in the constituency and which one of those, if any, is prepared to run on a plebiscitary manifesto.

      I have been wondering about Scotia Future, but I would like your opinion on it. I much rather vote for a party than spoiling my vote. I think voting for a party sends an extra message:

      nobody is irreplaceable and the SNP is no exception.

    78. Big Jock says:

      So yet again events outside the SG control cancel Scotland’s democracy. There is a growing list –

      Too soon after first referendum – 2015
      Shape of Brexit not known -2016- 2020
      Now is not the time – 2017
      Covid Pandemic -2020 >…..
      Impact of Brexit 2021>…..
      Economic impact of Covid 19 >>>>2026
      Cop 26 Nov 2021

      Does anyone see a pattern. Conclusion being that Scotland’s democracy plays second fiddle to everything else in the world.

      Mike Russell when questioned this morning about the date for the next referendum: ” As soon as it can happen”. Fuck right off Mike!

    79. Effijy says:

      It’s England’s electoral system and we already had the question tested.

    80. dan macaulay says:

      Just read BarrheadBoy’s latest blog on why he’s voting SNP1 & ISP2 .

      I agree with him and also intend to vote SNP1 & ISP2 .

      But a very interesting point he makes is that a

      ‘2/3rds majority at Holyrood … would allow us to call a Plebiscite Election any time we like. ‘

      So, even more reason to vote SNP1 & ISP2 .

    81. Polly says:

      Just a pity you were wrong Kenny about the members being able to change the course of events yesterday. Now all that happens instead of real member involvement in decisions is fatwas from on high, without even consultation with MPs or MSPs beforehand.

      So we’re stuck it seems. What is your advice now? I’m hoping you and Alex and others have something up your sleeve. If not, we’re all dead ducks.

    82. Mia says:

      “‘2/3rds majority at Holyrood … would allow us to call a Plebiscite Election any time we like”

      And when would the earliest one be? 2023?
      Why do we have to wait another 2 years when we can have it right now in 3 months’ time?

      Besides you are assuming that the SNP MSPs are going to agree to one. Judging for what we are seeing, I think that is very unlikely. Look at their 11 points of deception. They do not even commit themselves to hold indyref if the SNP does not win, independently of how many pro-indy seats are in Holyrood.
      They are using those 11 points of deception to fool us, to secure our votes and win the election, not to ensure they deliver independence.

    83. Strathy says:

      Another excellent article about the Inquiry.

      ‘The Committee members appear to have worked extremely hard at carrying out their task. But without counsel to their inquiry, indeed not even a legal assessor assisting them, they have no chance of digging to the bottom of this murky affair.’

      https://www.scottishlegal.com/article/alistair-bonnington-salmond-inquiry-reflects-poorly-on-scotland-s-democratic-traditions

      Also, questions the Lord Advocate’s grounds for blocking vital evidence.

    84. wee monkey says:

      Vaccination appointments for people aged 70-79 are being delivered from Monday – The aim is to have this group receive their first dose by mid-February.

      On Sunday morning, the Scottish government said some letters would be sent out in blue envelopes and given Royal Mail priority.

      >But in a statement published later it said the envelopes were not yet ready.<

      And you're expecting people to vote for the SNP?

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-55781951

    85. Lorna Campbell says:

      Kenny: I know it’s a big ask, but there are others like you and Joanna Cherry and Angus Brendan, Chris, etc. who really need to be fighting from the inside. Okay, not trying to be a smart**e, but the elected representatives should, perhaps, not be toeing the party line but staging a revolt from the inside? We, out here, would support it. The party and the country are careering towards oblivion now, and the party will not be forgiven for taking a different tramline from the rest of us.

      Is there no way you all can get through to Nicola Sturgeon that what she is doing is not acceptable to many of us, yet she expects us to keep on voting for her leadership? Her confidence in the face of such dissension is frightening, but it is entirely consistent with the way that the whole Alex Salmond debacle has been handled and the way in which the pseudo ‘woke’ agenda has been handled in the teeth of women’s objections. I really do find it so authoritarian that it scares me. What we have not taken into account when we sent the pseudo ‘wokists’ of th NEC running for cover is that the civil service (at least some of them) are part of this coterie, as are some of the unelected SNP officials. The rotten apples are still there and still driving the party’s policies – which are anathema to independence, and inconsistent with the party’s core principles.

    86. Effijy says:

      Independence supporters have already been jailed,
      Threatened with jail, fined and persecuted.
      There will be more.
      It’s happened in many countries that didn’t want to be ruled and robbed by the Empire.
      If we want the independence that America, India and Ireland all have expect it.

      If a March was organised on the Dark Net where the money laundering goes
      there would be no organiser.
      If Covid free of restrictions meant that 100,000 citizens fancied taking their Saltire for a walk
      through town, would their human rights not permit it?

      The only thing they could put 100,000 in is the street.

    87. NellG says:

      Alf Baird@ 1:17

      You don’t have to convince me and I agree it has to happen, I just don’t think it will. The SNP have demonstrated time and time again they are not serious about Independence. Too many people are still enchanted by Nicola’s false promises including the majority of her party. Members of my own family still think she will deliver, educated people too. That’s what we’re up against.

      Nicola’s reign has been a disaster, her legacy I suspect will be even more damaging.

    88. DundeeDancer says:

      How come the Greens aren’t demanding a plebiscitary election if it is such a great idea then?

      A plebiscitary election might be the perfect opportunity for Westminster to say Holyrood has gone rouge, time to shut it down.

    89. Graf Midgehunter says:

      I think NS has possibly some long-term thinking behind all the dithering with Independence, Referendums and “Gold standards”.

      It’s certain to me, she sees the coming COP26 as the biggest chance of her career to move up from the leader of a provincial goverment to the top league of international players adorning the world stage of international organisations.

      If Boris and that other WM nobody doesn’t get in the way, she’ll be front-stage day-in, day-out presenting herself to the makers and shakers of the world.

      What an opportunity to grasp..! (Not forgetting hubby)

      All she has to do is get through the HR21 and keep the natives quiet for a bit longer to not rock the boat and then on to glory.

      Then it’s F.U. time.

    90. Clwyd Griffiths says:

      It will be 2022 when the vote goes ahead, Sept/Oct possibly. 8 years after the 1st one, and the context has changed completely since then. The one thing the pro-indy side need to hammer home again and again is Scotland will be fast tracked into re-joining the EU and once again will be inside the largest free trade economic block in the world with all its benefits.

    91. Peter A Bell says:

      At yesterday’s National Assembly I had a few things to say, as you may imagine. Mostly, it was ineffectual venting. I realised full well that nothing I said would make any difference. But there’s the therapeutic effect of having a wee rant to consider.

      To my surprise, however, one of the things I suggested was picked up on and is being taken further by a member of the NEC. I am not in favour of plebiscitary elections in general and firmly reject any notion that an election might decide the constitutional issue. However, seeing that the idea of a plebiscitary election was gaining a deal of traction and might actually come to something, I suggested that rather than it trying to decide the independence question it should be directed to the status of the Scottish Parliament.

      One of the advantages of this relates to the rock/hard place problem described in the article. Asserting the competence of the Scottish Parliament in all constitutional matters would be a massive step towards restoring Scotland’s full independence. It is something that can be done in 2021. Something that will satisfy – to an extent – those who recognise the urgency of Scotland’s predicament. And something that can be ‘banked’ until we are ready to use it.

      Asserting the permanence, power and primacy of the Scottish Parliament would be the closest thing possible to a declaration of independence without actually being UDI. A subsequent referendum authorised by the Scottish Parliament and therefore leg and constitutional, would simply confirm our de facto independence. Which would make it easier to win.

      And in the meantime we will have thrown down the gauntlet to the British state. We would have brought about the confrontation that is inevitable ensuring that it is on ground that is favourable to the fight to restore independence. We will be defending the Scottish parliament against attack. I fancy we would win that one hands-down.

    92. Nally Anders says:

      Lorna @2.10
      Like your thinking Lorna. While we’re about it (apart from pishart) what is the mood of our MP’s in Westminster?
      What’s it gonny take for any of them to speak up?
      It’s got to be a Plebiscite in May before the Tories shut us down.

    93. Mighty S says:

      Another piece from Kenny telling us we’re not getting independence, and for the next decade at least.
      Lovely.
      Do we just sit down and shut up then? A collective shrug, because everyone and I mean EVERYONE on our side keeps telling us we can only let history happen to us – we can’t change it in any way.

      May as well give up now folks.

    94. 100%Yes says:

      Sound like the Murrells house of cards will be coming to an end this week.

    95. MaggieC says:

      Re Harassment and Complaints Committee ,

      Just published on the Committee page ,

      MeetingDate: 4th Meeting, Tuesday 26 January 2021Location, By video conference ,

      The Committee will next meet on Tuesday 26 January at 9:00am when it will review the evidence heard on the inquiry in private. This meeting will be held virtually.

      Public papers for the Committee meeting ,

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/Meeting%20Papers/SGHHC-S5-21-4_A_Agenda.pdf

    96. Christian Schmidt says:

      I think it is worth pointing out that the SNP seems to have moved. Admittedly so far from ‘where’s plan B?’ to ‘I don’t think that plan B is going to work like that’, but it’s a start…

    97. Republicofscotland says:

      I totally agree, they’ll always be an excuse to push dissolving the union down the road from Sturgeon and her vile clique, so this May’s elections MUST be a plebiscitary one. I’m of the opinion if it isn’t, then we can forget the dissolving of this joke of a union for years to come.

      Also if we could see Sturgeon removed before May’s election, and replaced with a leader of resolve ( Angus B. MacNeil springs to mind) then there could be the possibility of May’s election actually being used as a plebiscite.

      How many more years or decades are we going to be suckered into believing that a referendum on dissolving this horrible union will occur, its time to make a stand this May.

    98. Bob Mack says:

      @Peter A Bell,

      I rather like that idea Peter. Would this be a sole issue on a manifesto ,or part of several ?

      Secondly. Nicola and husband?

    99. birnie says:

      Astonished @ 11.26

      Unreasonable to blame “the new NEC” for dragging its feet – “the good guys” are only about one third of the recently elected NEC, so the old guard are still firmly in the majority.

    100. Republicofscotland says:

      I know it was a GE and not a referendum, but the 2019 GE didn’t take six months from start to finish from what I recall, so why should a referendum.

    101. Andy Ellis says:

      I seldom find myself in agreement with Peter Bell, but even a broken clock is right twice a day, and given that even the SNP seems to altering course as frequently as a convoy being chased by a U-boat, his idea has merit. The issue is that – much like the plan for a plebiscitary election – we are running out of runway. I see even Joanna Cherry is temporising about making #HR2021 elections plebiscitary, saying she thinks there is too little time. It’s not as though they haven’t been warned.

      Assuming plebiscitary elections are indeed a gonner, and we will be constrained to wait until the next elections, I’d like to think the SNP can be persuaded (or forced?) to adopt Mr Bell’s suggestion in tandem with preparing for #HR2026 being plebiscitary, because every dog in the street knows #indyref2 is dead.

      Perhaps I’m a glass-half-empty kinda guy, but I don’t have a lot of confidence that the SNP can be prevailed upon to take a stance which asserts that a Holyrood mandate is going to be taken in future as authoritative in “matters constitutional”, and that such a mandate from the Scottish people will be seen as over-riding any purported veto from Westminster, or any attempt by British nationalists to control or impose conditions or limitations on the sovereignty of the Scots people.

      Let’s be honest: if the SNP had the balls to do that, they’d have had the balls to go for plebiscitary elections or to challenge the S30 legality issue in court instead of leaving it to Martin Keatings.

    102. Ross says:

      Looks to me like we’re quite clearly moving towards a next election referendum after giving the UK the opportunity to agree a vote.

      With the demographic the vote share shall hopefully be consistently at a level and given the international community plenty notice.

      Going for a vote unsanctioned by London BEFORE getting 50percent of votes would be folly.

      Strong Indy might require another few years of changing of the guard of civic Scotland but it’s clearly happening to anyone with their eyes open. That would be ten years since the old vote and the arguments will still be sound then. Hard work to continue to convince our people of the benefits. There’s no short cut. We’ll have a vote when the powers that be know a dam has burst.

    103. Lochside says:

      Peter Bell:

      ‘Asserting the permanence, power and primacy of the Scottish Parliament would be the closest thing possible to a declaration of independence without actually being UDI. A subsequent referendum authorised by the Scottish Parliament and therefore leg and constitutional, would simply confirm our de facto independence. Which would make it easier to win’.

      Why bother?…how about asserting our permanence. power and primacy as co signatories and founders of the U.K. Parliament and challenging our co-signatories face to face in that corrupt place..and when they are confronted in their own den with our decision to end the UK…our MPS return to Scotland and declare Scotland free based on a ratifying Referendum of Scottish residents only, with at least 10 X years residency?

      Apparently the SNP and most of the Indy movement have forgotten our Sovereignty lies in Westminster not toytown Holyrood. That is where we sever forever…wi nae fond kiss.

    104. A Person says:

      -Ross-

      Do you have any more vacuous platitudes in your cupboard that you would like to add?

    105. Mia says:

      “I’d like to think the SNP can be persuaded (or forced?) to adopt Mr Bell’s suggestion in tandem with preparing for #HR2026 being plebiscitary, because every dog in the street knows #indyref2 is dead”

      The idea of having to wait until 2026 for some kind of plebiscitary vote is something I find not just sickening but totally indigestible, inmoral and unacceptable at every possible level, starting with it being in my view a violation of the UN charter.

      To expect us to accept that we have to wait TEN fckng YEARS after we expressed our aim to self determine to have any hope under this disgrace the SNP has become of any kind of democracy is an step too far which I am not willing to take. This is in my view total capitulation on democracy and surrendering our right to self determination. I am not ready for that level of surrender nor to decrease my level of expectations because this useless, corrupt leader is only thinking in her career first.

      This fraud of a leader has already dispatched to Westminster our main powers, our main assets, our rights, has completely corrupted our democratic structures and has robbed us of precious time and opportunities. Are we now expected to hand over also our own will for independence? No, and one million times no is the answer.

      The idea that our mandate from 2016 has to be parked at one side, forgotten and somewhat our plebiscite on independence can be watered down and demoted to the completely worthless deception of attempting to establish the status of our parliament when the country next door can simply wipe the parliament off in a matter of seconds, is in my eyes yet more deception, yet more excuses to continue kicking the can down the road and hence unacceptable.

      Sorry, but it is time we start looking at the picture without insisting in giving the SNP a role in it. They were given a role in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. They chose to tear down the script and concoct an alternative one of their own without asking us. It is not us who have to mould to their script. If they want to retain their seats, it is them who have to take our script and go along with it.

      They have 3 months to deliver. Not one day more. Either 2021 Holyrood is a plebiscite election or as far as I am concerned, they have ceased forever to be a choice and should be discarded in the bin of Scotland’s political history just like labour was.

    106. Hugh Jarse says:

      Which MSP are you spadding for Ross?

      🙂

      2024!

    107. Robert Louis says:

      So there we have it, Kenny MacAskill, former justic secretary, sets out some hard fact.

      Their will be no independence referendum in 2021. FACT.

      So, unless the May election is turned into a vote on independence, we are under England’s Tory jackboot for at least the next two years. By that time, I doubt their will be a Scottish parliament left, given its slow removal of powers and authority by the English First Minister, Boris the clown.

      That will mean, despite the polls, Nicola Sturgeon will have wasted EIGHT years, doing zilch for independence. She needs booted out of the SNP ASAP. A cowardly, corrupt, feartie, waste of space.

      Sick of this. Really, really sick of it. Liars, the whole damn lot of them (with a few honourable exceptions such as Kenny Angus and Joanna). The SNP, the do-nothing party.

      As somebody sadi recently, something has to give. We are not going to sit back and wait another two f*cking years.

    108. Robert Louis says:

      Peter A bell at 225pm,

      An interesting idea. Given the Scottish government do not intend pursuing independence, it is at least a step in the right direction as you say.

      I personally disagree however the upcoming election, and think May should just be a vote on independence.

    109. Hugh Jarse says:

      Two more years probably equals a hundred thousand more selling up down south, and moving here.
      That’ll work out just great.

    110. shug says:

      Why on earth would the conservatives and the labour members of the Salmond committee not ask for Murrells messages????

      Now is the time for the unionists to strike surly

    111. susanXX says:

      How can I take the SNP seriously when they don’t even acknowledge basic biology? Independence is not coming under the current heap of white.

    112. Stuart MacKay says:

      Peter Bell

      So how does this relate to Martin Keatings court case? If he wins then we already have the power to call a referendum and if he loses then we can assert the primacy of the Scottish Parliament all we want we still don’t have a legal basis for holding a referendum.

    113. PhilM says:

      Any chance we could swap the principled lawyer for the corrupt one?
      Asking for a friend…

    114. Andy Ellis says:

      @Mia

      Many of us share your pain, but realistically what do you expect will happen between now and #HR2021? I’d love it if some political earthquake somehow delivered a renewed SNP which announces it will fight the election on an explicitly plebiscitary mandate, but it’s hardly looking likely is it? If we can’t even convince we’ll disposed folk like Joanna Cherry that the idea has legs, what prospect do we have of persuading enough folk to vote for pro-indy parties so we can go to the international community and realistically expect them to recognise the outcome?

      If we’d started this process in 2016 and had continual obstruction from Westminster, brexit, years of preparing the ground and demonstrating that britnats were unreasonable and not acting in good faith, THEN we would have had a chance of indy in 2021. As things stand, it’s just not going to happen.

      Those of us disillusioned with the SNP either have to trust the party membership to change it from within, or set up something to challenge its gradualism with a more fundamentalist pro-indy and pro sovereignty stance. That true work of years not months unless the SNP totally implodes or splits in the next few months, and/or some big hitters reinvigorate the ISP. Frankly, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that score. Even if Sturgeon is forced out, the NEC and party hierarchy is still stuffed with gradualists and the woke wahhabis. They aren’t going anywhere in a hurry.

      We need a clear mandate at an election if #indyref2 is dead.

    115. Hatuey says:

      This,

      “Asserting the competence of the Scottish Parliament in all constitutional matters would be a massive step towards restoring Scotland’s full independence. It is something that can be done in 2021. Something that will satisfy – to an extent – those who recognise the urgency of Scotland’s predicament. And something that can be ‘banked’ until we are ready to use it.”

      I’m afraid, is junk.

      Anyone that thinks asserting the “competence of the Scottish Parliament in all constitutional matters” would be any simpler or more straight forward than a plebiscitary election lacks coherence and understanding. For those people I provide this link; https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/46/section/12

    116. Graf Midgehunter says:

      birnie says: at 2:52 pm

      Astonished @ 11.26

      Unreasonable to blame “the new NEC” for dragging its feet – “the good guys” are only about one third of the recently elected NEC, so the old guard are still firmly in the majority.
      ————————

      It’s not how many there are but the noise that they can make.

      Be active and make your voice heard.

    117. Mia says:

      “what do you expect will happen between now and #HR2021?”

      1. Voters to become more firm and to stop cutting so much slack to the SNP. I expect more and more people realising we have been taken for fools.
      2. More and more voters refusing to hand their vote to the SNP unless the election is a plebiscite
      3. MSPs and MPs starting to see the writing on the wall. The SNP MPs have 2 years. If they do nothing, their seats are next for the chop
      4. Other parties starting to be paid more attention to for the constituency
      5. I see the SNP deservingly losing seats in the 2021 election if they continue with this farce.

      We have been capitulating to the wishes of this SNP from hell for 5 fckng years. We have bent backwards and forwards accommodating their gradualist crap and inaction. Well, I refuse to accommodate them any more.

      Either this Holyrood election is a plebiscite or they do not get my vote and I will happily start campaigning against them. My preference is to find an alternative party I can vote for, but if I have to spoil my constituency vote, so be it.

      5 years of being taken for fools is more than enough. If enough pigheaded people like me is around, the SNP has two choices:

      a) to eject this fraud of a leader from the driving seat and make that election a plebiscite
      b) to face oblivion.

      Their choice.

    118. Intractable Potsherd says:

      DundeeDancer says:
      25 January, 2021 at 1:23 pm
      Need to trust the SNP or get on and sign https://digitalcovenant.co.uk/

      I’m not handing over any personally identifying information to a random website with no Data Protection policy. Just stating “this is a legal document” isn’t sufficient justification for me to hand over stuff identity thieves would like to get hold of.

    119. Andy Ellis says:

      @Hatuey

      I think the at may be a tad unfair on Mr Bell. My take on what he’s proposing is that given we are probably already too late to convince the SNP/SG/broader indy movement that #HR2021 elections should be plebiscitary (which means we have even less chance of convincing the international community that they should go along with us changing horses from the referendum route to the plebiscitary elections route) we might as well do something else as we wait for events.

      It is still possible I suppose that political events will conspire to deliver #indyref2 before #HR2026 but a’ hae ma doots! It seems to me an entirely sensible course to ask for an explicit mandate from the Scottish people to the effect that in future our own parliament is supreme on matters of the constitution, including when and how often we hold referendums and under what terms. Accepting the force of the argument in your link essentially means accepting a permanent British nationalist veto on our self determination. Peter Bell’s proposal stops short of UDI, but makes it clear that the consent of the Scots people is not something that can simply be assumed or denied.

      We tell our parliament – and when it matters Westminster – they don’t tell us. That’s the whole point of Scots popular sovereignty. If we don’t believe in that basic principle, and that it is not subject to Westminster’s veto, we might as well all give up.

    120. wull says:

      Peter Bell’s idea sounds good to me. But it needs to be combined with Lochside’s reminder.

      The Scottish people don’t need a pro-Indy majority in Holyrood in May to acquire a sovereignty – of the Scottish people – which already exists. A sovereignty, that is, which was never undone by the Treaty or any of the Acts of Union.

      That part of the story – a simple affirmation of a constitutional fact regarding Scotland and what constitutes the Scottish nation – should be clearly stated as a fundamental principle. Any Party affirming that a vote for them will be understood as a vote for the Holyrood having control over the implementation of all constitutional matters relating to Scotland must affirm that basic principle in an unambiguous, unconditional and irreversible way.

      If this is not done, their manifesto will be open to being interpreted afterwards as a Westminster-like ‘confession’, which makes the Holyrood parliament sovereign in Scotland. This is one of the things which has been wrong with Nicola Sturgeon all along – and which has always made her a very ‘British’ rather than a Scottish politician, from the outset. She does not accept the fundamental Scottish constitutional doctrine of the sovereignty of the people, and never has done. That foundational principle goes all the way back, at the very least, to the 14th Century. During her ‘reign’ she has used every means to usurp it.

      Not that she really believes in the English doctrine of the sovereignty of (the Westminster) parliament – theoretically of ‘the Queen in parliament’ – either. The English themselves do believe in that, theoretically. But ultimately what they really believe, and what they want, is for their prime minister to be able to wield real power, without being too greatly (or, in their eyes, needlessly) fettered by the parliament. The popular and palpable frustration with the parliament not being able to act prior to the December 2019 election is one of the reasons why Boris Johnson gained such a big majority – even formerly anti-Brexit voters voted for him, so as to end the deadlock.

      In other words, what they really want is i) that parliament has the constitutional power (not the monarch, as such, though they still want to keep her in place, for symbolic purposes) and ii) that the Prime Minister is able to control the parliament, and dictate to it. Basically, under the symbolic monarch, what they want is an elected dictatorship (which can be overturned in a General Election, which will bring in the alternative dictator to the present one).

      That English / British model is the one that Nicola Sturgeon has imbibed, and it has been indelibly stamped somewhere inside her wee head for ever. She has always acted accordingly. She even goes further than the English, constitutionally speaking, in practical terms. It could be said that she believes in the ‘sovereignty of the Queen in parliament’ in a very special, and unique way. That is … so long as ‘the Queen’ referred to is none other than … her own wee self, Nicola Sturgeon.

      Nowhere was that more evident than in the GRA fiasco. ‘I think it’s OK, therefore it is OK’, she said. Drawing the conclusion, even simply presuming that therefore everyone – in her Party, and throughout Scotland – has to think it’s OK as well. And no discussion. If you think otherwise, we’ll set the Hate Crime Bill Enforcers on you.

      Come to think of it, maybe it’s not just English, constitutionally speaking, but all French influenced. From pre-Revolutionary France, that is. As that other mighty sovereign said: ‘L’Etat – c’est Moi!’ ‘The State – that’s ME’ (Louis XiV).

      Every pro-Indy Party has to state very clearly that in Scotland the people are sovereign. Although it long pre-dates the document usually given that title you could call this ‘the Scots confession’. Not in religious terms, but politically that is what the sovereignty of the people actually is. Time the SNP high heid yins learned some Scottish history …

    121. Harry mcaye says:

      Mia – It’s got to the stage where I am now considering, that’s just considering, voting 1. Labour and 2. ISP

      Hear me out. I live in Hamilton and I really want rid of Christina McKelvie. She is part of the woke faction, who would back me if one day I decided I quite fancied being a women, put on some make-up and a dress and demanded access to women’s spaces. Her son is well-in with Alyn Smith’s disturbing wee clique in Stirling. I feel there is enough anti-SNP sentiment in the area down to the actions of local MP Margaret Ferrier to give Labour a real chance come May.

      A vote for independence on the list would assuage any guilt. I would be holding my nose anyway by voting for the SNP, I’ll just be holding it even tighter were I to vote for Labour. And before anyone says I must be a unionist plant or whatever, I know what I have done to further the cause of Scottish Independence and I’m very comfortable with that knowledge.

      If the SNP were to make it a plebiscite of course then I will vote for independence and try not to think about McKelvie.

    122. Mac says:

      Yeah it is late but I don’t agree it is too late.

      The reason we are late here is because the SNP have been humming and ahhing and sitting on their hands right up until now.

      Has a manifesto for 2021 elections been published yet. If not it is not too late.

      Have they started campaigning for 2021 election yet. If not it is not too late.

      How long does it take to write what amounts to a one line manifesto. I think we have time don’t you.

      How long does it take to explain a one line manifesto. I think we’ll manage to squeeze it in.

      I say we do it in 2021 even if it is late.

      Because we should be doing it again at the next election and the one after that and so… Sooner we start the better.

      So let’s just get the fuck on with it.

      This endless procrastination, naval gazing and dithering has got to end.

      Shit or get off the pot.

    123. Colin Alexander says:

      No disrespect to Mr MacAskill but, when I saw it’s another article from him my heart sank.

      I anticipated: “woe is us” but, expected no action from Mr MacAskill or any other SNP MP or MSP.

      At least I got that right.

      Anyway, it was nice of him to write an article. It’s something to read to pass the time. Nothing more.

    124. Stuart MacKay says:

      Mia, Andy Ellis,

      > what do you expect will happen between now and #HR2021

      There’s a relatively simple answer to this: How many MPs or MSPs arrived under or very close to Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership?

      That will tell you the number of people who will do nothing either because they owe their place to the selection process currently in effect, or because they feel a sense of loyalty to the party as it stands today, etc., etc. Add to that the number that are leaving and what’s left over is potentially the core of any movement for change. Within that core how many are leaders and how many are rabble-rousers or agitators for change.

      I did a look at the parliament pages to see if I could get a number but got seized by laziness so I did not follow it through. My guess is that the number is not that high.

      Oh, throw in a culture of micro-managing and stage managing everything for the past few years and I’d be surprised if there were many with an appetite for insurrection.

    125. Mac says:

      Assuming we have neither a new leader come the election nor a plebiscite election then this would be my voting strategy.

      If I have one the (hen’s teeth) good guy/gal SNP MPs – vote for the SNP and then ISP on the list.

      If I do not have one of the good guy SNP MPs – don’t vote for the SNP and vote ISP on the list.

      If you have one of the ultra woke wank SNP MPs – vote for the candidate most likely to defeat the SNP irrespective of party and ISP on the list.

      Again this assumes no new leader and no plebiscite election.

    126. solarflare says:

      This is a good article and clear. I’m not going to take the line of asking Kenny MacAskill what he is going to do about it as an SNP MP.

      What I am going to ask though is the reciprocal – what Kenny’s recommendations, suggestions etc. are for us here.

      “There’ll always be an excuse to put everything off another year, and another and another. And if you fool me once, shame on you. But when you fool me twice, and three times and four times, shame on me.”

      So, don’t vote SNP, or vote SNP eyes wide open that they’re probably out to fool us again? Those would appear to be the options.

    127. Mia says:

      “I am now considering, that’s just considering, voting 1. Labour and 2. ISP”

      It is your decision. Not one I would take if you don’t want your vote to register as pro-union. Voting for labour would register as pro union no matter if in the constituency or the list. But you can only play with the cards you have been given. If there is no pro-indy alternative to the SNP in the constituency, you can no longer vote for the SNP and you don’t want to spoil your vote, you will have to start looking at the other options you have been left with.

    128. Stuart MacKay says:

      So what’s the most realistic scenario for May 2021 assuming not much changes? Large numbers staying at home? If so, at what point is an SNP administration at risk?

      If three months is not much time for change then it’s also a short time for the current hierarchy to scrape through, particularly based on what Craig Murray’s latest blog.

      So we end up with a minority SNP government based on low turnout. To my mind that’s the worst of all worlds.

    129. Iain Wee Brocher says:

      Stuart MacKay says:
      25 January, 2021 at 5:17 pm

      “So what’s the most realistic scenario for May 2021 assuming not much changes? Large numbers staying at home? If so, at what point is an SNP administration at risk?

      If three months is not much time for change then it’s also a short time for the current hierarchy to scrape through, particularly based on what Craig Murray’s latest blog.

      So we end up with a minority SNP government based on low turnout. To my mind that’s the worst of all worlds.”

      It could be much worse Stuart. It could be a murderous Yoon coalition based on a large Postal Vote.

    130. Effijy says:

      Please, you cannot vote Labour!
      How many times have the said the so called Scottish leader has autonomy
      only to find London said No to any ideas they have. I think it’s 5 times.

      How about Leonard saying they were the party of equality?
      That’s the party that spent £100’s of thousands and 10 years
      to Stop Glasgow City Female workers getting equal pay.

      They say they say they will do better for our NHS.
      In Wales, Labour have run their NHS for 21 years and
      It’s a disaster. We are too performers, 2nd Tory England, 3rd Labour Wales.
      Do you want a serious decline in your NHS?

      How about a few billion spent on Tony Blair’s illegal Iraq war.

      How about Labour stealing 6,000 square miles of our Maritime waters to gift England.

      Maybe the year it took Milliband to consider if the Tory Bedroom Tax that attacked the disabled.

      Maybe Clunker Brown lying about an independent Scotland not having the pensions that were ours
      under guarantee, or the lies about no NHS, No Blood Transfusion service or Transplant list?
      Every country has all of these but he says you are too pathetic to run anything.

      How about their Flipper Darling the proclaimed Trotskyist who made £1 million from tax payer paid second houses. This leader of the No campaign seems to have a Lordship now and earns £Hundred’s Thousands as a part time advisor to the banks.

      Labour has been incapable of holding the worst Tory government in my life time to account.

      Maybe you appreciate their no democracy for Scotland stance?

      Labour has done nothing for the average U.K. worker in 50 years
      Sir Kier is another Red Tory from a life of privilege.

      Never vote for a London Party and Government as long as you live.

    131. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      Demonstrate or insult outside the conference. Perfect opportunity for worldwide media coverage.

    132. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      Jesus! Fucking autotext! DEMONSTRATE FOR INDY outside the conference! Where the hell does ‘insult’come from?!

    133. kapelmeister says:

      WRYC

      I agree that it’s an opportunity to gain world media attention about indy. Although there won’t be any demos directly outside the conference. As with past climate conferences, the public won’t be permitted to be within a mile of it.

    134. Daisy Walker says:

      Re the DeHonte voting system. I understand that the bigger your constituency vote, the less list seats you get, but does anyone know if the list vote suffers from a large vote turn out.

      Say for sake of argument that ISP stand only on the list (as they’ve indicat3d is their policy), if they then take a whopping majority vote share all over, does that translate into seats, or is the n inbuilt penalty like with the constituency vote.

      Also, I understand that a large vote 1 for snp, means their vote on the list gets automatically greatly reduced, but what happens if your new party is only standing on the list vote, does it, become in effect a first past the post type senario for them?

    135. Famous15 says:

      The Press and Journal just fed Hancock an Independence bashing question at the Downing Street briefing and was rewarded by Unionist propaganda for a lengthy period. Non political ,aye right!

      Here we continue farting our wisdom.

      Focus on independence folks.

    136. Stuart MacKay says:

      WhoRattledYourCage

      That’s about as likely as Nicola resigning by Friday. With Extinction Rebellion likely to be in town there’s no chance of anybody being let near the conference. The media won’t be much interested either – that would mean writing new stuff instead of dusting off the stories they wrote for the Paris conference.

    137. Dan says:

      @ Peter A Bell at 2:25 pm

      That sounds similar to what Jim Fairlie (now selected as an SNP constituency candidate for Holyrood) was articulating in his three articles in The Notional last year.
      Here’s a link to one of them.

      https://twitter.com/ScotNational/status/1288028167597256707

    138. Steve davison says:

      Everyone debating voting tactics of which the upshot is there is no viable SNP alternative unless ISP candidates emerge in numbers to contest .This is the first time that I can think of where people are thinking of voting on the candidates personnel attributes as opposed to just which party they represent ,something that everyone should do in every election but sadly rarely do .The main lesson that you can gleam from the debates above is the lack of any serious indie opposition has facilitated the situation the SNP has got itself into complacency breeding contempt .Without checks or any threats to them they acted as if they were untouchable

    139. Dan says:

      @ Daisy

      BDtt has put some work in over in Quarantine regarding figures that may interest you.

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/quarantine/comment-page-3/#comment-2549419

    140. Terry says:

      @Silver Darling

      Call Kaye radio shortbread at 30 minutes in – that’s Alan Sutherland of Better Together and Scotland in Union fame. So he was speaking rubbish that he might have voted Yes in 2014 if “things were in place” – he’s dyed in the wool unionist – always in the Press and Journal letters section too.

      It was funny hearing him going on about Wings criticism of the 11 point plan. Clearly he’s a reader – yoo hoo, Alan! She let him talk though until he mentioned the word “scandal” and shut him up before he could go any further about the Murrells. BBC covering their backs…

    141. Hatuey says:

      Andy, my reasons for thinking that a plebiscitary election will not happen this year go way beyond the limited amount of time available. I’d say it’s an impossibility.

      Everyone is discussing this as if the Salmond scandal doesn’t exist, even Wings to an extent in recent posts. The carnage we are heading into is likely going to be of a scale that leaves the SNP as a party in complete disarray, possibly unable to function.

      And the fallout that we can expect from all that will almost certainly impact negatively, and I predict massively, on the notionally separate debate about independence. The MSM and unionists will make sure of that.

      Anyone that thinks the Salmond scandal could bring down Sturgeon and lead to a peaceful transition to a new leadership team, a referendum (plebiscitary or otherwise), and a happy ending, is certifiable. That’s a process that’s likely to take years.

      We are all between a rock and a hard place right now. In a matter of weeks if not days, we are going to smash into the hard place; and all of the parameters and premises that these discussions rely on are going to be pulverised.

      To give you an idea of my reasoning, simply consider this; if it was established that there was a conspiracy to frame Salmond and it involved all the various politicians, departments, and agencies frequently mentioned on this website and elsewhere, how many people would you need to fillet out and replace if you were sincere about cleaning the proverbial stables?

      It’s the end of the world.

    142. Mist001 says:

      Apart from on here, does anyone actually know who the ISP is, what their initials stand for, who runs it, anything at all?

      Your average person in the street has no idea about the ISP, so there’s absolutely no chance of them winning anything.

      Johanna Lamont seems to have been correct when she said that Scots aren’t genetically programmed to make political decisions because from where I’m standing, neither the SNP, ISP nor any other party is worth a fuck. The SNP continually lie and the electorate swallows it without question and the ISP exist only in peoples fantasies.

      there is NO party worth a vote in Scotland, NONE.

      it’s just one continuous charade after another.

    143. Kenny says:

      One is authored by me and the other by a well-known pro-independence blogger: can you guess which is mine and can you guess the pro-indy blogger?

      Version 1.
      ‘It’s all very predictable – every time the British establishment is worried about Scottish independence they wheel out Gordon Brown to try and muddy the waters with unconvincing promises of federalism. Here we are again – it’s Brownfog Day’

      Version 2.
      ‘It’s all very predictable – every time the SNP is worried about awkward questions they wheel out another poll, another hollow promise of an indyref, or a front page spread in the National to try and muddy the waters with unconvincing promises of an ‘imminent’ referendum. Here we are again – it’s Headline-junkie day’

    144. Col says:

      If you want ISP to do well on the list, you need to vote SNP on the constituency. By doing that you maximise the SNP constituency seats thus diminishing the value of any snp list votes and so making it easier for ISP list votes to win any seats. This logic applies if SNP are expected to do well in the constituency vote, but if that ain’t the case then it probably doesn’t matter who you vote for we will end up with a unionist coalition.

    145. shug says:

      I see Boris is coming north.

      Looks like the pols will be showing 60% + is they put him out front for everyone to see and hear.

      Listen up folks keep your fridge locked.

    146. Wee Chid says:

      shug says:
      25 January, 2021 at 6:16 pm
      “I see Boris is coming north.”

      A visit (during lockdown) cooked up between him and Sturgeon to make it look as if he’s really worried because the SNP really mean it this time? Really beginning to think we are being played by both sides.

    147. Liz says:

      @Harrymcaye I despise SLAB but have a great deal of sympathy for what you say.

      McKelvie is as woke as they come. She seems to be never away from Out for Indy mob who, I believe, have now voted straight Fiona Robertson as their convenor.

      She was the one responsible for changing the definition of woman to include anyone who says they are, including cross dressers, to be considered for positions on boards reserved for real women.

      She has cost the ordinary public money to support ForwomenScot, to take this to court in yet another judicial review. This review was contested by one of the equality groups which you might have guessed, receive a ton of money from the SG, ie, from us.
      So we paid both sides at that review.

      She is also the partner of the forever grey, bland Keith Brown.

      She is one I’d love to see the back of

    148. Hugh Jarse says:

      Jeremiah’s back!
      Hi misty.
      Gies a smile mate.
      😉

    149. Scott Shaw says:

      I’m sorry Kenny, but my membership went yesterday and my vote may go today. Are you suggesting we sit and allow these people to taint our newly reborn country? I don’t want Nicola Sturgeon deciding anything but whether she is going to come clean over trying to jail Alex Salmond or not. Our parliament will be gone before Nicola pulls the trigger so what are you suggesting? We need independence sooner not later and the current SNP leadership is showing itself to be a barrier.

    150. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      Well Stuart MacKay, thanks for your defeatist attitude. It was just an initial idea. Seems to me there’s plenty of scope for international media coverage, to the imaginative or creative.

    151. Hugh Jarse says:

      O/T ish. Rock and a hard place.

      Apparently the residents of Hong Kong are grateful for the offer of an escape, but are reluctant to move to what’s now colloquially known as “Plague Island”!

      Simply the best.

    152. twathater says:

      twathater says:

      25 January, 2021 at 5:27 pm

      I have said repeatedly on here and other blogs that IF Sturgeon REALLY wanted the votes of the wider electorate she would PARK the GRA and HCB till independence and THEN people would hold their noses and vote SNP to even stand a chance that she would go for indy

      BUT NO SHE WANTS TO CONTINUE WITH THE BLACKMAIL , VOTE SNP and get ALL the shite policies that Sturgeon wants , more corruption , more lies , more failed promises , more deviants in women’s spaces , more prosecutions against free speech , more teaching of pornography and anal sex to kiddies , more DRAG QUEENS , I have listened to people saying that we can always overturn these policies when we get independence , this amoral demented woman and her clique of woke lunatics DON’T LISTEN NOW how is that going to change in the future when WE give them EVEN MORE POWER

      VOTE FOR THEM I would prefer jailing the BASTARDS ,where has people’s self respect ,integrity , and protecting the MOST vulnerable children gone

      TO VOTE FOR THESE PEOPLE YOU WILL BE COMPLICIT IN THEIR DEVIANT DISGUSTING PLANS

    153. Mac says:

      I am pretty pessimistic about the current state of the SNP hence my belief we should call in electoral airstrike on our own position.

      The problems at the top of the SNP are mirrored by a huge collection of Sturgeonite MPs (and MSPs) selected over the last six years by the bent NEC. As above so below now in the SNP.

      Getting rid of Sturgeon and her entire nest of conspirators will be a huge step forward but we also need to tackle the swathe of Sturgeonite MPs she will leave in place.

      For any new leader of the SNP it will be a very similar situation to when Corbyn inherited the leadership of Labour. He was surrounded by backstabbing legacy Blairite MPs (and look how that ended).

      The way I see it we have been painted into a corner (quite deliberately) by Nicola and are now stymied for a good few years anyway. And even if by some miracle NS got indyref2 I would not want her anywhere near it. She’d only be granted it to lose it.

      So if we are screwed for the next few years anyway my view is we should use the time as productively as possible. Make the most of the bad situation.

      Obviously first we get rid of Nicola. That has to be done before all else.

      We then need to deselect and replace all the wokerati soft on independence Sturgeonites. We could do that internally but that is going to take an age.

      By far the fastest way is for us the voters to ‘deselect them’ directly at the ballot box in 2021 and then by next election have new candidates ready to go.

      I am keeping an open mind we will get some miracle but really I think we have to clear them out. It sounds bad but really it isn’t.

      1. Hurt them at the ballot box
      2. Precipitate a leadership challenge and get a new leader.
      3. Select new candidates to replace those cleared out by us the voters for next the election cycle.
      4. Vote SNP again with a party back on tracks and less the woke infestation.

      I can’t see any other way faster to tackle to leadership issue and the legacy Sturgeonite MPs.

      As said I think we are boned for the next few years anyway so we might as well use the time to get these problems dealt with.

    154. The Dissident says:

      Daisy,

      List seats one by one and are awarded based on the number of SEATS already allocated to each party and the percentage of the list vote they have obtained.

      Turnout has no bearing and when the next list seat is allocated, the system does not care whether the seats you already have are all constituency seats, all lists seats or a combination.

      Hope that answers your question.

    155. ahundredthidiot says:

      Not seen much mention of Bidens Day 1 Executive Order allowing arthur to compete as martha……and use their changing rooms.

      Womens sports will soon be over. We’re next.

      Can’t wait to see a fucking great dude with a beard in a mini-skirt win the Ladies at wimbledon.

    156. Daisy Walker says:

      Well done Briandoonthetoon.

      Just read your work over on quarantine re DeHonte.

      With no constituency seats wine, to dilute the list vote, a very large turn out for ISP on the list vote translates into seats.

      If they stand on a PEH mandate, a protest SNP vote, they provide a ballot box home to all the yes voters who stayed at home in 2016, due to a lacklustre snp policy campaign.

      For the wheesht for Indy I luv Nicola brigade, they can damned well hold their noses, and oust some unionist seat warmers on the list vote for a change. At the very least they can do their homework re crunching the numbers.

      There is no time for a Plebiscite election to win in May. But if it’s on the ballot paper, in the form of a mandate and a new party, it becomes a very real option for the public to vote for in the next ge, and hopefully a shot across the bows for the snp to grow a pair and sort their shit out.

      This will be particularly true if the list vote for it is enormous. For which I can see no DeHonte penalty on the list vote.

      If this gets the full yes backing, and over 50% of the electorate vote, that will be the news.

      As for the constituency vote, it remains first past the post. The chance to vote tactically on it, is straightforward.

      Folk should be aware, deputy fm, John swinney stands on the constituency and list vote, belt and braces so he won’t get sacked, no doubt Nicola is the same. And who on the list gets given the list seat is a party decision, so very difficult to oust them at the ballot box I’m afraid.

    157. TruthForDummies says:

      @Col

      It really doesn’t work like that there is no relationship between ISP list votes and SNP constituency seats. It just means that you might get an ISP MSP instead of an SNP MSP

      Example

      SNP 7 constituencies out of 9
      LibDems 1
      Labour 1

      SNP List vote 80k

      ISP 18k
      Labour 44k
      Con 30k
      LibDem 15k

      ISP 18K
      SNP vote divided by 8 so starts with 10k
      Labour divides by 2 so starts with 22k
      Con 30k
      LibDem divides by 2 so starts with 7.5k

      Seats
      1. Con vote now 15k
      2. Lab vote now 11k
      3. ISP vote now 9k
      4. Con vote now 7.5 k
      5. Lab vote now 5.5k
      6. SNP vote now 5k
      7. ISP vote now 4.5k

      So list is 2 Cons, 2 Labs, 2 ISP, 1 SNP

      Now let’s give the ISP votes to the SNP

      SNP 7 constituencies out of 9
      LibDems 1
      Labour 1

      SNP List vote 98k

      ISP 18k
      Labour 44k
      Con 30k
      LibDem 15k

      SNP vote divided by 8 so starts with 12.5k
      Labour divides by 2 so starts with 22k
      Con 30k
      LibDem divides by 2 so starts with 7.5k

      Seats
      1. Con vote now 15k
      2. Lab vote now 11k
      3. SNP vote now 6.25k
      4. Con vote now 7.5 k
      5. Lab vote now 5.5k
      6. Con vote now 3.75k
      7. LibDem vote now 3,75k

      So list is 3 Cons, 2 Labs, 1 LibDem, 1 SNP

      A net gain for the pro-indy parties of 2 seats

    158. Mac says:

      If no one votes SNP on the list does that not at least remove John Swinney’s braces Daisy?

    159. Mia says:

      “There is no time for a Plebiscite election to win in May”

      Why not? The ISP managed to put that in their manifesto. What exactly is stopping the SNP to do so apart from themselves?

      What is what we have here? A situation where the SNP leadership is compromised and the British state is holding over their heads evidence that they will release if they ever make a move towards independence? Is this what this paralysis is all about and why we feel we have been for the last 5 years in groundhog day? Is this why the evidence in the Salmond case is not being released?

      There is plenty of time for a plebiscite election. Including that mandate in your manifesto takes minutes. The only thing needed is the will to do so.

    160. Dan says:

      Seeing voting is being discussed.
      Here’s the 2016 Scottish Parliament Election info.

      The 2nd table in each region highlight the not so impressive worth of “quite a few” (100s of 1000s) 2nd votes cast for the SNP.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Scottish_Parliament_election

      Someone mentioned earlier that the “Both Votes SNP” mantra being pushed yet again is because they are shitting it that the vote share might drop to the point they may lose some tight run constituencies.
      Of course, none of this would be an issue if the Party hadn’t been so eager to push divisive policies the punters don’t want, and embroiled themselves in quite such a spectrum and depth of shit. 🙁

      #PoundshopWestminster

      @ Mac

      Only if enough folk in Mid-Scotland & Fife Region don’t vote SNP with their 2nd votes.

    161. Daisy Walker says:

      @ Mac, the snp choose who they give whatever list seats they win to. They allocate them out. So if their list seat numbers are reduced, they can still give them to whoever they please in the party.

      @ Mia, I stand corrected re ‘we can’t win a plebiscite’. Not trying to be negative, I just think realistically, for the general public it’s a big sell and not much time, in lock down to do it, particularly if the snp is not on board or driving it.

      But, it gets it damned well registered on the publics consciousness, at the most dangerous time in Scotland’s history, with the next big election after May, being the WM one. If we have that as the main game plan, we will not get downhearted if May doesn’t quite get us over the line.

      A question re list seats. If you don’t know how many you might win, how do you know how many candidates to stand, and how many electoral fees do you have to pay?

    162. Alf Baird says:

      Mia @ 7.09

      ” Including that mandate in your manifesto takes minutes. The only thing needed is the will to do so.”

      Correct. It now appears that ISP and Solidarity will both be using the May election as a plebiscite on independence. If folks want independence in May they can therefore vote for parties who will deliver independence. If they don’t want independence they can vote for a British party or the SNP.

    163. Hugh Jarse says:

      TfD
      Maybe it’s me, and I’m the dummy, but isn’t the proposal for SNP voters to give their list vote to the ISP?

      You haven’t done that!

      Please let me know if I am a tit, and missing something!

    164. Andy Ellis says:

      @Hatuey 6.02pm

      I agree plebiscitary elections are probably unlikely to happen now, which is why I’ve been saying for a while folk need to to start making plans for the next 5 years, and preparing to stand up a new party if/when it transpires the SNP simply isn’t for turning.

      There’s quite a febrile atmosphere right now. The next few months will be…..interesting. I’m still not convinced things will be as dramatic as you and others think, but who knows? I still reckon even if Sturgeon falls the SNP is going to emerge either with an outright majority, or close enough.

      The “non-SNP” broader movement hasn’t really gotten it together has it? The ISP has failed to reach escape velocity. Joanna Cherry and other show no signs of splitting and either setting up their own alternative, or joining (taking over?) the ISP. The “new” NEC membership in the SNP is still outnumbered by gradualists and the woko Haram entryists.

      Much as I hate to think of 5 more years of relative inaction, I fear that’s what we’ll get. The broader movement needs to somehow take on more of a leadership role. How it does that, and who leads it, I’m not sure. I’m increasingly of the opinion that the best thing to do is just stand up a new party: what is there to lose, given the SNP aren’t going to deliver anyway?

    165. Papko says:

      Just occurred to me, if you want to preserve the Union till 2026
      at least, then its both votes SNP.

      Our precious isle will never be wrenched asunder whilst Nicola is Queen of the North.

    166. rob says:

      Does any one know of any other countries that have gained independence through a Plebeiscite election.

    167. Dan says:

      A lot of tactics and voting stuff was discussed midway through last year whilst a certain cat made a return.
      Muchos discussion and ideas were punted aboot.

      One thing that is worthy of note is that 2nd votes cast for a Party are pooled, thus offering a better chance of that Party winning more list seats without wastage.
      There was talk of Martin Keatings standing as an independent candidate in Mid-Scotland & Fife, so if he and ISP stand in that region there is no way surplus votes for one can help the other.
      Meaning there could be a situation where the surplus votes over the threshold of winning a seat for one would actually be enough for the other to win a seat as well, but the votes cannot be transferred so significant risk of wasting Pro-Indy votes and missing out on another seat.
      That’s why it would be better for there to be one Pro-Indy Party standing on the list so the votes are pooled instead of split.
      That would also make for far easier campaigning as a single message is used through each region.

    168. A Person says:

      -Iain Wee Brocher-

      I think your prediction is correct, and that polling trends, under the bonnet, reflect this. SNP support is lower now than it was in the run up to 2016 when they lost their majority. Unionists will be motivated, many nationalists will be disillusioned, much of the “Nicola is doing a grand job in her press conferences” Yes supporters are soft, and the unionists are about to throw the kitchen sink at her- a sink she has pointed them towards with bells on.

      So voting ISP on the list is actually practical even if you did like the SNP.

    169. Andy Ellis says:

      @Mia & Alf Baird

      This is just the dialogue of despair. The only way #HR2021 elections will be plebiscitary is if the SNP says so. The only way that is feasible is if SNP members, apparatchiks and MSPs/MPs insist the party changes policy. It’s not impossible (pace the Damascene conversion over the weekend from Gold Standard S30 Referendum to wildcat referendum), but it’s not something most of us would bet the farm on.

      Having the ISP and SSP on side – and the Greens if they agreed – will achieve SFA.

      We have 3 months. It’s pointless saying “all that’s lacking is the political will”. Well…DUH! If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. I wish the folks trying to change the SNPs direction luck – they’re going to need it. If they do, great – we might manage to give Westminster an ultimatum: #indyref2 on the same terms as #indyref1, or this and every subsequent election will be plebiscitary.

      More likely however, they won’t.

      What do we do then?

    170. Liz g says:

      It might be worth exploring any leverage that event could hold for us…
      Contacting the dignitaries and asking for a meeting and such … The Irish, The French etc may very well agree and we’ve all heard murmurs that the Germans are supportive …. and if we don’t ask we won’t get …
      Even if we got no response they are all coming with news teams of their own too, Glasgow Yessers could be very hospitable to them and they’ll not be held back by all the security either …
      Jist sayin….

    171. bipod says:

      O/T

      Scotland is still falling massively behind on its vaccine programme. Scotland was only able to vaccinate 11,364 people yesterday in comparison to 198,592 people in England, so England has been consistently twice as fast as Scotland. Scotland seems to have capped out at about 20,000 people a day on the weekdays a disgracefully low number. England has also nearly vaccinated all of its over 80s while Scotland has only done 46% of that group.

      NHS Louisa Jordan is also definitely not vaccinating 5,000 people a day. It looks like last weeks opening was just a big media stunt. Clearly the Scottish government was very embarrassed that it hadn’t opened any while England had opened over a dozen. This just shows the fundamental lack of preparation and ambition in the Scottish government when its comes to the vaccine programme.

      Nicola says this is because of its focus on the 35,000 care home residents and that is why Scotlands vaccine programme is so sluggish in comparison but that really doesn’t hold up to any scrutiny. And it is not because of a lack of doses, scotland has the vaccines it just seems to have a problem with putting them in peoples arms.

    172. Saffron Robe says:

      Would it be possible to censor pictures of Nicola Sturgeon or to precede them with a warning such as “Caution: the following picture contains an image of Nicola Sturgeon which some viewers may find disturbing”?

    173. Elmac says:

      Re Bipod 8.10

      Agreed there is something badly amiss. My 88 year old neighbour who has emphysema, 2 types of cancer and has had a relatively recent heart attack, all of which he is receiving medication for, finally received his first vaccination today. This came after complaints were made by his son to the NHS and his local MP 2 weeks ago. His neighbours across the street, both in their early eighties, and with no apparent significant health issues, received their vaccine 3 weeks ago! What is going on?

      The excuse that the delay is due to vaccinating care home residents first does not hold water. I assume Scotland has received a pro rata share of the vaccine in which case, if there are only 35,000 care home residents, they should be sitting on enough vaccine to have treated tens of thousands more by now – unless of course Scotland has not received a fair allocation which I doubt.

      This reeks of mismanagement and a potential stick which the Tories can beat the SNP with at the HR election.

    174. James Barr Gardner says:

      SNP pushing hard for Postal Voting ! Wow !

      Are they pushing hard to have them counted in SCOTLAND ?

      Joseph Stalin “It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes.”

      Do you really believe in the UK Sham Democracy, needless deaths will soon be 1/2 million over 10 years of Tory Incompetent rule !

    175. @ahundredthidiot,

      Biden and Harris/she/her have thrown every American woman under the bus with their Executive Order on Gender Recognition https://tinyurl.com/y6p6h5mj,

      and nobody seems to give a f@ck if it had been a Trump order the world would be knocking down his door,

      the blessed Biden and Harris/she fricken her, absolute nada.

    176. Davie Oga says:

      Twathater 6:49 pm

      That’s what turned me 180 degrees with regards to SNP.

      I never thought I’d see the day when an SNP government was facilitating the sterilisation of autistic children, who are not capable of informed consent, because it’s trendy and “progressive”.

      Disgusting, amoral, sociopaths. Even if Sturgeon goes, I’m at the point where I just expect her to be replaced by Swinney or Robertson and more of the same- destructive, unconscionable legislation for the minority, and bullshit for the independence seeking majority.

      I hope that Murrell, Swinney, Robertson, at least 3 of the women who can’t be named, and anyone else involved in the stich up is jailed as well. Evil people and complete frauds when it comes to doing what they were elected to do.

    177. Elmac says:

      Davieop Oga @ 6.49

      Aye Davie, and while they are at it, jail those at the head of the “Justice” Department and the Police.

    178. Alf Baird says:

      Andy Ellis

      “The only way #HR2021 elections will be plebiscitary is if the SNP says so.”

      Wrong, the SNP is simply a group of citizens seeking election in May, the same as any other party’s candidates.

      Any registered political party can promote any policy it wishes in a national election, including a policy on Scotland’s withdrawal from the UK union alliance. That is the only policy that really matters to those Scottish people who want independence.

      A democratic majority in favour of such a policy provides the mandate to commence withdrawal negotiations and is also the basis of international recognition for an independent Scottish State.

      Can’t you find a Better Together forum?

    179. Mia says:

      “The only way #HR2021 elections will be plebiscitary is if the SNP says so”

      The SNP leadership may have been in a position to gag its members, to discredit them for not toeing the party line, to attempt to stitch them up to stop them returning to politics and indeed block their best candidates to Holyrood seats so they can parachute their preferred, lower standard ones.

      But no matter how much they wish they want to, they can no longer silence the whole electorate now that the cat of their 5 years of deception and contempt for our democratic mandates is out of the bag.

      As Alf Baird said, there are already other alternative parties offering the option and more will come forward, so the elections will be plebiscitary if the voters say they will be.

      If we cannot vote for plebiscite in the constituency, no problem. We will vote as a plebiscite in the list. The ISP has already overtaken the SNP in speed at including this matter in their manifesto, so I am afraid the SNP is in no position to say the election is not plebiscite. For many voters it will be and it does not matter if the SNP leadership opposes to it or not.

      In fact, if the SNP refuses to listen and move with the wishes of the voters, they will very quickly find that voters do not owe them any loyalty like members do and voters will quickly move with their vote and future donations to endorse a party more in line with what they seek.

      If the SNP wants to retain their seats, they need to stop their dictatorial, repressive attitude and make this election plebiscitary, which is what people wants. Otherwise they better get ready to lose votes as the situation is just ripe for another party to waltz in the constituencies announcing a plebiscite and the SNP is fckd.

      The SNP leadership would do well to remember that this is the 21st century and dictators belong in the past.

    180. A Person says:

      -Alf Baird-

      True, but realistically how likely is that? It might be different if someone everyone had heard of- which realistically would need to be Alex Salmond, most regular folk won’t have heard of Joanna Cherry etc- led the ISP or perhaps an alternative party, just like Farage did with the Brexit Party.

    181. cynicalHighlander says:

      @ Saffron Robe says:
      25 January, 2021 at 8:28 pm

      Would it be possible to censor pictures of Nicola Sturgeon or to precede them with a warning such as “Caution: the following picture contains an image of Nicola Sturgeon which some viewers may find disturbing”?

      Thatcher’s reincarnation

    182. Al says:

      @Truth for Dummies

      That’s not how the voting system works either.

      Taking your first example,

      SNP have 7 seats so their divisor is 8
      LD and Lab each have 1 seat so their divisor is 2

      Starting at
      SNP 80k divides by 8 to get 10k
      ISP 18k
      Lab 44k divides by 2 to get 22k
      LD 15k divides by 2 to get 7.5k
      Con 30k

      1. Con gets first list seat so their divisor becomes 2, giving them 15k.

      2. Lab gets the second list seat so their divisor goes up by 1 to 3. 44k divided by 3 gives 14,666 not 11k. The divisor goes up by 1 each time a seat is gained. The score is not halved each time.

      3. ISP gets the 3rd seat, vote now 9k.
      4. Con vote now 10k (30k/3)
      5. Lab vote now 11k (44k/4)
      6. Lab vote now 8.8k (44k/5)
      7. Con/SNP both are on 10k so it’s a toss up.

      In the second case with no ISP and SNP on 98k. 98k/8 = 12.25k. The rest are as before.

      1. Con vote now 15k (30k/2)
      2. Lab vote now 14.666k (44k/3)
      3. Con vote now 10k (30k/3)
      4. Lab vote now 11k (44k/4)
      5. SNP vote now 10.888k (98k/9)
      6. Lab vote now 8.8k (44k/5)
      7. SNP

      So in the second case we have 2 pro indy off the list rather the 1 or 2 in the first case. The reason this works so well for the SNP is that in your second case you have the SNP taking over 52% of the vote.

      In reality, they are polling much lower than that on the list. The SNP need to be taking around 50% of the list votes to start getting list seats like this after taking so many constituency seats. In your first example they get 42% on the list. If they are getting any less than that, such as nearer 40% or lower on the list as is the case in the latest polls, then they are unlikely to get any of the additional list seats if they are sweeping the constituency seats and that is the situation where their list votes become wasted.

      I hope this makes things clearer.

    183. Alf Baird says:

      A Person @ 9.07

      In May we will be faced with an opportunity to vote for a party which intends to use the election as a plebiscite on independence. People who want independence will surely vote accordingly.

      Those who don’t want independence can vote for British parties or for our colonial overseers the SNP and their crazy laws of oppression.

    184. Hugh Jarse says:

      In their rush, i don’t think that they defrosted Broon properly this time.

    185. boris says:

      https://caltonjock.com/2019/12/09/ignore-the-cant-dos-scottish-independence-could-be-done-and-dusted-within-a-few-months/

      Establishing an Independent Scotland

      Whitehall mandarins, Unionist politicians and their Luddite supporters will tell you it will be a long and torturous process over many years and it must be this way because the relationship Scotland has with the rest of the UK is too complex to untangle in a shorter period.

      But if Czechoslovakia could be split up in six months in 1992, why should the process of establishing an independent Scotland be such a hardship

    186. Andy Ellis says:

      @Alf Baird.

      Oh purleez. Better Together. Are you for real? It’s bad enough you’re a blood and soil nationalist without embarrassing yourself further accusing others of being part of Better Together. I’ve no axe to grind in favour of the SNP, as regular readers will know, but anyone who thinks plebiscitary elections will happen without their support is simply delusional.

      Of course people are free to vote for who they want, but no combination of pro-indy parties without the SNP will be able to deliver plebiscitary elections. How exactly do you think they are going to happen?

    187. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      You know, angry, alienated, misunderstood-feeling narcissist teens swear that if they ever had their own far superior way and ruled a country, they would make everybody think and act and talk like them. When is Ms. Sturgeon going to stop trying to make us live in her shy bookish lobely teen revenge nation? Cos I’m way fucking beyond sick of it, and of her in general.

    188. Dan says:

      Retro, but at the same time current.

      Monty Python (3mins)

      Constitutional Peasants

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2c-X8HiBng

      Same as it ever was. Our destiny in hands of politicians elected through voting systems even political anoraks can’t fully get their heads around.

      Why can it nae jist be resolved wi’ a simple game o’ Stickles! 😉

    189. Polly says:

      @ A Person

      ‘most regular folk won’t have heard of Joanna Cherry ’

      I’d disagree with you there. Many here and in England did pay a lot of attention to the prorogation case and she got much support online, but I also know folk not that interested in politics, as well as those not supportive of SNP but who were against brexit and boris who took note. Granted Salmond is a much bigger name but whether that would be beneficial overall I don’t know with the present inquiry and its details ongoing.

    190. Daisy Walker says:

      Re you can’t have a plebiscite election without the snp.

      As soon as there is someone, in every constituency standing on a P mandate, it becomes pleb.

      If it’s only voters in Orkney, then it doesn’t hold water.

      What beggars belief, in some ways, is we could end up with snp on a policy of … hmm, not sure, bit too soon, maybe when the fishing, farming, whiskey, university jobs, and nhs are Totally fucked, Perhaps then we might stop begging nicely. On the Constituency vote,

      And ISP on the list vote, showing Scotland’s democratic will, at the ballot box, magnificently.

      That does not split the vote, but it does tell the snp, they really need to grow a pair, and a spine.

    191. Famous15 says:

      I miss my grandchildren so I will ask in their pleading voice:

      “ARE WE INDEPENDENT YET?”

      It’s coming yet for a’ that.

    192. Fireproofjim says:

      The idea that you should spoil your ballot paper on the constituency vote and write on it some slogan about the wickedness of the SNP is utterly pointless. A neighbour of mine who has been a teller at elections says all spoiled ballots are put to one side without any scrutiny unless there is a recount, so you achieve absolutely nothing as no one will see it.
      I have also asked around about the ISP and the problem there is there is zero recognition and blank stares.”Never heard of them”. I think they will be lucky to get any MSPs.
      It seems to me there is no alternative to SNP on the constituency and Greens on the list. Anything else is wishful thinking which can only benefit the Unionists.

    193. crazycat says:

      @ Daisy Walker at 7.34

      the snp choose who they give whatever list seats they win to. They allocate them out. So if their list seat numbers are reduced, they can still give them to whoever they please in the party.

      No, they can’t.

      The identity and order of the candidates on each list are fixed in advance of the election.

      Until now, members in each region ranked the candidates who had passed vetting; I have not heard that that is no longer the case (I’ve never been a member), but given that Spear etc are asking to be placed “#1”, I assume it is still done that way.

      After the election, the only way to promote a favourite, provided that person is on a list, somewhere, is to remove the candidates higher in the list.

      For instance, in 2016 the Greens whined that there was only one woman among their number (they still more or less knew what the word meant, then). It would have been very simple (as was pointed out ATL here) to rectify this. Any two of the men could have resigned, to be automatically replaced by the next candidate on their respective lists. The Greens “zipped” their lists, so in each case the replacement would have been a woman. Job done.

      If the SNP wanted a particular person in, they could only employ the same tactic if they had won at least one list seat in the appropriate region. Candidates cannot stand in more than one region (see p7 here https://tinyurl.com/y4x93n5o), so they would have to take a gamble.

    194. Terry says:

      So bojo up on Thursday same day as Craigs trial?

      That should give the National plenty to rant about while ignoring the shocking disgrace visited on Craig.

      And what makes my blood boil is that man sticks his neck out for truth, justice and Scotland time and time again. Very few have his courage. And sadlyI feel as because it doesn’t meet the “st Nicola” narrative then he is either ignored or undermined by some so-called indy supporters. Terrible.

    195. steve davison says:

      Hatuey says:You are correct in everything you say about the current salmond situation and the depth that the damage will be when all is out.The problem is will all be out to the extent that the voters are aware or will it be a watered down version that the mainstream get .With a scapegoat or two falling on there swords for the good of the party .It will be intresting to see if the Unionist go for broke and try to destroy the SNP credibility or as some argue on this site they would rather have a SNP light diet SNP ,semi skimmed SNP muddle on despite the fact there killing the country

    196. Daisy Walker says:

      @ crazycat,

      Thank you for you reply. I don’t quite understand it ( my fault).

      Sy there are 5 list seats up for grabs in one area. If the snp win 2 of them, it’s my understanding they can give those 2 seats to any of their candidates that they have registered with the electoral commission.

      So, for the sake of argument, honest Jock (I really can’t call him John anymore) is put on both the constituency vote (which he is expected to win) and the list vote as back up, but really they anticipate 4 named others to be put into the hat to take that seat.

      Then the vote comes in. He loses the constitiuency fptp vote.. and then they only get one list seat…. they are going to give it to ‘honest Jock’.

      I’m sure a president was set with this earlier, but with labour. In fact I think it was the flying dentist, ousted from WM, prepared to eat Holyrood pie, in order to remain on the gravy train. I think wings did an article.

    197. Beaker says:

      @steve davison says:
      25 January, 2021 at 11:08 pm
      “It will be intresting to see if the Unionist go for broke and try to destroy the SNP credibility”

      The SNP leadership are managing to do that quite nicely thank you, given the shambles yesterday when everyone was metaphorically told to shut up.

    198. Dan says:

      @ Fireproofjim

      You asked folk if they had heard of ISP and they said no, did you suggest they might want to take a look, and the reasons why the Party has come to exist as a result of the vacuum created by the SNP and Greens.

      I had a physically distanced exercise walk with someone today, and they certainly were very interested in ISP and other stuff during the course of our 3 hour chat.
      The reason I was on the walk was because they had contacted me after reading up on the recent events with regard to Scottish politics and certain ongoing legal matters and wanted to discuss it further as they were struggling to comprehend how all this had come about.

      They and their extended family are appalled at the genderwoowoo and hate crime stuff, eluding that when discussing some of it with their mum they had to stop as she began displaying signs of distress on hearing such biological denying pish, and of course the implications for the erosion of womens’ rights.
      This is going down like a lead balloon with many long term supporters of the SNP and Greens.
      All my family who are Pro-Indy are really struggling to continue to support SNP over their recent performance, their memberships with the Party have all been terminated. They are in borders area where unusually the SNP do pick up list seats so are waiting to see how things pan out with the inquiry and manifesto content before committing to a voting strategy.
      I cannot believe how it has come to this. Years of campaigning and building trust and rapport with folk in my community is being utterly trashed to the point I am embarrassed to be associated with the Party and the crap they are now trying to punt.

    199. Alf Baird says:

      Andy Ellis

      If you don’t want Scotland to be independent you can always vote for a British party or the colonial SNP in May. Its yer cultural hame efter aw.

      Polly

      You have to think, who would you rather have negotiate Scotland’s withdrawal from the UK union alliance in May? Salmond, Cherry, Sheridan or Jimmy no-name in the ISP? The bourgeoisie dinnae really cut it, for they are culturally too alike oor auld enemy, wha aye laithe us Scots. That only leaves Sheridan and Salmond.

      In reality a ‘hard’ independence (which is the only kind of independence) needs fechters, nae bourgeoisie troughers.

    200. Davie Oga says:

      Alf

      At this stage it looks like a serious error in judgement that we didn’t go with Groundskeeper Willie when he made himself available in 2014.

    201. Lorna Campbell says:

      Peter.A.Bell: Holyrood is a creature of Westminster; it was never intended to be anything other than that. That is why it is called devolution. This would be challenged in the Supreme Court and overturned immediately, so why bother? Why go down the same routes hoping that it will all be different this time? It won’t. If the actual elected representatives – enough of them – stage a revolt in order to get the FM to change policy, there is no reason why we can’t have a plebiscitary election in May. Okay, it is a risk, but so is everything else.

      We are sure as sure not going to get a referendum. There was no chance of a referendum after 2014. There was no chance of overturning Brexit after 2016. These are gone. Wasted years. Now, we must think about how we can regain our independence. The primary source of democratic authority is the election, not a referendum. If that is reneged on by Westminster, we must take our case to the UN. Keeping everything in-house is going to see us defeated. We must appeal to the international community to recognize our independence if Westminster starts to get heavy.

      Slovenia declared independence when the old Yugoslavia started to fall apart. The Serbs invaded. Within less than a week, both Austria and Germany had recognized Slovenian independence and the Serbs withdrew. The Slovenians gained international recognition. We have got to start thinking strategically. Above all, we have to find a spine and do what needs to be done even if it annoys Unionists. We have allowed the No voters of 2014 to call the tune since 18 September when, in fact, the entire political landscape has changed irrevocably – and they enabled Brexit. Without their NO vote, it would never have happened. We need to stop kow-towing to them. They are the anti democrats.

    202. Alf Baird says:

      Davie Oga

      Aye, whither Willie the grundsman nor the deil himsel, A disnae gie an auld cloot sae lang as Scotlan is free.

    203. t42 says:

      Cop20 should be held virtually.
      We do not want this riot on Scottish soil. Unionists will be attaching saltires onto that skip fire for the worlds media to see. And in front of the skip fire, cheering it on, will be Nicola and Greta.

    204. Heart of Galloway says:

      Aye, very good Kenny.
      Another “look at me” post of little substance and even less on next steps.
      This, when an increasingly desperate British state is ranged against us?
      When its MSM propaganda arm goes nuts over the very NOTION that Scotland could tell Johnson to eff off with his “permission” – even though the 11-point plan merely contends that Scottish sovereignty should be defended. Sort of.
      Well Kenny, thanks a bunch. What’s your escape plan for Scotland?
      Or are ye a toom tabard tae?
      To all you hoodies croakin’ for doom above, yesterday’s National Assembly wasn’t entirely a damp squib.
      Activists and members, or at least the overwhelming majority of them, were angry, eloquently so.
      Many I spoke to afterwards felt at least to some degree, they had put the leadership on notice.
      That the democratic power of the grassroots membership is a priceless asset, not something to be sidelined, even feared.
      And that discontent had an impact.
      If fact, it had an impact prior to NA, with the release of Mike Russell’s “roadmap” to an IndyRef.
      That it ended up on the National’s newsdesk – before members had even seen it – also provoked fury, and rightly so.
      Anyhoo Kenny, if your objective was to flush out the doom-mongers, ersatz yessers and charlatans, congratulations – let me shake you by the hand.
      Mission accomplished, with cream on top.
      There cannot be any other reason for penning such a miserabilist piece – except to elicit certain *responses* of doubtful provenance.
      Aye, youse.
      “No plebiscite no votes SNP”.
      “Why don’t you and Angus resign from the SNP?”
      “If the party can be cleansed from within then the block vote is there in support”.
      “No plebiscite in the Holyrood Elections? then no vote for the SNP either”.
      “The new NEC are a shower of duds”.
      “Yesterday was the National Assembly where most paid participants were locked out” (Wur they, aye?).
      “Tells you also why the National Assembly was a charade and why all chat was muted. (Was it, aye?)
      “Any chance that you could write an article on present alternatives to the SNP in the constituency vote?”
      I could go on.
      But it wasn’t all bad.
      Steelwires: “If the English Government of the UK has any involvement whatsoever, they will make it almost impossible for a YES vote to win.”
      Is correct.
      I know we are marching into battle with an ongoing *situation* causing apprehension and dismay in the ranks.
      But I console myself with the thought of two things: one, that that I cannot and will not wake up on May 7 to the sound of unionist crowing.
      And two, an independence majority, achieved either through an outright SNP win or with another independence party, mandated by the people to hold a referendum, following an election campaign in which that will be the dominant issue, is where the SNP will stand and deliver.
      Anything less and the membership will quickly invoke the Declaration of Arbroath: “But if he should cease from these beginnings, wishing to give us or our kingdom to the English or the king of the English, we would immediately take steps to drive him out as the enemy and the subverter of his own rights and ours, and install another King who would make good our defence.”

    205. robertknight says:

      Fireproof Jim @10:44

      Tell me Jim, just how low would the SNP have to stoop, or what truly despicable act would the leadership be required to initiate, before you would NOT give them your vote?

      Or are you simply one of those who under any and every circumstance are content to be “Deaf, Dumb & Blind for Indy”?

    206. Polly says:

      @ Alf

      Yes Alf, Salmond would undoubtedly be canny, experienced and wily enough to fight his corner and get the best deal no matter who was the other side of the negotiating table. But except for the retweet hint from Joanna Cherry he’s not shown his hand yet as ever wanting to stand again to be in the position you suggest, though I feel he will show his hand at some point. Having left Scotland in this mess by his promotion of Sturgeon my instinct is he’ll feel a responsibility to clean up the mess afterwards. He looks fit and well and no doubt is capable of a comeback.

      I disagree with you though both about Joanna (being a bourgeoisie ‘trougher’) and about Sheridan (being capable of negotiating) and I think both are fighters. Yes, the upper echelons are more like the auld enemy as a species but there are many exceptions. Nor do I agree it has to be a more working class person to fight – you can’t exclude the bourgeoisie from the barricades for they’ve often in the past done good work and I’m sure our Scots revolt has room for a QC or a Cancer Surgeon too. And even the upper class can play their part pretty well – look at Bendor Grosvenor. And in the land of Jock Tamson’s bairns it would be fitting to have the full panoply of our society on our side.

      I think we limit ourselves if we fail to use all people who support independence, just as much as we limit ourselves if we are all like Tom Arthur (and our own curmudgeon Andy) having a fit of the vapours at the word colony, or some MPs who fear being labelled by claims of transphobia. We need to use all arguments and all people who can be useful and fight on many fronts. Not all will lead but most will settle into places, and all are needed since we’re so outnumbered. But yes, out of all names, Salmond is the most experience and the most likely to make a good job negotiating.
      Good night.

    207. Polly says:

      @ Heart of Galloway

      A very good invocation of the Declaration. Makes a splendid peroration to your post. Bravo

    208. Achnababan says:

      People who don’t want Scotland to become a free nation again are British nationalists.

      Everyone is a nationalist of some description so foff with your blood and soil slurs.

      My nation is Scotland.

    209. crazycat says:

      @ Daisy Walker at 11.10

      Say there are 5 list seats up for grabs in one area. If the snp win 2 of them, it’s my understanding they can give those 2 seats to any of their candidates that they have registered with the electoral commission.

      Again, no.

      Although the names of the list candidates are not printed on the ballot paper, they are in an order, previously decided and immutable*.

      As the seats are allocated, the first person on each list gets that party’s first seat, the second person gets the second seat, and so on, unless any of them has already been elected to a constituency. In that case, the person’s name is removed from the list and the next candidate moves up one rank.

      So in the case of Mr Swinney, as an insurance policy he might want to stand on the list as well provided local members vote for him to be so; they also decide which place on the list he gets. They might think he was so sure of retaining the constituency that they prefer to give someone else a shot at a list seat, on the assumption that the SNP would be unlikely to get more than one list seat, if any. Then if he didn’t hold the constituency…oops, no compensatory list seat.

      The only way to get him back in after that would be to put pressure on a constituency MSP to stand down and hope that wouldn’t deter support in the resulting by-election. That has been done from time to time for Westminster party leaders who lose their seats or who are not members when they take over (in 1963 Alec Douglas-Hume stood in – suitably – Kinross and West Perthshire in order to get a seat shortly after becoming PM, but the by-election was happening anyway).

      * for that reason, if a party exhausts its list, there can be vacant seats in Holyrood. When Margo MacDonald died, she was a list of one – her seat remained vacant until 2016. When John Lamont went to Westminster in 2017, Rachel Hamilton replaced him at the by-election, so her list seat went to the only person left on the Tory South of Scotland list – Michelle Ballantyne. If the latter had resigned from Holyrood as well as the party recently, she could not have been replaced.

    210. Frank Ness says:

      Sturgeon’s get out plan will be to say indyRef2 will be held within the lifetime of the New Parliament.

      And the majority will go with that.

    211. Frank Ness says:

      The majority of Scots are completely oblivious to any Holyrood inquiry into the Salmond Trial.

      That is our problem.

      Not enough Scots know of any wrong doings.

    212. Frank Ness says:

      Sturgeon is playing the:-

      “They’re trying to jail your favourite Auntie” card.

      And make out that any Anti Sturgeon campaign is a campaign against Scottish Independence.

      And make us out to be the bad guys in this sorry tale.

      Sturgeon is playing us all off against each other.

    213. Hatuey says:

      Steve: “It will be intresting to see if the Unionist go for broke and try to destroy the SNP credibility”

      Contrary to what I’d prefer and what some others seem to think, the SNP as it stands today is the only realistic means to achieving independence. No other party comes close to having the sort of appeal, clout, influence, and means to serve as a vehicle that could take us there in the near future.

      That might change and it might not. But that is the reality we face right now. And, if it were to ever change, it would probably take many years to build an alternative vehicle and depend on a whole bunch of variables beyond the control and understanding of mortal man. Let me estimate that it would take at least 5 to 10 years.

      So, getting back to the question, of course the Unionists will seek to “go for broke”. Logically, the more damage they do to the SNP, the more damage they do to the independence movement and the less likely independence becomes.

      I shouldn’t need to point out or remind anyone here how important it is for Westminster to retain control of this damp little part of the world we call home. The economics of that are all well understood. Post-Brexit, the importance of keeping Scotland in the Union – economically and politically – is even greater.

      The only possible alternative to the above is a series of resignations, not just one. And even if that happened, we’d probably still be screwed. You’d be looking at wall-to-wall coverage and pundits picking at the carcass for weeks, all in the run-up to an election.

      I feel like Sarah Connor trying to convince people that everything they hold dear is about to be vaporised. It’s the truth, though; we are all past tense after this.

      On a more positive note, hopefully we can build things back up and learn lessons from it. Time passes.

    214. steve davison says:

      Hatuey says:Contrary to what I’d prefer and what some others seem to think, the SNP as it stands today is the only realistic means to achieving independence.
      Exactly the point I wished to make only without the claim that the SNP junta are realistically chasing independence or are they preferred by unionist to be in power kicking the can down the road for eternity.If the unionist and MSM went for broke they risk a default of creating a new more focused and militant party that would use all means to gain independence from the SNP ashes ,this would of cause take time to achieve but a SNP kicking a can down a endless rd may be preferred to short term gain

    215. steve davison says:

      Hatuey
      forgot to add is it really this manifestation of the SNP its seem to me are the worst sort of people to give power to at any time they have proven to miss use it and have no moral compass and would I fear if anything pass laws that cement them and there like in power for a long time to come

    216. twathater says:

      One of the MOST OUTSPOKEN ,loud and DEDICATED persons for Scottish independence is TOMMY SHERIDAN does anyone know if his party is standing anyone for constituency seats and if so where they are
      I know Tommy can be a marmite figure but I would rather vote for a fighter with passion than a capitulating subservient false independence party

    217. StuartM says:

      Here’s a thought about the upcoming Glasgow Climate international gabfest. In the weeks leading up to it foreign journalists who never thought about Scotland other than in terms of whisky and tartan will be paying more attention to Scotland than before or after. Staging a series of large Independence marches in the 8 weeks prior to the summit might just spark their interest in the Scottish Independence movement and result in favourable coverage in other countries. If the populace in other countries are sympathetic to Scotland’s democratic wishes it makes their governments less willing to deny international recognition.

      Foreign news coverage will also probably force the UK media to at least mention the Indy movement. If viewers in England see a sea of blue and white in Glasgow and Edinburgh on their TV screens it’ll bring home to them that Indy supporters aren’t just some fringe group. Boris denying Scots their independence becomes that much harder if his core constituency in England is wavering.

    218. Liz g says:

      Haughty @ 2.10
      I have nae issues if they do ” go for broke ” Haughty.
      We’ve spent the best part of a decade in the Yes movement not giving the MSM any ammunition and the past 5 years warning that the gender shit was a vote loser .
      We’ve been horrified at the Hate Crime Bill and …
      Then there’s this mess…. and every last bit of it was their own doing too.
      And it’s not like they weren’t warned .
      But not a thought for all of us never mind a hearing!

      My focus is Indy and I really don’t care if Nicola and her covern do finish up in the jail…
      Because I have also absolutely nae trouble ( though I’d likely no be allowed to here ) shouting to anyone who’ll listen,that Boris Johnston and the British set up oor Nicola because she was going to get us Indy.
      Why not ?
      Westminster lie
      The Media lie
      Holyrood lie.
      Telling the truth has gotten us precisely no where and now,I’m perfectly willing to deploy lies too.
      To all those who haven’t paid attention, to all those who think she’s wonderful and to all those who love a good conspiracy …. I’d have 0 , nada , no problem with , as some sick auld nazi put it ” making it a big lie ” so as far as I’m concerned….. the British can go for her all they want and the closer to the election the better my tale will sound.

      I’ll not let them ( politicians and media )waste my time ,and if I can’t stop or influence them in what they do , I’ll sure as shit feel justified in turning it to my advantage.
      So I’m no longer worried the Nicol is handing the British a stick to beat her with, ( why worry about that which I can’t change ) I’m just looking at how much handwringing and anger I can generate out of it for my Country.

      I’ll not “regret that there was only one lie I could write down for my Country ” I’ll spin a million of em 🙂
      Because I don’t owe any truth to those who have lied to me…. and I’ll take nae responsibility for those who believe lies either ..
      So
      Let them do their worst , because that might be the very thing that has to happen to get something moving ?

    219. Breeks says:

      Heart of Galloway says:
      26 January, 2021 at 12:24 am

      Anything less and the membership will quickly invoke the Declaration of Arbroath: “But if he should cease from these beginnings, wishing to give us or our kingdom to the English or the king of the English, we would immediately take steps to drive him out as the enemy and the subverter of his own rights and ours, and install another King who would make good our defence.”

      Will they aye?

      Then how do you account for the SNP’s gutless capitulation over Brexit, and the abandonment of Scotland’s Constitutional Sovereignty which laid Scotland prostrate before the Colonial will of England’s Brexit?

      The Declaration of Arbroath is just words to the SNP and Sturgeon. Who needs a colonial aggressor when you’ve got the SNP themselves jumping up and down to squander Scotland’s Constitutional rights and sell us down the river?

      And you’ve the cheek to call Kenny MacAskill Toom Tabard?

    220. Alf Baird says:

      twathater @ 3:15 am

      You are right about the specific leadership qualities needed for the task in hand. Independence is not a job for the bourgeois who are too alike the oppressor, culturally. It is the pampered bourgeois elite who invariably hold back independence and who will sell the people short, as they do now.

      Cesaire refers to this certainty of colonialism when he says he is not talking of “the prison guard, or the adventurer, but about the “decent fellow” across the way; not about the member of the SS, or the gangster, but about the respectable bourgeois”.

      We can see the barbaric role and scheming actions of the ‘respectable bourgeois’, who are not respectable at all, in everything to do with the ‘union’ charade (which is colonialism), not least in the behaviour of this group toward Alex Salmond and other independence campaigners.

    221. Breeks says:

      https://twitter.com/FOWingsScot/status/1353675995312742402

      CosyFeetPete telling porkies? Surely not.

    222. winifred mccartney says:

      This is O/T but I Have tried to find out about this to no avail – can anyone enlighten me – Matt Handcock yesterday (Monday) said that England had come to the aid of the Scottish Ambulance Service – I cannot find any reference to this. Can anyone help?

      Hope BJ is completely ignored when he breaks Covid restrictions to come to Scotland. I would quarantine him as soon as he arrives and give us all peace for 10 days after all the new English variant is rampant. Notice S African variant, Brazil variant but not called the new one here not called the Kent/English variant but sure it will soon be called the UK variant.

    223. Effijy says:

      Boris to visit Scotland this week.

      Does anyone know exactly where and when?

      Is there a web site for ordering a box of rotten eggs?

      I wonder if he will use the canteen’s that Cameron used when hiding up here?
      Get a Tory supporter’s business to open up for you keeping the public out,
      force your staff to sit and listen to the lies and distortions of Bojo the clown
      and should you by chance want to challenge him, your P45 is on your desk.

      Perhaps Red Tory Gordon Brown might lend him one of his hidden rat holes
      where you can lie with impunity in front of a hand picked. mute happy clappers.

      If Nicola is deemed worthy of a fake hand sake photo opportunity, could she ask
      Bojo in front of the cameras to further qualify his printed words about hating Scots,
      How he would put them in a ghetto and eliminate them.

      A word or two on his broadcast statement on how he would always invest a Pound in Croydon
      before Scotland.

      She should just the same offer Scotland’s condolences on England’s 100,000 Covid Deaths.
      Must be difficult to save face when you have guided England to the number one spot in global
      Mismanagement of the Covid Crisis.

      Now with that pedigree, what have you come up here to impose on your favourite cash cow colony?

    224. Mia says:

      “Boris Johnston and the British set up oor Nicola because she was going to get us Indy”

      I am convinced that there has been a collusion of interests with the British state here in the stitch up of Mr Salmond, but attempting to put this squarely at the feet of the British state is naive.

      From the evidence we have been allowed to see it is obvious that some elements of the Scottish government participated on this very willingly and I daresay initiated it.

      If, as you say, your Nicola had been set up but she had dignity and integrity, she would have resigned the minute she realised what had happen. Because that is what a committed leader, a real pro independence seeker would have done to avoid damaging the cause. That is what Mr Salmond did when the British state robbed our referendum with their con vow and that is what he did when these false accusations came to light, he resigned his SNP membership to avoid damaging the party.

      But to do that you need fortitude of character and devotion to the cause. You need principles. You need a backbone. Instead, what we have is an evidently corrupt individual, blinded by power, holding on by her fingernails to such power and relying on an increasing number of people to stop the evidence that would nail her to the wall if ever reaches the public. That the British state is helping her to hide, for now, that evidence and to remain in power, I have no doubt.

      But that evidence is not going away. The most damning of it will be graciously guarded by the British state carefully to use it as leverage against the SNP whenever Sturgeon or anybody attempts a move towards independence. And that is, in my view, the reason for their pathetic release of the 11 points of deception to neuter the National Assembly. That was, in my opinion, another payment for the service of stopping that evidence coming to light.

      Let’s look back in time. When did Nicola Sturgeon started to get feet of clay in the matter of independence? Wasn’t around 2017?

      Well, that is what we have to thank this corrupt “leader” for: damning evidence hanging over the head of the main pro indy party as a sword of damocles. Stopping that evidence coming to light today is aiding the British state to stop us today, tomorrow and the day after and we owe this privilege to the unprincipled person at the centre of this corruption.

      So it is not as much that the British state has set up your Nicola. She has set up herself and worse, she is deliberately dragging us all down with her.

      This woman does not care for independence but she does not appear to be that smart either. If she was, she would resign immediately and allow ALL the evidence to flow to light to steal from the British state its own weapon and with a bit of luck, turn that weapon towards the British state itself. I have no doubt that somebody as astute as Salmond would know exactly how to do it.

    225. Polly says:

      @ twathater

      ‘I know Tommy can be a marmite figure but I would rather vote for a fighter with passion than a capitulating subservient false independence party’

      I quite like Tommy Sheridan myself, he’s a definite fighter and very effective. I also believe he showed better in previously urging folk to vote SNP in pivotal elections than other such as Green Party did and I wouldn’t mind voting for him. The only thing I’d say against him is he hasn’t the nous or experience to negotiate in a national capacity as Alf seemed to suggest should we gain independence while Salmond undoubtedly has having been highly effective in high politics for years.

      @ Liz g

      ‘Telling the truth has gotten us precisely no where and now,I’m perfectly willing to deploy lies too.
      To all those who haven’t paid attention, to all those who think she’s wonderful and to all those who love a good conspiracy…’

      I’m rather of that opinion myself Liz. I keep coming back to a childhood rhyme
      The rain it raineth every day
      Upon the just and unjust fella
      But more upon the just because
      The unjust steals the just umbrella

      We’ll keep getting wet if we keep playing holier than thou. Yes we should try to follow an ethical code, but we shouldn’t dump folk for little errors as Sturgeon did, nor should we be afraid of trying to use those like her who might be morally compromised for our own ends. Play the game you have in hand not the one you’d rather play. Mitigate our losses, make her a martyr to the cause – it’s not a bad idea at all. I think it was in Liberty Valance they said print the legend rather than the truth, so if your legend can be believed by people it could and should be used once they’ve fully trapped her.

      @ Mia

      Liz isn’t saying Sturgeon was set up.

    226. Bob Mack says:

      @Mia,

      I suppose ultimately it comes down to what you think is the greater good or the greater evil. Alex Salmond endhred the greatest test a person can undergo in the search for justice.

      He was tried and tested in our higher courts and found innocent. How he ended up there is becoming more obvious by the day. It could have meant incarceration for a long time.

      Loss of freedom. How ironic for the guy who attempted to free a nation to lose his own liberty to deliberate lyjng and scheming.

      We are blackmailed by one if the conspirators telling us she can lead us to freedom despite failing twice before on similar promises and indeed opportunities.

      I believe it comes down to a simple choice. Accept all the bad things that currently would go with an SNP administration, and we know them all by now ,in the uncertainty they would achieve a referendum. or start afresh wuth new hope and invest our choice in an alternative.

      Personally I could not support the level of corruption we now see. I would have lost any moral right to complaint should something similar happen in future to those like Stu who would be seen as a danger to our government here in Scotland.

      Your choice.

    227. Republicofscotland says:

      Former SNP MEP Christian Allard calling for a referendum on dissolving the union to be held in June this year, Allard added that the vote should be held before the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme.

      I’d imagine Allard is saying the latter point to allow many EU citizens a vote to dissolve the union and possibly return to the EU at a later date.

    228. Mia says:

      “Liz isn’t saying Sturgeon was set up”

      No. I do. She is being set up right now. Allowing that evidence to hide now only to risk it being released at any point in the future is walking right into the trap.

    229. Effijy says:

      I see Boris proclaiming the obvious benefits of Scotland being ruled by England in the U.K.

      He explains that the British Army are helping to deliver vaccines in Scotland.
      If only we had Scottish Regiments full of Scottish Soldiers that could being doing this for Scotland.

      He also boasts about an Oxford vaccine we wouldn’t have otherwise?
      I took my Mum for her jab yesterday and everything was labelled Astra Zeneca
      the company who provides this 1 of 3 vaccines currently available.
      Scotland could use these and be part of the EU vaccination program if independent.

      Lastly, look at all the money sent up to Scotland?
      No, look at all the money sent down from Scotland as it has long been
      greater pro rata than any other U.K. nation.
      Look at all the debt that Westminster has generated on Scotland’s behalf.
      They love us so much we can pay for some of England’s debt.

      So because Boris says he gave us all this money, does that mean that we
      leaving broken Britain it means we are debt free via these gifts?

      This clown and his Covid carrying cowboy road show should not be allowed
      to travel here.
      Yet again it’s not do as I do it’s do as you are told.

      Scotland- 66 years of keeping the Tories in minority!

    230. Republicofscotland says:

      So Johnson is to break the strict Covid rules and he is travel to Scotland this week to make a plea to Scots not to leave the union, and to tell us the benefits of being part of it.

      Well, there are far more benefits from dissolving this union and taking our rightful place once again among the nations of this world, we don’t need, or want a foreign government handling our affairs for us, we are quite capable of doing that ourselves.

      We don’t need nuclear weapons or subs or convoys of nukes travelling through our largest cities in the dead of night as we sleep, we don’t need illegal and proxy wars that kill millions foisted upon our young men and women at the behest of a foreign governments policies drawn up in bowels of Whitehall for England’s benefit.

      We want to make our own choices in the world, such as remaining, or not, in the EU, basically we wan to move in our own direction, and its not in the same direction as Westminster, the union is fatally broken, time to accept that Boris.

    231. Frank Ness says:

      Polly

      Are you really Liz g???

      She is an out and out Sturgeonista.

      She is a Gingerbread Man plant.

      Ignore her.

      Unless you are her?

      You keep drifting into agreeing with Sturgeonistas.

      She/You are here to mix it.

      We don’t have time to argue over whether Sturgeon was set up by the BritNats, we already know she wasn’t.

      So stop encouraging plants like Liz g.

      Unless you are Liz g?

    232. Alf Baird says:

      Polly

      “The only thing I’d say against him is he hasn’t the nous or experience to negotiate in a national capacity”

      Your comment reminded me of LibDem Menzies Campbell implying that, in an independent Scotland, we would not have ‘the right sort of people’ representing us in terms of international diplomacy. In other words, that we need ‘those and such as those’ to do it for us, i.e. preferably the privileged bourgeois Anglophone. Which is precisely the culture that has sold Scotland out for the last three centuries and more.

      With respect, such a view is simply snobbery, and possibly a good deal worse.

    233. Dan says:

      winifred mccartney says: at 8:55 am

      This is O/T but I Have tried to find out about this to no avail – can anyone enlighten me – Matt Handcock yesterday (Monday) said that England had come to the aid of the Scottish Ambulance Service – I cannot find any reference to this. Can anyone help?

      That originates from a press conference and was reported in various “newspapers”.

      From the Herald.

      At the press conference, Mr Hancock highlighted how over the weekend the Scottish Ambulance Service had put out an appeal for extra help and ambulance services from other nations “stepped forward” to help.

      https://archive.is/S0EOP

    234. Republicofscotland says:

      The stinking fetid smell of hypocrisy emanating from Mike Russell and the Scottish government, on the eleven point plan to dissolving this terrible union, whilst a member of the Scottish governments cabinet, the Lord Advocate, is vehemently attempting to block the courageous Mr Keatings from revealing whether or not we actually need an S30 is truly unbelievable.

      It would even put the Tories to shame I think.

    235. kapelmeister says:

      Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is self-isolating again after coming in contact with someone who showed signs of socialism.

    236. Pete says:

      Effijy
      I think the very LAST thing we want is to be part of the EU vaccination procurement programme.
      Are you for real?

    237. Republicofscotland says:

      Well Brexit is beginning to bite as Johnson’s government advises businesses to set up in the European Union to avoid the multitude of extra charges and red tape, why oh why did they leave the EU in the first place, businesses never experienced this when they were part of the EU, maybe the penny will finally drop now, for some at least that they were duped.

      As for the media wide story on Nissan remaining in the UK as though it were some great achievement, Nissan are just doing what they did before Brexit, there’s no gain here, yet Nissan staying in the UK is being hailed by the media and the Tories as some sort of victory.

    238. Effijy says:

      “At the press conference, Mr Hancock highlighted how over the weekend the Scottish Ambulance Service had put out an appeal for extra help and ambulance services from other nations “stepped forward” to help.”

      I smell yet another rat here!

      Last week we witnessed on TV and heard the admissions of
      English NHS Trusts that Covid patients there requiring hospital
      treatment could not be admitted as there were no available beds.
      Ambulance Crews were in the car park with them trying to treat them
      in the ambulance as best they could.

      The local police cars were acting as Ambulances taking less sever cases to A & E.

      So why didn’t Handcock send his spare capacity Ambulances to these English Areas?

      Where in England would this spare capacity come from as Covid is raging in the North East and West?

      Has anyone here ever seen a St John’s Ambulance working in Scotland?

    239. Stuart MacKay says:

      WhoRattledYourCage

      After a good night’s sleep I have to say you’re right – I was defeatist. Sorry.

      Still not sure whether demonstrations or shows of support for independence close to COP26 would work since you’ll be competing for attention with the climate agenda. You could get some secondary interest as news organisations who spent the money to send crews looked around for other material to fill the slots.

      What might be worthwhile is telling Scotland’s story on renewable energy in the months ahead of the conference to generate interest in the country in general. That’s not particularly relevant for the China’s and USA’s of the world but a lot of small countries who have similar pools of talent and resources might form a useful audience. It’s also a great way to push Scotland as a country of innovation and generally make friends.

      As an aside. The news coverage of Scotland here in Portugal is entirely driven by what Nicola and the SNP say. That latest is that the 11-point plan is a definitely a blueprint for hold a referendum in the immediate future. The foot-dragging and prevarication that is lamented here simply does not exist in the eyes of most media outside of Scotland. Demonstrations might not actually carry much weight as the context would be lost.

      Another thing to think about is that the government’s flagship environmental bill has been delayed for at least 6 months. My guess is that will be announed just before COP26 so any media coverage on “sottish Issues” will need to compete against that also. That’s my reasoning for trying set the agenda well before CPO26 and not just in the few days before or during the conference.

    240. Mia says:

      “Your choice”

      My choice is to only vote for the SNP in the constituency if the SNP includes in their manifesto for the Holyrood election a mandate to end the union with a deadline for the re-establishment of Scotland as an independent state attached to it. That is the only reason left that can make me cast my vote for them.

      If they continue to attempt to fool us with more kicking the can down the road in the form of lists of deception points, then my choice will be to vote for somebody else or to spoil the ballot.

    241. Dan says:

      @ Effijy

      They possibly did send ambulances to Scotland, it’s just that they had patients in them needing treatment. 😉

      A few weeks ago there was mention of English patients being treated in Scottish hospitals.

    242. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Watched ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ last night.

      Thought I’d seen it before but I hadn’t.

      If that doesn’t carry a message for all of us right now I don’t know what does.

      Hard to pinpoint precisely what the message is, but the African proverb ‘Unity chops elephants’ probably fits as well as any other.

      Unity?

      Right now?

      Not a chance.

      The rot has to be dealt with.

    243. Samuel says:

      Wee Nikla has Scots under house arrest.

      And yet she is turning a blind eye to some screwball english clown.

      And this english clown is breaking all sorts of laws to tell Scots he will ignore the democratic will of the Scottish people by denying them a Referendum on whether they should become an independent nation or not.

      Boris wants us to fall to our knees and beg him.

      And where do you think Boris will visit? I’m going for Moray (little engerland), or the Orkneys.

    244. Alf Baird says:

      Stuart MacKay

      Scots will have an opportunity (via Solidarity and ISP) to make independence happen in May! Why wait? Scotland could be sitting at COP26 as a real host country, no longer pushed into an ante room or outside.

      Here is the Solidarity Party statement urging the SNP to do the same:

      “If the SNP hierarchy is serious about independence, they can simply recognise that, include it in their Election Manifesto, and if a majority vote for Independence supporting Parties, then independence can be declared and an application to the UN can be made for international recognition. It’s that simple”! “Anything less is not good enough”!

      Any serious supporter of independence must therefore surely vote for a party that is fighting May’s election as a plebiscite on independence.

    245. Davie Oga says:

      Re: using the climate change summit to highlight Scotland’s cause. Aside from the fact that half our own side would think it’s inappropriate, not the right time, or
      or start accusing people of making a political issue out of politics, the pandemic and mass security would make it difficult to guarantee that it would be effective.

      The most powerful act of civil protest that I can think of was when Thich Quang Duc self immolated to protest the persecution of Buddhists by the government of South Vietnam.

      https://time.com/3791176/malcolm-browne-the-story-behind-the-burning-monk/

      I say take it a step further and have a series of self immolations performed by our leadership at strategic locations throughout Scotland in the run up to the big day.

      Monday. The Lord Advocate does himself outside The High Court
      Tues. Somerville does herself outside LGBT Youth Scotland’s headquarters.
      Wed. Woman H does herself does herself outside a Lothian Rd massage parlor.
      Thurs. Angus Robertson and Jennifer Dempsey go together outside T in the Park’s HQ
      Fri. Swinney does himself outside a bankrupt insurance company
      Sat. Murrell turns to ashes outside Thames House in London – keep them fighting on different fronts
      And finally on Sunday, Sturgeon and her Chief of Staff go together (their fate is intertwined) outside a greasy chippy in Irvine.

      These people care so deeply for Scotland that I’m sure they will be willing to do the needful.

    246. Polly says:

      @ Frank

      Why don’t you show your true face Mister? And why is it you’re always allowed to blab away here under all your many pseudonyms? Do you have unlimited ips and proxies so Stuart can’t block you? Or is it something else? Either way Liz g is correct to ignore you, but Stuart shouldn’t, should he?

      @ Alf

      It was nothing to do with class or snobbery. What I meant was because Tommy Sheridan has so far only been an MSP for a limited time. He doesn’t have a wealth of experience in wider politics which Alex Salmond has. We have a wealth of talent in Scotland, but as you’d say yourself of the present SNP cohort they’ve most not held high office or leadership positions to enable them to negotiate with England after independence. As you say during that time it is crucial we have the best people for that role, in my opinion Alex Salmond is that person, Tommy Sheridan is not.

    247. robertknight says:

      Polly

      A VPN makes it very difficult for a host to I-D and block repeat offenders. You’d spend all day playing whack-a-mole trying to do so, sadly.

    248. Polly says:

      @ robertknight

      Thanks Robert. That wasn’t my point though to Mr Anonymous above. But for that particular individual it’s not like his new clothes are a disguise in any way, so there should be no difficulty blocking him when we all realise as soon as he speaks it’s him back yet again. Still he plays a role I suppose.

    249. Alf Baird says:

      Polly

      “He doesn’t have a wealth of experience in wider politics”

      Aye, right! Only 40 yrs or so. If you want political experience (and knowledge), integrity, commitment and oration you won’t find better then TS. Knowing one’s adversary properly is also crucial and few know or understand better the workings and culture of the British state.

      Cherry, Blackford, Whitford, et al. are political infants by comparison, and all are still to discover what nationalism really means – not an uncommon feature within the more privileged classes. That is why we are in a state of limbo – led by a daeless bourgeois class.

      In May my two votes are both going to a party/parties which will be offering in their manifesto that election as a plebiscite on independence and I would urge all independence supporters to do likewise. Let’s get independence done, in May!

    250. Daisy Walker says:

      @Crazycat,

      Thank you for your detailed explanation re the list seat process. Understand it a bit better now.

      Last HE, Swinney was put on both list and constituency registers, but I’m not sure what number he was on the list.

      For sake of argument, if his place in parliament was looking shoogly, and they put him at number one on the list, other than the cost of paying to register him twice, they don’t really lose anything do they.

      If he get the Constituency vote, their preferred list vote ‘no2 on the list’ will still get it.

      So, really very difficult to vote him out, when they deploy this belt and braces approach.

      Do you have any information about how a party gauges how many candidates to register on the list vote?

      Thanks again.

    251. Daisy Walker says:

      Alf Baird, re Tommy Sheridan,

      The thing I can never get past re TS, is his lack of judgement, knowing as he did that the establishment were always out to get him, of holding a ‘fact finding mission’ at a strip club. Aye right.

      I have appreciated his integrity re Indy, and his oratory skills, but on a personal level, and as a voter, I do not trust him.

    252. Polly says:

      @ Alf

      ‘Blackford, Whitford’

      I agree with those names, but Cherry, being in law all that time is no neophyte to politics or strategy. She will be very useful in future as she was in the recent past.

      You’re obviously a staunch supporter of Sheridan, I’m not though I wouldn’t mind voting for him. I’m sorry but I’m not a great fan of the working class hero thing, even though I’m working class myself. Nor am I against all middle or upper class folks in our ranks if they can be useful. I tend to agree with Daisy a bit here. Though ‘The thing I can never get past re TS, is his lack of judgement…’ well I guess we could call Salmond and his judgement to account for his leaving us the successor he did. So everyone has faults and failings.

    253. Maff says:

      Cop is a chance for the movement to be heard en masse without any middle man

    254. Alf Baird says:

      Daisy/Polly

      None of us are perfect and that includes anybody we may vote for.

      I’m not sure how Ms Cherry has been ‘useful’ to the independence cause by confirming the sovereignty of Westminster. To be ‘useful’ to independence she would surely have been better confirming the political sovereignty of Scotland’s MP’s.

      National allegiance is what counts, on the matter of independence.

      Eyes on the prize – independence in May’s/plebiscite election, offered by ISP, Solidarity and any other party with 100% allegiance to Scotland.

    255. Polly says:

      @ Alf

      She was useful in the prorogation case, showing Westminster had limits – and especially that Scots law could be used successfully against it to hold it to account while English law couldn’t. If Keating’s case is even slightly successful depending on the wording of the judgment when it comes, it might have been helped by Aidan O’Neill citing that case. I always doubted the Keating case would prove much either way, but some of the submissions were interesting.

      ‘National allegiance is what counts, on the matter of independence.’

      Agree entirely with that part Alf.

    256. Stuart MacKay says:

      Alf and everybody else,

      We don’t have an SNP problem as much as we have an “all our eggs in one basket” problem and we’ll continue to fail as long as there is a fixation on individuals or parties.

      The Yes movement is really the foundation of our freedom and we should be doing everything to diversify that and make it robust against, attack, subterfuge, personal agendas and incompetence.

      Liz g was right when she said we needed leverage. It’s not just leverage against the SNP though that’s the focus of attention right now but leverage against failure no matter where or when it occurs.

      Independence needs to be combat effective at all times. That’s the only way we’ll win against Westminster.

      Right now SNP in the constituency and ISP on the list make sense even if nose holding is required. It’s the only thing that makes sense. the goal is not to keep the SNP in power but is instead elimination of the unionist parties from the scene once and for all. A strong ISP can keep the SNP in check but more importantly it breaks the One Party State mentality that grips everything. We’ll only make progress with the soft-nos when there is choice. There’s precious little choice right now. Gradualism is a busted flush and is designed to keep the One Party State alive. It will never turn soft nos into yeses.

      This is a bit of a rant. But I see clearly now. Thanks to everyone who’s ever said something useful here.

    257. Robert Hughes says:

      Agreed Stuart .

    258. Graham says:

      Would anyone threatening to not vote SNP please explain how a unionist holyrood 2021 would put the independence movement in a better position?

      There is no nationalist holyrood comprised of other parties. Having a nationalist holyrood has kept the movement alive. Can you imagine if the SNP had won none of the elections since 2014? Paints a very different picture, right? We would not be discussing having any sort of referendum or plebiscite at all, it would be irrelevant, and the party of independence would be portrayed accurately as being defeated and their cause completely and resoundingly rejected by Scotland.

      Don’t take the nationalist orientation of Holyrood for granted, it’s worth more than anything else to the independence cause. Vote tactically, not emotionally.

      SNP1. ISP2.

    259. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Would anyone threatening to not vote SNP please explain how a unionist holyrood 2021 would put the independence movement in a better position?”

      Oh please stop with this shitty old line. Nobody is saying it would, and there’s sod-all chance of the SNP not forming the next government. But when your prospects of independence are already zero, they can’t go any lower.

    260. Andy Ellis says:

      @Rev Stu 1.01pm

      Hear, hear! I’m beyond tired of the hard of thinking “eyes on the prize” brigade. The SNP aren’t entitled to our votes irrespective of how they act or (mis)behave.

      Given all that we’ve seen of the SNPs qualities in recent months, I’d actually prefer them to depend on other pro-indy parties for their majority, not that I’d personally like to see the Scottish Greens anywhere near power either!

      We have no realistic choice with only 3 months left until HR2021 than to have the SNP as the pro-indy bulwark: all the polls suggest they will win a majority on their own, so it’s vanishingly unlikely there won’t be a convincing pro indy majority – or even super majority – with other pro indy parties.

      The issue for the broader movement is how to either save the SNP from itself and turn it away from gradualism, or if that proves impossible how to form a new more radical pro independence force which is prepared to assert Scots sovereignty, rather than beg Westminster’s permission.

    261. Liz g says:

      Polly
      Thanks for your earlier comments…and as long as he/ she focuses on me he’s/she’s leaving someone else alone 🙂
      Anyhoo . Id say the ” who should deal with Westminster issues ” will indeed need people of substance and skill and we’ll all have our opinions on who.
      But I think the main thing is …. we need people who will NOT do it quietly.
      We need for ALL of Scotland to be ( if they’ve a mind to ) in on these negotiations.
      None of this behind closed doors shit…. someone like the Rev who will tell us straight who said what and not sign up to non disclosure/ confidential/ public interest / national security shit.
      Idealistic? Maybe.
      Never been done before ? Probably.
      But that’s been exactly the problem with it….
      If these politicians have to do their politicking under the gimlet eye of the electorate then we’d likely get a far better outcome .

    262. crazycat says:

      @ Daisy Walker at 11.10

      The maximum number of candidates a party can put on its list is 12 (https://tinyurl.com/y4htlpkg). Since the maximum number of seats it could win is 7, that allows up to 5 “spares”. These could be insurance for constituency candidates and/or people to replace any MSPs who depart the parliament for any reason (or are elected in constituency by-elections).

      How do they decide? It’s probably a mixture of guesswork and availability of suitable candidates.

      The deposit (£500) covers the whole list, so there is no extra cost for including Swinney. And yes, the system does make it very difficult to remove him (or James Kelly, Jackie Baillie, Ruth Davidson, Murdo Fraser, etc).

    263. Confused says:

      michael hudson is always worth reading in entirety; a bit long, but you will know what a “rentier” is and why we are headed for a techno-neo-feudalism.

      https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/01/michael-hudson-finance-capitalism-vs-industrial-capitalism-the-rentier-resurgence-and-takeover.html

      e.g.

      The result is a “deep state” supporting a cosmopolitan financial oligarchy. That is the definition of fascism, reversing democratic government to restore control to the rentier financial and monopoly classes. The beneficiary is the corporate sector, not labor, whose resentment is turned against foreigners and against designated enemies within.

      – obliquely, offers an insight into why “the left is not the left” anymore and the “woke” new puritanism has been set loose as a wrecking ball, and is eagerly supported by the actual fascists. Trannies as corporate janissaries? – what a world to live in.

      It’s looking a long way down the road – if we get indy, if we procure a mechanism, if our people don’t sell the jerseys during negotiations – but once you get to indy, if you set it up wrong to start with then the country remains a neoliberal theme park for willy wonka billionaires, with us as the oompah loompahs; we might get a benefit from more of the raw tax take circulating, but if all that happens is the corporate HQs (who really rule you) are no longer in London, then you’ve been fooled, yet again. Sadly this “making an indy Scotland SAFE for international capital” is what the SNP seem to be baking into the pie in the background.

    264. twathater says:

      @ Alf Baird as I previously stated Tommy Sheridan has been outstanding in his drive and desire for indy and has many great qualities , as Daisy said there are some things that are questionable re his previous actions BUT none of us are perfect , but when you consider the evil malignancy that has enveloped the SNP higher echelons and is TEARING independence supporters and Scots asunder I know what the greater evil is

      I consider myself to be a moderate socialist but have also experienced rabid left leaning troublemakers whose intentions were to disguise their abject laziness and entitlement
      However do you know if TS and solidarity are standing in constituency seats or is it just list seats

    265. Al-Stuart says:

      .
      Kenny,

      Thanks for sticking your head above the political parapet again. I for one REALLY appreciate your efforts. Hopefully many on here do too.

      Reading between the lines, an IndyRef2 this year is off of the menu.

      But there does seem to be hope…

      If we can get one or more TRUE INDEPENDENCE LEADERS… high profile names with gravitas and trust to propel an IndyRef2 guaranteed LIST party and win 10 to 15 MSPs to represent the cause after this May 2021, then…

      GAME ON.

      The new LIST party, whether called ISP or more accurately the “REAL SNP” can hold the “MCWOKE FAKE PROMISE SNP” party’s feet to the fire and actually get the legal advice etc., on deploying Plan B.

      Boris is never going to say yes to a Section 30. Having a viable Plan B is our best chance at a fair and honest solution with Blinkey McBlinkWoke at the helm.

      Our only practical hope at this point is to have Alex Salmond or Kenny MacAskill or Joanna Cherry in the new REAL SNP IndyRef2 guaranteed party leading the thing. It’s the only way we can get the critical mass of votes required to win 10 to 15 MSPs.

      But a wee part of me suspects Kenny and Stuart already know this and are leading up to a big announcement. I hope that is the case.

      ——————————-

      P,S. Kenny, your reference to the Titanic Blinkey article got me thinking about blink rates as an indicator of the blinker lying. In your previous legal profession you’ll be well kent in the art of spotting a mega-fibber. Me too from training at Tulliallan.

      Out of curiosity I counted Nicola Sturgeon’s blink rate when being interviewed on the Andrew Marr program.

      Newborn babies don’t lie. They blink 2 times a minute.

      Teenagers blink 4 times a minute when at rest. Teens blink 10 times a minute when you ask them about whether they have done their homework or if they fancy that girl/boy that meets them at the High School gates.

      Nicola Sturgeon blinked 120 times in ONE minute.

      I just alerted the Guinness Book of Records.

      That is an awesome 2 blinks per second. Her eye lashes caused so much wind, she blew over two thin pensioners. The friction from 2 blinks per second causes is enough heat to set her pants on fire.

      Fascinating.

    266. Alf Baird says:

      twathater

      Not sure about Solidarity strategy emphasis on constituency and list, although I would assume primarily the latter for now. All I do know is the party statement advocates a plebiscite election on independence and has called on the SNP to offer the same in its manifesto.

    267. Saffron Robe says:

      Talking of blinking. I was watching a crime documentary about a criminal in the US who had been committing serious fraud over many years. The detective who finally apprehended him said that he seemed startled at first to have been caught and then started blinking rapidly!

    268. Graham says:

      @revstu 1.01pm

      “Nobody is saying it would…”

      Alright then, so it won’t help advance independence. What’s it for then? What’s the intended consequences of that action? It’s a genuine question.

      My assumption is there’s nothing to gain and it’s just vain bluster. I give the benefit of doubt and the opportunity to share the opposing view, because that’s the kind of society I’d like to live in, so I’d appreciate a reasonable answer.

      Stu, I expect you would agree that the better the election result for the party of independence the stronger position the independence movement is in. Of course “it can go lower”. I’ll take your point Holyrood is unlikely to swing unionist this time, but the principle stands, and so does my question; what’s to gain from ‘not voting SNP’?

      I put it to you that “because we won’t get independence anyway” and “because they’ll get a majority anyway” holds no water if the ultimate aim is independence.

    269. Graham says:

      @Andy Ellis 1.17pm

      So you are saying I am “hard of thinking”.

      Alright.

      Seeing as thinking comes easier to you; you don’t like the SNP, you don’t like the greens, and you have “no other realistic choice”, you want to save the SNP from itself, or otherwise form a new party, and the election is a few months away.

      So….. don’t vote SNP in May. Ok. Who are you going to vote for? And what effect do you expect that will have? Or is abstention a good policy? Please share your illuminating thoughts for those who find it hard.



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