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Wings Over Scotland

View from the green benches

Posted on July 24, 2020 by

The closure of the UK Parliament for the summer holidays this week marked the end of my first political “year” with the SNP Group at Westminster, albeit a truncated one under unusual circumstances. Having served in Holyrood much is similar and familiar, even if anachronistic in style and reeking of snobbery. Staff are remarkably helpful and individual members can be exceedingly pleasant.

But this isn’t our Parliament and we’re most certainly not amongst friends.

The whole structure of the system’s geared towards HM Government with a slot for the official opposition. Opportunities for a third party, let alone one that openly seeks to bring about the end of the British state, are limited indeed.

It’s always been thus. I recall the lonely furrow that was ploughed for many long years by Gordon Wilson and Donald Stewart. It must have been so much harder for them with far fewer resources and less public support for the cause. But our party has never been bigger, and independence has never had greater support.

Yet rather than seeking to appease independence supporters, let alone charm Scots more generally, the actions and attitude of the Tory government have been to close down opposition and reduce the role of Scots, with English Votes for English Laws unleashed and relentless barracking of Ian Blackford (even if the latter has lessened as they’ve realised how boorish it looks). The 2019 election with SNP gains and Tory losses, responded to by packing of the Scottish Affairs Committee with English MPs.

Petty prejudices compound the institutional blockages, with a refusal to term an office wing the SNP block though it had formerly been the Liberals’. Instead the term “third party” was imposed, neutering nationalist representation. It’s only going to worsen as the Tories face down another independence referendum.

There’s no doubt that my colleagues have worked hard. But the question is to what purpose? What is the role of SNP members at Westminster, especially as a Tory government turns the screw on devolution and takes actions that are deeply harmful to our society and economy? Action is needed and quickly.

I’ve always been sceptical about SNP involvement at Westminster even, although I accept its necessity. Scots won’t vote for an abstentionist party as happens in Northern Ireland with Sinn Fein. A refusal to go at all would simply result in a querying of why you’re standing. Votes wouldn’t be won and seats vital to promote the cause of independence would be lost. Do we really want more Scottish Labour MPs back?

Time has also moved on and UK power has been greatly centralised since the days of the Irish Parliamentary Party, firstly under Charles Stewart Parnell and then under John Redmond, used Westminster rules and procedure to great effect. Additionally, the SNP neither has the numbers that they had nor holds the sway they did, when they held the balance of power between Liberal and Tory.

That doesn’t mean that nothing can be achieved. Jim Sillars, when famously elected in the Govan by-election, used it very successfully as a platform to campaign around the country against the poll tax. Both then and now questions have been asked and speeches made in the House of Commons that have resonated in Scotland and been important for the cause.

Sometimes it’s important to vote even in the knowledge of certain defeat, highlighting the futility of Westminster and the need for independence. The importance of that equally shouldn’t be overplayed. Many more excellent contributions go unreported and unnoticed, and the rules of the Westminster game will always be set against us.

So, using the platform and building of the constituency base is essential. The political profile for the individual is important and the resource for the cause is essential. But dutiful attendance and supine acceptance of anything and everything most certainly isn’t. What is the purpose of serving on committees where scrutiny is almost entirely of English and Welsh legislation?

In 2015 Angus Robertson sat SNP MPs down on the green benches with the stated intention of being the real opposition. Now that could never be. By its very ethos it was wrong, let alone by virtue of numbers being impossible. That has been a counsel of despair, despite valiant individual contributions. Indeed, it was partly responsible for the debacle of 2017, but another opportunity has been given and the SNP must use it.

For everything has changed with the election of 2019. No more are there any close votes where SNP intervention could be crucial. Instead whether on Brexit, immigration or trade, Tory majorities have rammed home legislation deeply damaging to Scotland. Rather than respecting Scotland’s views, Johnson is intent on rejecting them.

There’s work to be done but it’s in mostly our constituencies, building the base as we confront Tory intransigence. In Westminster SNP must be an insurgency. Attacking when it can, participating only when it’s necessary and for Scottish interests. That’ll enrage unionists more than abstentionism. Our strategy must change.


*Kenny MacAskill is an SNP MP and the former Cabinet Secretary for Justice.

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108 to “View from the green benches”

  1. Dickie T

    So more of the same making absolutely no difference then?

  2. Alasdair Macdonald

    Thank you for this, Mr MacAskill. We could do with some reasoned argument on this site, because for some time it has been full of splenetic bile, more directed at Scotland and the Scottish Government than on moving the argument forward in a constructive way in changing circumstances.

  3. robertknight

    “the rules of the Westminster game will always be set against us.”

    Then try breaking them from time to time…

    Get kicked out, walk out, endless points of order, treat the Tories with the same barracking disdain they treat you.

    Blackford needs to stand up at PMQs and say he has no questions as he’d not believe the answers anyway – that’d set the heather alight!

  4. Fraser Reid

    Still no word on our promised referendum then…. That was sadly just more blah of what we have heard before…. Nothing new.

  5. Big Jock

    I would have agreed with this article 3 years ago. But alas it is now too late for this strategy. The SNP wasted 3 years sitting in WM achieving absolutely zero.

    As for working in the constituencies? Again it’s too late for that. We actually need immediate action , not more silent work in the constituencies. After December we are out or the EU and in deep doo doo. Boris will do all he can to neuter Holyrood into nothing more than window dressing. Holyrood will become like the monarchy. Something we pay for that has no actual power!

    Firstly we need the SNP to spell out what action they are taking on the power grab. How they are going to get independence without a section 30.Finally they need to start talking to the people like me who have been in the party for 32 years and feel disillusioned and cheated.

  6. Oneliner

    Good to see an established SNP politician mentioning ‘insurgency’.

    I shouldn’t be surprised if you have limited opportunity, but go to it!

    Then, when you discover that opportunity is limited, what do you do?

  7. Sensibledave

    Mr MacAskill wrote “ Opportunities for a third party, let alone one that openly seeks to bring about the end of the British state, are limited indeed.”

    … Hmmm, so not content with Scottish Independence then?

  8. Breastplate

    Scottish independence means the end of the British state.

  9. Johnny

    I’d be interested to hear from the SNP MP (if one exists) who would dispute this analysis and, if they do, how they can justify it. In particular, with aspects where Kenny states that they are wasting their time (I agree).

    From Kenny himself, I’d be interested to hear what ‘quickly’ means in terms of the required action (I obviously agree action is needed). Also a definition of what ‘action’ Kenny would like to see would be nice. Obviously he names some things but I suppose what I am getting at is, when does he think we should be going for the big prize?

    Lots to agree with here, though.

  10. Auld Rock

    Kenny, you forgot to include the abuse and shocking treatment handed out to Winnie when she first attended that dump on the Thames.

  11. dakk


    Empty rhetoric from the Scottish MPs will not deliver Scotland from colonial subjugation.

    Something else entirely has always been required.

  12. McDuff

    It’s a decent piece, but that is all it is.
    It is heavy on waffle and light on, oh what’s the word,ah yes, independence.
    No plan ,no strategy and no passion in the paragraphs. It’s all about building a base but what is the plan for that base, the structure
    Westminster treats us like crap and we respond by throwing feathers at them.

  13. Ron Maclean

    ‘In Westminster SNP must be an insurgency’.

    Shouldn’t be hard to beat the product of inaction so far. For example handclapping, singing ‘Ode to Joy’, a walk out for a coffee and a walk back in again, a verse of ‘Scots wha hae’, playing keepy uppy, and somebody wearing a football top. And making lots of money. Is that any higher than the low flying Jimmies?

    Insurgency? I’ll believe it when I see it. Enjoy your holiday.

    Any chance of a referendum?

  14. Kenny

    Hello, Mr Askill, thank you for writing this article.

    “Scots won’t vote for an abstentionist party as happens in Northern Ireland with Sinn Fein. A refusal to go at all would simply result in a querying of why you’re standing. Votes wouldn’t be won and seats vital to promote the cause of independence would be lost. Do we really want more Scottish Labour MPs back?”

    I am curious as to where is your evidence for the above quotation. Has any empirical research been done on this? There was a time when you could say that “Glasgow won’t vote for an indy party” or “the Highlands won’t vote for the SNP”. But you stand on your principles and let the electorate decide.

    If you have spent a year with the SNP group at Westminster, you will know that Sinn Fein do not speak in the chamber or join committees. But they maintain offices and staff and thereby represent the interests of their constituents. Their constituents continue to vote for them.

    “seats vital to promote the cause of independence would be lost”. In what way are SNP MPs at Westminster promoting the cause of independence? The only way to do this is to convince a majority of Scots, who are not at Westminster. It seems to me that Westminster has a detrimental effect on many SNP MPs, who are staunchly supporting the union they have pledged to dismantle.

    Democracy and electioneering should always be about positive choice. You should set out your principles and let the electors decide. There is a danger of moulding your programme to suit “the electorate”; you might mould them back once you are elected. An example of this is the promise to hold an indyref2 in 2018.

  15. Joe

    Is there another way to say ‘trying desperately to shore up their support’? I don’t want to sound too repetitive.

    The SNP needs to start making concessions Mr MacAskill. You need to start addressing some real concerns. Talking about Tory’s and ‘quick action’ isnt doing that. It looks more like avoiding the issues with the SNP.

    Personally id rather just completely replace the lot of you as there are few I have any genuine trust for. Unfortunately that’s not a small task.

    Ive been telling people on this site that your party will let them down for some years now and so far I have been 100% right. People are paying more attention to that than they were.

    You are simply not worthy of trust or support.

    The SNP stance on Brexit was ridiculous. Your limp defense of the Scottish electorate was shameful. Some of the policies being considered by the Scottish Government are outrageous and would only be considered seriously by the most foolish, or untrustworthy, of people.

    Scots have always ultimately been betrayed from within. Some things never change.

  16. Breastplate

    Kenny, thanks for your contribution to this site and agree with much of what you say but in my opinion we should be focused on other things that have time constraints.
    Of course what you say has merit but also lacks any sense of urgency.

    Will the SNP address the mandates for a referendum?
    Will the SNP address our membership of the EU?
    Will the SNP address Scottish independence?
    Manjana, manjana, manjana.

    It seems to me that they’re simply disregarding Scotland’s zeitgeist.

    Zeitgeist? What zeitgeist?

    The clock is ticking.

  17. schrodingers cat

    an snp mp article on wings??

    who would have thunk it 🙂

  18. G H Graham

    Number of times a clear tactic, mechanism or procedure was mentioned with the singular purpose of achieving “independence”?


    Next contributor, please.

  19. Kenny

    D’ahh.. I’m a fan, MacAskill, but I Was looking for more from this.
    When that sinister Tory clown has been sullying our country with his presence, I was looking for more.
    All our champions are impotent. Nobody gives a damn, nobody’s trying.
    We’re done.

  20. ahundredthidiot


    so, more of the same Kenny, aye?

    and to suggest (for not taking their Seats) that the consequences would be more Labour MPs…. just shows how out of touch you are…..maybe more INDEPENDENTS might appear next time around – people with the courage NOT to take their Seats and give their wages to the local foodbanks – God knows, they’ll fucking need it.

    That’s it – you’re Kenny fae SouthPark fae now on! – mumble mumble mumble – that’s all I hear when you speak.

  21. J Galt

    Kenny if you could stop Ian Blackford from opening his mouth in there that would help.

  22. Scozzie

    I expected more from Kenny MacAsgill’s piece. I thought he was more in the ‘let’s get this done’ camp. But if these are his pearls of wisdom I suspect there’s not going to be a change in approach from the SNP at WM.

    No mention how they plan to fight back on key areas such as getting dragged out of the EU, the power grab, inevitable dismantling of the SNHS, and ultimately agitate for independence. If they want to affect change they need to take radical action.

    I know the arithmetic is not there to over-turn legislation. But politics is more than making speeches in the house – surely they need some form of tactical approach.

    I’d like to see them walk out of WM and return to Scotland on the basis of what Breeks refers to as our Constitutional Subjugation. Declare that losing our EU citizenship, power grab and back-door privitisation of our SNHS are the grounds for this action. And that Scotland will negotiate with WM from our own seat of power on these constitutional power grabs.

    No-one wants to make trade deals with a state in utter political turmoil – such radical action could force the hand of WM if they want to have their glorious uplands of Brexit and so called trade deals with the world.

    Will they do it – hell no! All we can expect from the SNP in HR and WM is more rolling over and empty worded speeches.

  23. J Galt

    Schrodinger’s Cat@12.00

    Something tells me that Kenny – whose heart at least appears to be in the right place – will not be flavour of month at SNP HQ!

  24. Ottomanboi

    The MP Douglas Ross.
    “The Prime Minister wasn’t just at RAF Lossiemouth where he was thanking the troops ( for what.)… he was on a factory visit with me at Baxters where he was cheered and waved by employees and spoke to local people and engaged with them”.
    Pure old style Soviet era or Hitlerzeit stuff. Bouncing Boris’ Baxters blether.
    Baxters and Tunnocks, not for the refined political taste.

  25. Blair Paterson

    Packing the Scottish Affairs committee with English MPs how does that stand up against EVEL we are being abused left right and centre if were a dog they would be calling in theRSPCA

  26. Craig P

    I remember when there were SSP MSPs, they contributed half their wage to the cause.

    What are SNP MPs contributing?

    If the SNP were wise, they would make it a penance, not a profit, to be elected to Westminster.

    (btw, I don’t doubt for a second Kenny MacAskill’s commitment to independence.)

  27. Walter Jones

    I just can’t be arsed with the SNP anymore.

    Sturgeon’s Gradualist approach to Independence, the inaction of their MPs and just their whole general deminar.

    Totally pissed off with the lot of them.

    I will never campaign for any SNP rep ever again.

    What the fuck have the SNP done for Scotland since Sturgeon came to power?

    No indyRef2, lost our EU membership, losing powers at Holyrood.

    Oh, and bringing in laws so men can legally enter women’s spaces.

    But apart from that they are doing a great job

    Fuck Off SNP.

  28. PhilM

    Always interesting to read an article from an SNP body that we know wants independence yesterday. Yet there’s still very little meat on the bone in terms of practical steps to move the cause forward. Go back to your constituencies and prepare for…something…which will probably turn up…at some unspecified time…soon…mibbes aye…mibbes naw…
    What we do know is that any future referendum will not be so much Project Fear as Project Absolute Fucking Holy Terror with the BBC pumping hourly soul-sapping propaganda into our front rooms. So what do we think about countering that now rather than waiting for it to happen?
    And then there’s Hard Brexit on the horizon. If Britain (puke) is going to be Singapore…sorry…when London becomes Singapore, Edinburgh might get some leftovers, but what’s going to be left for the rest of us? Holding out begging bowls on the A9 hoping for a nickel from lardy Americans? Cleaning out toilets in Taco Bell or Wendy’s? Playing “let’s all join in” games with Surrey retirees in their gated old-age communities just outside Peebles or Moffat or Troon or Bothwell or Gleneagles…
    Personally speaking I only see a stark choice ahead for me. It’s either independence or death. To be ruled by TWO fucking buffoon shambles like de Pfeffel and the Mekon is just too much to bear.
    End of communication…

  29. KevR

    Bit of a coup that Stuart, well done????

  30. Sensibledave


    Haha! No it wouldn’t!!! It would result in a simple realignment of the borders of the British State. Why would you care anyway?

  31. ahundredthidiot

    and anyone thinking this piece wasn’t sanitised and sanctioned by NS, needs their bloody heads looked at.

    I thought I was supposed to calm down after 20 minutes!!!

  32. Ottomanboi

    The heart has to be in this. Don’t believe the current SNP intake is prepared to endure the opprobrium of the Unionist parties. Too many seem to want to be good cops.
    Honestly, what are they in London for anyway?
    Their presence simply reinforces the Scotland as supplicant stereotype.
    Stuff their Mother of Parliaments, unwritten constitution, rule of THEIR law, monarchy….

  33. Walter Jones


    BBC News, Sky News, ITV News, all back to the way they were before Covid19.

    Scotland Wales and N Ireland totally wiped off the face of the earth.

    We just don’t exist.

    Nothing ever happens in these three countries, ever.

    All News and Sport only ever happens in that fuckin dump they call engerland.

    Sturgeon, get your fuckin finger out.

  34. Annie 621

    Well said Big Jock…your crucial concerns are those of many,MANY of us.
    Snp (in current form) will not lead us any closer to the natural way of things,independence., In fact, the opposite has been the plan for oh a Whiley now: Their sole purpose is to keep the whole thing going the way it is thank you very much.
    Listen to the boss down the road..always..
    Their wages far far outweigh the cause they were created for in the first place.
    Just keep it going, eh.
    A Parcel of Rogues right enough,
    Never thought we’d see this day, did we?

  35. red sunset

    Thank you for writing this, Kenny MacAskill. I actually feel uplifted just to be reading your article here at all.

    You’re absolutely right about Westminster – it’s a waste of space for us, but you are there as our representatives. I would hope that some new thinking drives our MPs over the next few months. An “insurgency” would be good – we’re hardly making any friends there, so no harm at all in stirring some sh***.

    We have reached that stage Ghandi called “and then they fight you”. Next year this time the political landscape in Scotland is going to be entirely different from what it is right now. For good or bad, we are in the cauldron now.

    And as mentioned above, you’re not going to be well received in high places for sticking your head above the parapet, and putting your name in this place. I’ve always looked on you as one of the straightforward and honest speaking ones. Take care of yourself, we need those people.

    Anyway, as for Westminster – gie them hell!

  36. Josef Ó Luain

    I welcome your piece here on Wings, Mr MacAskill — a refreshing change. I’m at a lose, however, to understand why you feel you can foretell the result of any course of action without participation in that course of action.

    One argument against a permanent walk-out, in common with political suicide is: you can only do it once, and that such an action would quickly loss newsworthiness thus sustained interest.

    Orchestrated, substantive and disciplined walk-outs from Westminster are quite another matter, though. One immediate tactical advantage being that the Parliamentary Party would be in a position to call-the-shots in terms of timing, effectively enhancing its control over the media agenda. Currently, if you live in Scotland It’s difficult not to believe that in the reckoning of the U.K. political media, the S.N.P. Parliamentary Party possesses scant relevance or newsworthiness in the great-run of things political.

  37. Corrado Mella

    Too little, too late.

    Sadly the viscosity of Westminster and its power has slowed down the progress of Scottish Independence to a slow crawl.

    Meekly pouting because of that is childish and disrespectful.
    Grievance politics will only bring you so far, and the peak has past.

    It’s time for action, Mr. McAskill.

    Take your arses back to Scotland, formally and ostentatiously leave the English Parliament to establish a Constituent Assembly here, possibly in Glasgow – just to balance the political power between East and West coast.

    And please, you outside of the Central Belt, keep the heid. Things will change when we’re independent, power will be distributed through the Country. At the moment it’s best to concentrate it in “war rooms”.

    Scots ex-MPs, now Constituent Assembli Members (CAMs) should relentlessly slate any “Scottish” party representative that refuses to join the Constituent Assembly.

    There’s nothing left for you to do in London, nor anything to gain for Scotland from participating in that anachronistic charade.

    This will enthuse Scots again and show a way forward, with the secondary advantage to upend every agreement the UK has tentatively agreed and could agree with the EU.

    An Independent Scotland declared before the end of 2020 will stop Brexshit on its tracks, saving the rest of the UK from its devastating consequences.

    This sorry year has taken so much from us, it’s time to claw back some hope.

    Be bold, be brave, be free.

  38. Bob Mack

    A good read Kenny, but to be honest it’s like Miss Marple knitting a jumper whilst the murderer tightens their grip on her throat. There comes a time when it’s too late to react.

    That time is fast approaching. It may not so much of an SNP whodunnit, but more a case of why did they do nothing!!

  39. defo

    Fantastic to see Kenny on WoS.
    I think we all know which side of the good guy/wank divide he’s on.

    When NS said that the peeps will decide on having Indyref2, not her, what was to be the mechanism for this?

  40. Grouse Beater

    If only the SNP leadership had a strategy, Kenny, unless you wish to call squirrel breeding and chasing a strategy.

  41. liz

    I’m glad to see this Kenny.
    The SNP need to realise we are a diverse group brought together to achieve independence.

    Some of your colleagues at WM have become captured by it, it’s inevitable that, what I would consider to be, those that lack an intellect, are easily bought with baubles.
    People vote for the party, not the personalities, otherwise Nicolson, Alyn S and SMcD, would be out on their ears.
    I don’t trust them one bit.
    They are arrogant and block many of their own constituents who ask basic questions.

    NS is stalling, we can see it.
    Breeks makes the best comment, we need a constitutional backstop before the end of the year.
    The Scottish people are sovereign, England cannot pull us out of the EU, cos we voted to remain.

    How that can be achieved, is up to people like you

  42. Kevin Robertson

    It’s good that Kenny is taking an active role in focussing the attention of the SNP on where they should be going. Rehabilitating Wings in the process is an interesting development too. Good for Kenny, good for Wings and good for YES

    I’d still like them to be far more aggressive than they’re being.

  43. Terry

    Great article. It tells us more I think than it says. Ask yourself why Kenny re entered politics? Also ask yourself who else could be coming back to get independence over the line and is a close political ally of kenny’s? Also ask yourself why he has posted on Wings which as we know is the bete noir of the woke/indy-light brigade?

    Smell the coffee peeps!

  44. James Che.

    Thank you kenny, for at least trying to fathom why grass roots of the yes movement are discontent with the snp.
    One of the problems for the snp is how they chose to separate themselves from their base, by not listening and inacting what the people of Scotland want. When that was done snp were bound to start hearing discontent from us,
    It simply makes the snp like any other British party, disconnected, and busy inside their own heads following their own interpretation of Scottish voters.
    It is time for the snp to return to the people of Scotland in its original purpose that it first grew from, forget this woke rhetoric, and waiting to see what the rest of the world and England may or may not do, the snp have lost their way.
    Why do the snp not chose to walk out of Westminster, under the claim of right, that went through Hansard in 2018.
    Snp are Scottish citizens to, and have a right to choose who governs us and them,
    We the people of Scotland want independence for our country,
    Why do the snp ignore our claim of the right to chose whom governs us.
    Speaking for myself, one of the biggest scare stories I have heard while out and about, was the snp in Aberdeenshire, speaking about making the Scottish parliament sovereign, I thought I had misheard them, so gently disputed that sovereignty in Scotland lies with people of Scotland, not in any parliament king, or queen.
    But they disagreed with me and said it should lie with the parliament,
    On deeper discussion she turned out to be ex labour and said she would go back to the Labour Party if she could after we gained independence.
    Since then I have been watching the way the snp have evolved into a Labour Party, with a false front of
    There are a few snp left in the snp without a doubt that that trying to follow the original purpose and creation of the snp, but these are becoming less and less.
    We the people of Scotland are now looking and talking about an alternative party that remembers the grass roots of wanting independence and the sovereignty of its people, first and foremost.
    And we will forget any party that does not work for us the people of Scotland.

  45. iain mhor

    Much as I appreciate the contribution from Mr MacAskell, I read the same BTL here most days.
    So, the inside track is “This calls for immediate discussion… a completetly new motion…that there be immediate action…once the vote is taken..”

    Except “Something’s actually happening Reg” The time for all that was five years ago.
    It’s not very difficult; many would like to know whether Holyrood, or Westminster is the seat of Scotland’s Government and represents the Scottish people.
    The question is neutral, neither question nor answer, precludes Independence, or Union – but it is the only question – the answer to that, answers all.

    It answers the functions and actions of Scottish MP’s – but Scottish MP’s never seem to address that question at Westminster and MSP’s don’t address it at Holyrood – probably because the answer scares the shite out of everyone.
    MP’s will know exactly what they have to do if they know the answer to the question. The failure to address the question speaks volumes.

    In the absence of clarification and leadership on the issue, people look to resolve the dichotomy simply.

    The Scotland Act is an EULA agreement – Screeds of what can and cannot be done, but with the final caveat that; ‘These T&C’s are binding on you but not on us on us and may be altered at any time and without your consent, we accept no responsibility for etc etc..’

    People such as myself, will choose to either accept those terms, or ignore them as the shystering they are. Accept both positions simultaneously? There is a term and mental condition for that.

    I have a couple of votes – You can have a vote for MP’s or you can have a vote for MSP’s, but you can’t have both.
    A child can see where all this is going. Westminster, or Holyrood, who governs in Scotland – who speaks for Scotland?
    One group of our politicians has to die, Mr MacAskell – Time to choose. Hump or Death?….

  46. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “The SNP stance on Brexit was ridiculous. Your limp defense of the Scottish electorate was shameful.”

    In fairness, Kenny was only elected last December.

  47. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “and anyone thinking this piece wasn’t sanitised and sanctioned by NS, needs their bloody heads looked at.”

    Don’t be silly.

  48. mountain shadow

    When was the last poll on whether the electorate would vote for a party that didn’t take up its seats at Westminster?

    I for one, would.

  49. Republicofscotland

    Mr MacAskill, didn’t I read in the media that you’re all for a Plan B, I ask you what form would that Plan B take? And would it affect the actions of the SNP MPs at Westminster in any way.

    On Westminster and the SNP, I recall the SNPs membership rise by around 5000 after Blackford and his SNP MPs walked out of Westminster, and many comments online applauded the action. Could it be then that public opinion in Scotland actually wants our MPs out of Westminster, sooner than later.

  50. A2

    ooft SNPMP posts on wings never mind admitting to reading the vile pages, somthing’s afoot!

  51. Oneliner

    Kenny, you state that the people of Scotland would not be keen on an abstentionist party. Have you any polling to substantiate that opinion?

    Any Scottish party refusing to take its seats in the de facto English parliament would highlight the sharp division between the sovereignty of said parliament and the sovereignty of the people it (the party) represents. The status quo has been surrendered.

    If that is a quantum leap for the Scottish political psyche, let’s have a list party as an interim step.

  52. Big Jock

    Nicola stated on national TV:” Indy ref 2 cannot happen during the pandemic , and until the economic effects of the pandemic are over”.

    Lets think about that for a moment. For a start, who decides when the economic impact is over? Is it when the UK treasury decide, is it when Nicola decides, is it when the businesses decide. How the hell will we all know. Secondly it is estimated that it could last from 3 years to 10 years. So how is Nicola going to plan for something when she doesn’t know when she plans to have it.

    Thirdly this information was dropped like a bombshell on TV. She had never mentioned this new excuse before. However she cannot take it back, and now we know what she is up to. She is going to do nothing for 3 or 4 years but bleat about the economy that England controls. So she has already capitulated Scotland’s future into the hands of HM Treasury. This is not taking control, it’s the exact opposite.

    If anyone doubts that this is what she has planned. Then please explain why she made that statement on national TV. It was either a lie, spin or the truth that she inadvertently slipped out.

    So there we have it. Empirical evidence that our First Minister has no intention of delivering independence.

    In 5 years time Scotland will be torn apart by this angry mob of English nationalists.

  53. misteralz

    Don’t post on here much these days, but read every article. I joined the SNP in 2014, moved to the Netherlands, heartbroken, in 2016, and let my SNP membership lapse this year after the end of January when Nicola went on the telly and just fucking whinged like a toddler about us all not being European any more. I have never felt more ashamed, hoodwinked, and embarrassed to have been one of her supporters. I was expecting fire, rage, and commitment to Europe. Previously I had felt like all that brexit shit didn’t apply to me, because I was a Scot in Europe and not a Brit and that that was a big difference. Stupid me, eh?

  54. Big Jock

    Yep Misteralz- I seriously believed that after the Brexit vote happened , the SG would at least make sure Scotland remained in the EU.

    That they have failed to do that, and failed to deliver independence, is the ultimate failure of any government. I also remember being really angry when Mike Russell was trying to sell a soft Brexit to England. I thought , hang on Scotland never gave you permission for that. We voted to remain full members.

    Nicola trying to present herself as the reasonable voice after the Brexit fall out. The tactical mistake she made was getting involved in Stop Brexit. It was England’s Brexit , not Scotland’s. She should have concentrated on Scotland and not the UK. She was not elected to interfere in English decisions.

    From 2015 onwards, everything Nicola has done has been a tactical cul de sac. She has got it wrong at every level. Sure she did salvage the Covid -19 crisis, but it took her a month of mistakes to do that.

    As far as I am concerned her primary role as SNP leader is to deliver independence. We the people gave her the mandate, she sold our mandate over and over again.

    Are we any closer to indy ref 2 than we were in 2016. I would say much further away. Why? Because Nicola has hit a brick wall and has no reverse gear.

    At least we had hope then , now none of us are sure of anything.

  55. Beaker

    Good to see a MP prepared to write an article.

    I have one issue with the SNP:

    Discipline needs to be enforced with certain MSPs/MPs. They need to remember that they represent ALL of their constituents, and should never resort to crude insults on social media. This is especially important when there is justified criticism aimed at the politician in question.

  56. Colin Alexander

    Any politician that asserts their belief that the people of Scotland are sovereign betrays that principle when they swear their allegiance to the Windsors of England, instead of to the people of Scotland.

    Empress Elizabeth showed her true colours: She supports the Union. She abused her neutrality to interfere in the people of Scotland’s referendum.

    How anyone who believes in Scotland’s sovereignty would still take the oath to her and her family is answered in one word: money.

    No oath, no English gold.

  57. CameronB Brodie

    I think this article highlights the problem we face. Our parliamentarians simply don’t understand the rule-of-law, so are unable to defend Scotland. British constitutionalism no longer holds moral force over Scotland, only authoritarian force. Please get it sorted by making recourse to international law, so that Scots may enjoy the benefits of democracy. TA.

  58. schrodingers cat

    Walter Jones says:
    I just can’t be arsed with the SNP anymore. Fuck Off SNP.

    SsssEnnnPPeeeish, we hates it forever. gollum, gollum

  59. Big Jock

    Cameron – Exactly. This idea that Domestic English law prevails over international law is for the birds. If Domestic law can trump international law, then no modern country would have ever gained independence.

    It is only by breaking domestic law that independence can be declared. The mistake Nicola has made is calling a Section 30 as : “The Gold Standard”. It is not and never was.

    The Section 30 is an instrument of devolution. Devolution is and instrument of the union. So she is appealing for something within the confines of domestic law.

    Instead we have to imagine a scenario where devolution didn’t exist. In that world if the SNP won a majority at WM , then they could demand a referendum under international precedent. The referendum would not be in the gift of WM. It would be carried out by the people for the people of Scotland.

    I think the truth is. Nicola has assumed that because the first referendum was carried out under the instrument of devolution, then it would be the only one the world would recognise. This is just nonsense.

    I believe she asked May for a Section 30 in true sincerity. She didn’t expect the refusal and that threw her. So she simply went along with :”Now is not the time” because she was trumped by May. She should have immediately refused to accept that answer and moved to the UN process for gaining recognised independence.

    But she didn’t and the rest is history. However she had the chance to reassess the procedure when Boris came to power. She failed to do this and allowed Boris to decide for her. I believe this tactic was deliberate on Nicola’s part. She did declare before asking that she knew the answer. So that explains why she asked anyway.

    She is now quite happy to sit things out for 5 years.

  60. B Griffiths

    This is an excellent. I hope Ian Blackford and Nicola Sturgeon is reading this.

  61. SilverDarling

    Kenny MacAskill reminding some of the newer SNP MPs and MSPs why they were elected and why no matter how much they settle in, they will never be treated on any kind of equal basis.

    Stewart MacDonald will be bypassing his Tory pals and joining the DUP at this rate:

  62. winifred mccartney

    Hit Baxters, Tunnocks, Barrhead Travel and the like in the pocket – I don’t buy them. They have every right to support the Union, they do not have right to tell employees how to vote.

    Its a bit like the way some used to cow tow to The Laird who made the plebs vote as he wished. Those days are long gone and thank goodness.

    I have to say on WM it is stupid to stand up week after week and say Scotland will not be dragged out of the EU against our wishes and then do nothing about it, and then talk about leaving the UK and doing nothing about that either.

  63. callmedave

    Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay scoots up to Scotland to feed peanuts to the alpacas with the Sec State for Scotland Jack looking on. Nice pictures on wee auntie wie a kilt tv news.

    He boldly announces another £1.9bn for Scotland but before the alpacas can burp it is found out that of the £1.9bn announced £1.1bn is already money previously given and only £0.8bn is new peanut money. 🙁

    Ventured into the local cafe for the first time in a long time this morning and gave a lift in to my older Daily Mail reading octogenarian near neighbour. I’ve been keeping an eye on her and doing the paper run for her every morning plus the occassional small shopping. I always slipped in the previous days ‘The National’ …well it’s something to read init.

    Strict rules and procedures in force and names taken, atmosphere like the moon, but a change and free wi-fi if you bring your tablet.

    She’s still reading the Daily Mail but has enjoyed ‘The National’ and couldn’t wait to borrow my new crispy version this morning. 🙂

    Sadly I find out one of our other acquaintances has been taken in to a home care facility and his house sold …etc etc. Not good.

    Another person seeks me out and gives me a new mint 50p coin for
    my extensive collection of £1 + 50ps.

    I take it and it’s Boris’ Brexit coin… 🙁 Oh well.

  64. CameronB Brodie

    Scotland’s civic society is under threat of extreme damage, as a result of Brexit. Unfortunately, the SNP appears to think that playing British constitutionalism will defend Scotland from expansionist and authoritarian English nationalism, which is itself enabled by British constitutionalism.

    Unlike England, Scotland chose not to support right-wing, white, populist, English/British nationalism. So it is just unfortunate for them they only have British constitutionalism to defend them and their rights. Rights which Westminster appears happy for the Tories to strip from Scots, despite being protected by international law.

    An International Journal for the Philosophy of Mind and Action Volume 4, 2001 – Issue 3: Civic Virtue and Pluralism
    Ethical Loyalties, Civic Virtue and the Circumstances of Politics

    This article addresses the question of how, if at all, citizens can sustain an effective sense of political belonging without sacrificing other sources of ethical identity.

    We begin with a critical analysis of Rousseau’s classic considerations of politics and religion, which concludes that membership of a sub-political ethical community is incompatible with an effective sense of political belonging.

    This critique leads us to a consideration of the basic character of contemporary constitutional-democratic polities (drawing on the work of James Tully) and of Waldron’s account of the circumstances of politics. These considerations are developed into the claim that we can identify two sources of political belonging: recognition and acknowledgement – which correspond to two aspects of democratic citizenship: as status and as mode of being.

    On the basis of this claim, we argue that an effective sense of political belonging can be compatible with membership of sub-political ethical communities if members of the political community are characterised by the majoritarian virtue of civic responsiveness and the minoritarian virtue of civic endurance. We sketch the character of these virtues and the relationship to one another in arguing that only the widespread presence of both kinds of virtue is sufficient to secure citizens’ confidence in the polity and hence its stability.

  65. Dave

    English Nationalism and unfettered Conservative ideology will be the undoing of the UK far more effectively than any campaign for Scots Independence in Scotland.
    History is repeating itself. England lost all of its colonies because it kept tightening its leash on them rejecting and fighting any and all efforts at any form of self determination.
    Labour had the right idea with Devolution it has stymied Independence by creating a more difficult route towards gaining it. The “Gold” standard is now through referendum where previously all that was needed was a majority of Scottish MPs sent to Westminster supporting Independence. Imagine if there had been no Devolved Scottish Parliament in 2015. We would have spent 2016 negotiating the terms of our Independence and the end of the UK state.
    Now we have the Tories trying to shut out Devolution completely ignoring any and all legislation coming from the Devolved Parliaments shutting down the means towards Independence by the Democratic process of Referendum.
    Thats an own goal right there. They leave open the only option of Independence by election.
    Perhaps we should encourage them to close down the Scottish Parliament or talk up the insignificance and point out the fact that it is not a path to Democratically ending the Treaty of Union and force the UK state to acknowledge the ONLY path available is by election in support of Independence. Refusal gives us an undeniable legal case to take to any International court of Human rights.
    There has to be a legal legitimate Democratic path available for any member state of the UK to end their membership. If the Tories shut them all down then they will have to answer to International law and the UN.
    Why are we ignoring this strategy?

  66. Sensibledave


    … running out of material Cammy? I have seen you write that comment about 20 times … and still no one ever responds!

    Someone must have developed an App that can just send repeat comments automatically to every thread? It would save you a lot of time … and even faster than your cut and paste links that are so loved and eagerly anticipated.

  67. Al-Stuart


    Thankyou for contributing the article onto the Wings Over Scotland site.

    Some BTL comments are a little harsh, but I suspect like me, they come from a passionate frustration at the failure to use any of the display cabinet full of IndyRef2 mandates gathering dust at Bute House and the renewed mantra of: Just give us one more IndyRef2 mandate in 2021″.

    It is a testimony to your contributing an article to this site that you put principles before the personal political comforts that so many SNP MPs appear to have become very comfortable with by playing the Westminster game.

    I for one would especially thank you for putting your head above the parapet several times in an effort to remedy the BIG problems headed towards the SNP. The SAME problems that Labour ignored when they politically owned Scotland.

    Reading between the lines of your article…

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Kenny, am I correct in having read your words twice, that you are seeking to shore-up support for the SNP for the INEVITIBLE political car crash that will happen once Alex Salmond’s book is published?

    I wager £50 donation to WoS that a much desired series of article by Stuart Campbell will follow today’s contribution by Kenny along the following lines…

    1). Alex Salmond’s book will have content that is so damning to Nicola Sturgeon and the current SNP leadership with their Don Quixote obsession as agendad by the McWoke infiltrators, that there is an existential risk to the SNP of the current Bute House acolytes burning the whole organisation to the ground before a new, clean leadership can be re-installed. Aye? Nae?

    2). The polling figures in January 2021, four months ahead of the Holyrood election have been projected as so dire once the general electorate are awoken to the fifth column in the SNP wanting hundreds of “Big-John-with-the-9-inch-schlong types self-ID himself as “Babysitter-Jane” to access safe-women spaces, including my granddaughter aged 6 years. Stuart Campbell has polling that shows even GRA supporters boke at the thought of predatory male perverts being allowed into women’s safe spaces when it is their daughter or sister at risk from Big John and the SNP-PIE Brigade.

    3). Your challenging mission here today (and elsewhere) is to shore-up SNP support from UTTERLY collapsing in the same way as Labour did when they politically dominated Scotland?

    4). That there needs to be a SINGLE LIST PARTY to GUARANTEE INDYREF2. The profligacy of several similar list groups will dilute to destruction any chance of returning 21 x Indy-Guaranteed MSPs to Holyrood in May 2021.

    5). You are waking up the troops for what is about to become a very interesting phase in Scottish politics? As electrifying as 2014. Including the preparation for which “Guaranteed-INDY-Ref2 LIST Party” will be the one to reshape Holyrood and nudge the SNP MSPs that are left after the clear-out to then bring about Scottish Independence.

    Or maybe I am wrong.

    This is just an interesting wee article by a Westminster SNP MP., on a major Scottish Indy website that has been scrupulously ignored by 95% of the political seat warmers at Holyrood and Westminster (plus dozens of Scottish local authorities). Many of whom owe their SNP political careers to the 3% to 5% positive “nudge” in SNP election results that Stuart Campbell’s website and all our donations have gifted over the years.

    Though to counter the risk of being wrong, Kenny, you have tantalisingly been leaving wee trails of bread-crumbs out for those who care to study these matters…


    …are just two examples.

    Kenny, you are a helluva warm-up man for the return of Bonnie Dundee Fae Strichen.


  68. James Che.

    I do not have much time for the Green Party as it follows a more globalist agenda and seems to use it’s, we’re for independence, vote in ways that often seem more like blackmail in the Scottish parliament,
    However when it came to land tax, I was with them one hundred %, this was a brilliant way to make sure that Scotland’s land became more evenly distributed, that big land holders in Scotland, and even big land owners of land in Scotland whom lived else where for tax evasion purposes, still payed, it was even suggested that those who did not pay their land tax to the Scottish government within a reasonable certain time would by law have their land confiscated,

    Back to the word “however” again, I thought that the snp had gone soft when it paid more attention to the big land owners, than the people of Scotland,
    My gran used to say, where there was a will, there is a way.
    It did not impose on any ones human rights individually as all the people in Scotland would have
    had to pay land tax, instead of the unfair council tax,
    This would be more like a means test tax,
    People that did not have or own much land paid a minimum amount, while those that had the financial ability to hold large swathes of land in their names /companies had a higher amount to pay,
    This was one area that I thought the snp would/could have changed Scotland for the better. And to the benefit of its people.

  69. Breeks

    The only leverage which will give purchase to any “insurgency” is Constitutional.

    If you play by Westminster rules, wilful disruption will just lead to suspensions, and people being told to sit down and leave the chamber, or be stigmatised for simply being a troublemaker. It is understandable in emotional terms, but in practical terms, it is futile gesture politics.

    The only REAL insurrection possible is to insist that for all Scottish MP’s, the Constitutional Sovereignty of Scotland is THE superior sovereignty to the Palace of Westminster’s ‘convention’ on Parliamentary Sovereignty, and they must NEVER be shaken from that assertion. There can be no compromise. It is a binary option. It is an absolute condition.

    When your power and potency is drawn from the Constitutional Sovereignty of the Scottish people, there is absolutely nothing Westminster can do to turn the taps off. …And it doesn’t matter whether you are in a pro Independence majority or a pro-Union majority… the distinction is academic.


    There is no choice. This needs to be done.

    It is the only argument worth fighting.

  70. CameronB Brodie

    Nah dave, I saw you coming years back, but getting narrow, closed, minds like yours to accept an ethical perspective isn’t easy. So kindly take your bio-socially constructed and cognitively challenged ‘common sense’, and ram it Toryboy. TA.

    Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy Volume 8, 2005 – Issue 4: Gramsci and International Relations Theory

    Towards an Intellectual Reformation: The Critique of Common Sense and the Forgotten Revolutionary Project of Gramscian Theory

    This article examines Gramsci’s theory of common sense and the implications of this theory for understanding social transformation and theorising political activity. Gramsci analyses common sense as a pervasive, though confused and contradictory, variety of ideology.

    For Gramsci the point is to challenge and question this pervasive ideology and its incoherence, confusion, passivity, and political conservatism. The task is to involve the construction of a new conception of the world, in opposition to existing belief-systems, and what he terms an ‘intellectual and moral reformation’.

    By transforming modes of thinking and acting, such a transformation is conceived as revolutionising political possibilities, altering the potentialities inherent in a conjuncture. This approach of Gramsci’s dovetails with revolutionary and radical political movements, suggesting a more fundamental challenge to capitalism and a forgotten but very energetic potential project of revolutionary transformation.

    Key Words:
    Gramsci, common sense, ideology, conceptions of the world, intellectual reformation, good sense

  71. schrodingers cat


    jings, that’ll do it, ye’ll hae bojo eatin’ oot o’ yer haun’

    they dont like it em you know?

    care to suggest a course of action that doesnt entail wailing, howling and the gnashing of teeth?

  72. CameronB Brodie

    schrodingers cat
    You position actively undermines the rule-of-law, you tit.

  73. schrodingers cat

    winifred mccartney says:
    24 July, 2020 at 3:33 pm
    Hit Baxters, Tunnocks, Barrhead Travel and the like in the pocket – I don’t buy them.
    on a more positive note @cairnomohrwines are worth a try?

    the raspberry falling down juice is particularly good 🙂

  74. callmedave

    The figs are out: Corona.

    Scotland ……….today….00…….Total…..2491…SUN
    N. Ireland………today….00…….Total……556…SUN

  75. mike cassidy

    Looks like the Edinburgh branch of the Penis Rules Brigade don’t do irony.

  76. John H.

    callmedave 3.36pm.

    I’m trying to save up £ coins too Dave. Do you think your pal would send me some too? 🙂

  77. lawrenceab

    Mr. MacAskill, firstly I applaud your arrival in these distinguished pages! Good for you. (Well, you are already in Queen Nicola’s and Prince Consort Peter’s very bad books, so maybe not much to be lost, but anyway you do the right thing, to engage with the Wings community.) And well done Rev. to have brought him here.

    OK I understand you have a job, can’t yet slip all the moorings and must be a little careful what you say. But nevertheless this is thin gruel, frankly. I presume having penned the article you will read the BTL comments. Take them to heart please. There are some very sound proposals here and they resonate widely. Many Wings readers are veterans, the salt of the independence movement.

    I would highlight for your close attention:

    1. There is no evidence that Scots voters want their MPs to sit in WM taking brickbats. Where did you find that idea? Just get the hell out of there. Choose a fulcrum moment, for eg. when the Tory Govt imposes an internal market Act, effectively demolishing Holyrood’s devolved rights. Leave in the spotlights and return to form a part of the much needed Constituent Assembly, as Corrado Meller posted.

    2. Protest loudly SNP MPs sitting on Westminster Committees! Do you dare? For eg. it is deeply disturbing that Hosie should sit on the ISC Intelligence & Security Committee. By definition that committee monitors the deepest darkest secrets of the British State, therefore every member must have been thoroughly vetted by MI5/MI6/GCHQ/Heads of Armed Forces/Palace/Scotland Yard and all the other key actors of the British State. And they are not gentlefolk. Therefore, it means SNP has been passed as “safe”! Absolutely no danger to the Brit Nat establishment. Thanks to whatever deal Nicola has evidently cut, no need to Willie-Macrae anyone. SNP is guaranteed under control, will parrot Brit Nat lines whether aggression abroad, Russia-bashing, torturing Assange… What does this tell us about Queen Nicola, MacAskill? What a long way we have come from Alex S’s independent voice.
    Further, if less blatant, what on earth is Blackford doing on a Select Committee i/c supervising the renovation of the Houses of Parliament?? He is meant to get us out of the place, not to rebuild it! And what on earth was Wishart thinking, openly mulling whether to throw his hat in the ring for election to Speaker of the HoC? You guys have gone native.

    3. That Constituent Assembly (Corrado, above) is vital. How will the mass of the public follow the path to independence without assurance that some serious planning has gone into the venture? What will our constitution look like? Monarchy, Republic or to be settled by Referendum after Indy? Will it provide for eg for a Senate where regional voices, like Shetlands, the Western Isles, can be heard? Will it subscribe to the ECHR? Will powers be devolved to Councils? So many questions. Now is the time to prepare. You don’t go into an indy campaign (semi-)blind like last time. And for that matter, why does the Scot Govt not have already as of now shadow Foreign and Defence Ministers studying their future role, building contacts with the key foreign entities (EU,UN Gen Ass), whose support we shall need?

    4. Finally, Plan B! You are very quiet on that. If we are serious, and we are, we are logically moving in the face of WM recalcitrance from the domestic to the international arena. As Craig Murray has well explained, this now becomes a matter of international law. Almost all countries that have gained independence have done so in defiance of national law; all that matters is whether they are recognised by other states. The very low and decreasing degree of sympathy that UK now enjoys both in EU and UN GA circles provides a unique opportunity. You are not dumb. You are one of the better pols. So you must have thought about this. What will you do over next six months to advance a cogent Plan B? Declaration in Holyrood? Resile the 1707 Treaty? As you surely know, any SNP manifesto for Holyrood May 2021 that is less than crystal clear on the moves the Party will take towards independence will be a disaster. Four years have gone by. You are out of can-kicking time/space. So? What is your stance?

    Sorry for length. It is rare to get an intelligent elected SNP rep to engage with us. You had better take the deep discontent within the Party very seriously. Veterans of 30 / 40 years are angry and discouraged. Come back soon to these pages, MacAskill, and respond to the questions more precisely than the generalities you have given us here.

    (ps. I think Terry is right)

  78. boris

    England then imposed a 50-year “lockdown” on Scotland facilitated through the use of a standing army of English, Irish and Dutch soldiers, (paid for through extra taxation on Scots) who brutally suppressed Scots, selling many thousands into slavery, clearing clansmen from their legally owned lands, transferring millions of acres of Scotland to the illegal ownership of English Lords who had found favour in the eyes of the King of England for their assistance in destroying the will of the Scots.

  79. Beaker

    @winifred mccartney says:
    24 July, 2020 at 3:33 pm
    “Hit Baxters, Tunnocks, Barrhead Travel and the like in the pocket – I don’t buy them. They have every right to support the Union, they do not have right to tell employees how to vote.”

    Were you reading Twitter last night? Stop boycotting companies simply because the owners have a political point of view. I’m sure any of their employees will be gratified to read your comments, especially Barrhead Travel given the economic hit the travel industry has taken. What’s next? Boycott companies that are not owned by Scots?

    The SNP would never, ever condone the boycotting of any company based on politics. You can do so, but be sensible. Such comments don’t attract the undecided.

  80. Breastplate

    Dave @ 3:41pm
    Agreed and that is the main reason they won’t close down Holyrood, neuter it yes but not close it down.
    Closing it down would then revert to voting for MPs in a FPTP system for independence like Margaret Thatcher talked about but couldn’t envisage.
    So Holyrood is safe because let’s face it, it’s doing the job the Unionists want.

  81. CameronB Brodie

    The British legal order is out of step with the rest of the world, as Westminster enacts English legal culture, which considers itself above, and impervious to, international law. That means the British legal order does not recognise international law, and will never deliver constitutional justice for Scotland. Nor even the conditions to enable such.

    The University of Chicago VOLUME 56 NUMBER 4 FALL 1989
    The Rule of Law as a Law of Rules

  82. bscotfree

    Bravo, an SNP politician choosing to engage via Wings. I am not surprised that it is Kenny MacAskill as he is certainly one of the genuine SNP politicians. I remember his act of mercy in releasing Megrahi in 2010 (a very sick man innocent of the crime). Kenny refused to kow-tow to the Blair government despite intense pressure from UK and USA. The SNP had force, direction and purpose in those days.

    The SNP should long ago have deployed disruptive action in the chamber on a regular basis and I think it is a failure typical of the current SNP that they haven’t used this tactic. Another example of the uselessness of our MPs being there. However Ian Blackford appears to me to be a classic Westminster politician heavy on empty rhetoric followed by no action. I’m afraid in my household he is referred to by the unflattering title: the windbag. Note to Ian: we are being dragged out of the EU!

    The westminster show is deeply depressing and demeaning to Scotland.

    I have argued for a long time that the SNP need to follow the Sinn Féin route and not speak in the HOC. Anyone who has worked in a large corporation for any length of time knows that there is a real danger of being absorbed body and soul into the corporate way of thinking and acting. Anachronistic Westminster does this to you in spades it seems.

    Setting up independently in Scotland, our own seat of power, is the better option. I think folk would continue to vote for SNP MPs providing they make themselves effective in the drive to Scotland becoming an independent state once more. People are not daft and they can see the pointlessness of being in Westminster. Put very well by kenny on this thread at 11:50 am.

    More folk can see the SNP need a new effective leader and a return to the core purpose of working to achieve independence. Many of us are outraged by current proposed policies at Holyrood and fed up with the attitude displayed by many of the MSPs and the party management.

    Many thanks to Mr MacAskill for taking notice and responding.

  83. Ottomanboi

    “The Irish elite’s feverish support of pooled sovereignty and of the EU project more broadly is really a way of absolving themselves of the burdens of national independence and of disguising their continual failure to make good on the republican promise of 1916”.
    The Gaelic bit seems to have been mislaid on the way to becoming just like everywhere else.
    India, Pakistan, Ghana etc have gone the same crypto-colonial route. Independent, nominally, but still in thrall to that old order blueprint. Some acquired habits need radical intervention.
    Whose going to weald the scalpel in Scotland? The old orthodoxies and their imperial centres no longer hold.

  84. Ottomanboi

    Sorry excuse my English..Whose going to wield the scalpel etc.

  85. CameronB Brodie

    The civic nationalist approach was the correct approach to build support for Scotland’s legal emancipation. We are no longer working within a social democracy though, and now face an existential, legal, precipice. So I suggest we need to adopt a more assertive stance and technique that is compatible with international human rights law. So no more playing a British constitutionalism. TA.

    Nationalism and Ethnic Politics Volume 26, 2020 – Issue 2

    The “Civic” Road to Secession: Political Ideology as an Ethnic Boundary Marker in Contemporary Scotland

    Civic nationalism is a weak vessel for secession. Nonetheless, contemporary Scottish nationalism has proven unusually successful, using the characteristically civic marker of political ideology as its signature boundary mechanism. Because a civic form of nationalism funnels toward civic markers of national identity, nationalist elites define Scotland as social democratic and England as neoliberal.

    This symbolic cultivation of a Scottish social democratic essence is deeply ethnic, however, through a mythological fusion of ideology with genealogy characteristic of ethnic myths of descent. Scotland’s “civic” nationalism points up the confused nature of the ethnic-civic dichotomy itself.

  86. Robert graham

    Beaker , Question What exactly did Winifred Mc Cartney say to upset you, it was stated quite clearly the reason why the poster boycotts the company’s named, so what’s the problem with that ?

    Are you suggesting everyone supports these companies because of the employees welfare ,

    A better suggestion would be the owners promote their business to their unionist supporting clients , maybe south of the border,why should any Independence supporter contribute to a company that in turn pays contributions to a political party that would crush independence take your pick Red – Yellow – Blue they are all Unionists ,

    Winifred Mc Cartney pointed out where the line was and these companies crossed it big time.

    Maybe some enterprising person can compile a list so we can have a mass boycott of the ones not mentioned so far , aye we can return to compliment in spades .

  87. Sensibledave


    …. a bit touchy Cammy? A few home truths getting through your thick skull? Sadly, I doubt it.

    BTW, Coming from a Red Fas***, I’ll take Toryboy all day long.

  88. CameronB Brodie

    No dave, please stop re-framing my opinion, which your culturally-bound perspective is obviously unable to argue against effectively.

    Journal of Political Science Education, May 2020

    The Politics and Pedagogy of Nationalism: Authentic Learning on Identity and Conflict

  89. L. Campbell

    Ottomanboi: the workers at Baxters are on holiday, most of them, so they couldn’t have been cheering Johnson. More lies. Please don’t boycott them, though, any of these companies he visited because I don’t believe that was his sole purpose this time, retrenching Tory support. These workers are among the lowest paid in the UK, and, from the grapevine, I have heard that there is a strong independence contingent there. If you look at the areas he has been visiting, Orkney, Aberdeenshire, Moray…there is a pattern there that has little to do with Tory donors. Where will he go next? Perthshire? Ayrshire? The Borders? He might well be consolidating something other than Tory donations.

  90. Andy Ellis

    Although there may be more joy in heaven over one sinner repented, Kenny’s intervention at this stage just looks like it’s a day late and a dollar short. If more SNP’s had the guts to speak out like he has, I’d have more hope that the party was salvageable, but really….I no longer think it is.

    The SNP Westminster group has shown little or no interest in being insurgents, nor will that change under the current gradualist leadership. They should be doing everything procedurally possible to make Westminster chaotic and ungovernable. They won’t do it.

    A tholed gradualist party which has implicitly accepted that the self determination of the Scots people is in the gift of Westminster has to be seen for what it is: a quasi federalist movement. It’s increasingly evident that a large section of that movement will in due course, when the time and circumstances are right, accept some form of enhanced federalist deal from the British nationalist establishment.

    Sturgeon and her followers are Free Staters, not republicans.

  91. twathater

    Mr McAskill there are so many questions I would like an answer to

    1 Who is running the SNP party , is it NS , Peter Murrel , the woke group or big business , the reason I ask is that NO matter how many members make representation and complaints regarding the division and hostility of the reviled GRA and HCB policies NO one appears to be listening and whoever is running the SNP just continues to ignore this opposition

    2 In the event that these policies are NOT removed and women will not vote for a party that destroys their safe spaces and protections which may result in a catastrophic loss of votes , just WHO is it that should be BLAMED for this stupidity

    3 Is the party duty bound to work for the benefit of the MAJORITY of Scots whilst also taking cognisance of the impact on minorities , if so WHY are these policies being FORCED through which will impact detrimentally on the majority of the population , whilst a possible 2% will arguably benefit


  92. call me dave

    @John H.

    Hi my collection is for fun only.
    I’m not a dealer in any way although I have a small number of £2 spares at the moment and lots of 50ps spares.

    But I would happily swap collectables for a common garden coin or paper note of the same value if you are stuck.

    Trouble is how! I’m in Fife.

    Key words £2’s: Google them

    Brunel: Paddingon Station Brunel: Stove pipe hat with cigar
    Slavery 1807 St Pauls searchlights Double Helix
    Trinity House Marconi Golden Guinea 1707 Union
    Roman Britannia Magna Carta Florence Nightingale
    Charles Dickens Kitchener Darwin.

    I usually recirculate doublers after a while so not too many.

  93. Lochside

    Thanks REV for allowing us to see the truly abject state that the SNP are in. This article by a supposed big hitter ‘radical’ representative of the ‘Independence party’ reads like an end of term summary….well must try harder Kenny!

    When is the SNP leadership going to own up to their complete subordination to England and its State apparatus? Our Sovereignty has been suborned for 300 years and in the past decade has been completely written out of existence by the colluding SNP.

    Alex Salmond, the pied piper, led the rats in the leadership down the judas path to total enslavement via the Edinburgh Agreement/Section 30/Referendum bourach from the once clear and unequivocal agreed majority of seats ‘gold standard ‘ for Independence, that existed for decades. Sturgeon has just followed on.

    As the votes and money piled in, the devolutionary delayers tendency took control. All radical full out attack on destroying the invidious Union was shunted into blind parochial political sidings, while the real battle at the Constitutional and Sovereign level has been purposely put aside.

    We are in the holding pen, like dumb cattle..waiting for the coupe de gras by the Westminster sword hanging like Damocles waiting to finish off our Sovereign status.

    The world will watch and wait…and turn away…because, never once did our leaders assert our right…our Sovereign right to sever this corrupt Union by formally resiling , that is dissolving this Colonial dictatorship posing as a ‘Union’ of Equals.

  94. Scot Finlayson

    Would like to see Kenny as SNP Leader at UK parliament.

  95. John H.

    call me dave 6.59pm.

    Thanks Dave. That’s interesting information.

  96. Terry

    @Al Stuart
    Posted at 3.48.

    I think you’ve nailed it. Could be the best warm up act in history – for the return of Claverhouse ?????????

    Go on yerself, Kenny.

  97. Dogbiscuit

    Who gets to decide when the ‘pandemic’ is over?

  98. cirsium

    thank you for that interesting article BUT “Scots won’t vote for an abstentionist party as happens in Northern Ireland with Sinn Fein.”. Why not? The Scottish electorate has seen their elected representatives ridiculed, insulted, barracked and finally ignored. Surely, the next step would be for the SNP MPs not to attend and to work in their constituencies.

    It is imperative that action is taken. Westminster and the US pharmaceutical companies are coming for the Scottish Health Service as that Act on Monday makes clear. Independence is essential if the Scottish National Health Service is to continue. Non-attendance would be the first step in a new campaign for independence.

  99. Keith fae Leith

    For CallmeDave & John H

    I’ve been putting aside “different” 50p piece’s that I get for my niece.

    Had a look at this website & I’m a little bit surprised that they are worth more than the nominal value.

  100. McDuff

    Ain’t that the truth.

  101. Stoker

    kenny MacAskill wrote:

    “Scots won’t vote for an abstentionist party…”

    Really? So where’s your evidence for this?

    Don’t know about anyone else but I get seriously pissed-off with politicians telling us what we would or wouldn’t do. Especially when there is absolutely no grounds for saying what they’re saying.

    As far as I’m concerned it’s just another questionable way, in the absence of anything more helpful, to promote the position the narrator supports. Guff he thinks nobody will ever question.

  102. twathater

    Questions Continued

    4 If we are in an equal union with engerland as signed up to in 1707 why do we need anyone’s permission or agreement to withdraw from that treaty when our equal partner has breached the terms of that treaty numerous times

    If the decision of the electorate of sovereign Scots is required to ascertain their views and opinions on the dissolution of the TOU and a referendum is the fairest method to gain that information why then is our FM denying our ability to do so , and moreover why is an agreement necessary from the offending party to acquiesce to our decision when the offending parties actions are responsible for the situation

    The unfortunate reality is that NO SG has challenged England acting as the UK govt treating Scotland as a colonised nation or a subsumed nation , that is NOT surprising when we have had unionist parties in govt in Scotland , but it is reprehensible and unforgivable that the Scottish National Party has allowed this to continue without legal and moral challenge

  103. Andy Ellis


    We don’t need anyone’s permission, no self-defining people does. We do need international recognition however and that will only come about as in response to certain conditions. In our context that will realistically only be either:

    a) a Yes vote in a referendum where both parties have agreed as in 2014 per the Edinburgh Agreement;

    b) a majority voting for pro-indy parties in plebiscitary elections where those parties stood on a platform specifically making independence the result of victory in those elections; or

    c) UDI following continual refusal of British nationalists to negotiate in good faith or the use of repression or violence.

    I’m still waiting on yoons and Sturgeonistas alike explaining to me why “b” isn’t feasible. It seems at present the clear and present danger to independence isn’t Westminster, it’s the SNP.

  104. Rick H Johnston

    Aye, All that and we’re at 54% for independence in the polls
    However Kenny McA is right.. we need hardline tactics from the SNP at Westminster. Blackford needs to back up the angry talk with the disruption of business as usual in London.
    The Scottish people need to see real intent in pursuit of independence.
    Only then will London see the likely outcome of a large YES majority next May.
    The election of radical Yessers on the list is an absolute must IMO.
    The people are waiting to be led.
    In the meantime KEEP THE HEID

  105. twathater

    Andy Eliss I know we don’t need anyone’s permission I am being facetious and asking K McAskill why NS is procrastinating if she really believes in independence

    I also agree with a plebiscite election for indy with all indy parties having it as a mandate , BUT I don’t want to wait till MAY 2021 for that to happen , SC is punting the plebiscite route I know , but he is willing to WAIT till 2021 to see if NS will adopt it , all signs are that she won’t so are we just being led up the hill AGAIN by dreamers while we wait for NS and her coterie of gradualists to grow a pair and FIGHT for our freedom

  106. WhoRattledYourCage

    I confess, I have absolutely zero interest in hearing one more SNP politician whine and moan aboot political marginalisation, and being talked to like shit by the Tories. The SNP exist SOLELY to bring us independence. Until then, the way it looks to me, and many others, is that they are being handsomely paid to be masochists, allowing themselves (and, by proxy, us in Scotland) to be spat and shat on by sneering and jeering insane English scum in Westminster. I don’t read the stories. I am not a masochist. I don’t need my blood pressure exploding. I have zero interest. We all know what the Tories and a lot of English people think of Scotland.

    This constant drip-drip-drip-feed of sneers and insults and now-freely-expressed hatred towards the SNP and Scotland is nothing but depressing! Get some sort of independence campaign underway, and then I will listen to you again, SNP. Until then, you will never get my vote again, especially with the clown-clan cabal of halfwit minority-rights-obsessed dipshits you have sniffing aboot power, gurning and farting and driving people they don’t agree with off social media through hateful bullying. An independent Scotland will have its problems, but it will be better for EVERYBODY, including censorious, whining, hateful minorities and their revenge fantasies. So move in that direction. NOW. DO IT.

  107. Al

    It is much easier to criticise than to make positive proposals. It was ever thus with the fundamentalists.

  108. msean

    It’s important to vote even when you may lose the vote in the Chamber.

    When we look back and wonder who voted for what and when,it’s good to know that some MP’s voted,did not give up because of always being out voted.

    We have the internet now,we saw who didn’t even protest vote,indeed,abstained,re some welfare ‘reforms’.

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