Scotland's 5th Estate

Muir Lecture 2017

The annual Thomas Muir Lecture was started by Word Power Books and is now continued by the Thomas Muir Memorial Committee. The lecture is dedicated to remembering Muir and celebrating the ideals of liberty and freedom he fought for and the wider radical movements he represented. It is given annually on the day of his birthday in St Marys Cathedral, Edinburgh. Previous speakers have been Lesley Riddoch and Alex Salmond. This year’s lecture was given by Tommy Sheppard who explored the challenges and opportunities from learning from Muir’s tradition for us today.

With thanks to Lighthouse Books and @PhantomPower14

The hashtag for social media comment is #Muir17.

Please comment and share. Thanks.

 

*We really need your support to develop though and we’d like to ask you to support us by donating to us here.

We’ve got big plans to launch our new site, to launch new publishing and events projects, and to extend our platform of writers – but all of this needs your support.

Bella Caledonia remains free (and ad-free) and takes me hundreds of hours a month to research, write, commission and edit. If you value what I do, please consider supporting with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing. GoCardless to set up a small monthly donation to support independent journalism in Scotland.

Thanks!

*
Go here to subscribe for free and get each Bella article sent to your email
Go here to follow us on Twitter @bellacaledonia
Go here to follow us on Instagram
Go here to join our Facebook Group
Go here to follow us on Spotify
Go here to write for us

Donate Subscribe

Related Articles

See all related articles >

45 Comments

  • Phantom Power 4 weeks ago

    Sorry about slight interference on audio in opening section – venue mic playing up a little.

    Reply
  • Ann Rayner 4 weeks ago

    Big thanks to Phantom Power for making this available. I was at the lecture but, because of hearing problems plus challenging accoustics, it was quite a strain trying to hear.

    It’s also in toda’s National, but it’s better hearing it live.

    Reply
  • Alf Baird 4 weeks ago

    Let’s cut to the chase, Mr. Shepherd, and consider the political realities, viz:
    – Scotland’s democratic voice was ignored in the Brexit referendum
    – The SNP’s democratic mandate for a second independence referendum was also ignored
    – The Brexit/supreme court decision confirmed that no ‘union’ exists, and hence also confirmed Scotland’s colonial status/absence of sovereignty

    The Scottish independence movements main choices are now as follows:

    1. Referendum II – this is a highly doubtful strategy in that (a) census data (which the SNP appears to ignore) shows that No voters from rest-UK are (still) piling into Scotland at the rate of 500,000 each decade and, as virtually anyone with an address (or holiday home, btr apartment etc) here is permitted to vote, this makes another No vote highly probable, and (b) England’s 500 MP’s have to agree to a referendum (which they have thus far refused), and they also have to acknowledge any result, which they may not necessarily do, and if they did ok the result they would also then have the power to enact what an independent Scotland would look like, which might not be very pretty in terms of assets, liabilities etc. Scotland is ‘stitched up’ all ways when depending on a second referendum, which would appear a highly flawed strategy (unless the voting franchise is properly dealt with – see 3 below).

    2. A majority of Scotland’s MP’s, MSP’s (and local gov councillors?) could give notice to end the union now, in the same way it began, and negotiate (as brexit) Scotland’s exit from the ‘union’ charade. This may seem a ‘hard indy’ option, but it is entirely democratic, and is little different to the experience of a hundred or more other former colonies that are now independent nations; in reality, few independent states needed a referendum.

    3. Scotland’s democratically elected majorities of MP’s and MSP’s should take the case for independence (which is effectively decolonisation), possibly after also implementing 2. above, to the UN Special Committee for Decolonisation. The latter may seek a further referendum to validate, which would be far better administered/controlled than in 2014, especially with regard to the voter franchise/qualification, level of propaganda etc.

    Needless to say, I fully expect the SNP career politicians will continue to twiddle their thumbs as now, taking the colonial salaries, and hope for the best via a second referendum, if permitted by oor colonial maisters – which is actually no strategy at all. And which leads me to conclude that the key difference between the courageous and principled Thomas Muir and the SNP’s 35 alleged, passionate, independence supporting MP’s can be explained in two words – courage and principles.

    Reply
    • A Truly Concerned Troll 4 weeks ago

      Well, I watched the Muir Lecture and paid close attention to what Sheppard had to say regarding the way forward. I don’t think I could be more disappointed.

      First of all, The idea that we should ask for another mandate in the 2021 elections and then, assuming it goes well, go begging to whoever is in Downing Street for permission all over again, is not going to go down well even with more moderate independence supporters. I actually think the majority of Yes supporters would be quite shocked to hear that this was the plan. It’s seriously flawed logic and it’s premised on slabs of even more flawed logic.

      In sequential terms, it makes no sense to wait until we are firmly out of the EU before deciding if we want to remain in it. By the same token, it makes no sense to get off a bus before deciding if you want to remain on it. There’s no conundrum here, stop trying to make one.

      And, of course, the Scottish people have already spoken on the EU and overwhelmingly voted to remain. I have nothing against another referendum on this after we have achieved independence but for the time being the decision of the Scottish electorate stands and must be respected.

      Secondly, I would like to know why Sheppard thinks he has an improved chance of securing permission in 2021 for another referendum, given the brazen contempt with which Scotland has been treated in recent months on this very issue. Utterly bizarre.

      Of course, and again, the Scottish people have already spoken on the question of a second referendum and they overwhelmingly supported the SNP manifesto that outlined the proposal. As Sheppard himself acknowledges, the manifesto pledge of another referendum could not have been more specific in terms of what would trigger it. Get on with it.

      My advice to Mr. Sheppard and the rest of the SNP politicians is that they should be aiming to satisfy the instructions given by the Scottish electorate on these issues rather than seeking ways to wriggle out of firm commitments and placate Westminster. If you aren’t able to do that, then you should resign and let us hold new elections so that we can fill those posts that you hold with people who are able.

      On a more positive and constructive note, we still have the issue of legislative consent to overcome and it should present an opportunity for us to nail our colours to the mast. Get in touch if you are short on hammers or nails and, again, if you aren’t willing to climb up there and do what’s asked of you, please let us know so that we can find someone who is.

      The way forward is clear. The hand of the independence movement has never — ever — been stronger. Brexit is likely to be cataclysmic and you are suggesting we suffer for 5 years because what, you don’t want to upset their apple cart?

      It is precisely and exactly because their apple cart is so vulnerable to upset at this time that it’s the time to act; a fool can see that the problems of negotiating Brexit would only be compounded by a constitutional crisis. This is to our advantage.

      One last thing. The SNP suffered in the General Election because SNP politicians were too scared to mention let alone argue for independence. In this you killed that election and rendered it purposeless. Don’t make the same mistake again here.

      All energies must be put towards arguing for independence, increasing support, and demanding a referendum.

      Reply
      • Redgauntlet 4 weeks ago

        Thank the Lord for truly concerned trolls…absolutely spot on….enough of this shilly-shallying…

        Reply
        • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 weeks ago

          Yeah enough shilly-shallying, just, er, what?

          Reply
          • Maria F 4 weeks ago

            What do you mean?

      • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 weeks ago

        “All energies must be put towards arguing for independence, increasing support, and demanding a referendum.”

        How and when?

        Its very easy to deride others. Please outline ho this will work rather than just blithely announcing “The hand of the independence movement has never — ever — been stronger.”

        Reply
        • A Truly Concerned Troll 4 weeks ago

          Bella Caledonia Editor

          “Its very easy to deride others. Please outline ho this will work rather than just blithely announcing “The hand of the independence movement has never — ever — been stronger.””

          It is clear that certain people are struggling to come to terms with the new realities we face in the interrelated worlds of public opinion and the media. I’m happy to try to spell it out for you.

          If we have learned one thing over the last few years, and we should all be able to agree on this, it’s that the norms of politics, how opinions are formed and shaped by the media, our analysis models and the efficacy of forecasting, have collapsed and lost their usefulness.

          Surprise results with Brexit, Trump, recent GE elections results (2015 and 2017), Corbyn, and much else, underscore the point that the old paradigms and models have lost their reliability. If you (Bella Caledonia) and the SNP are still basing your judgements and predictions on those old models, it is hardly surprising that you are lost as to what to do next.

          Trump is right when he talks about fake news and there’s no news that is more fake than Scotland’s news. When you have a small group of people with certain values constantly reinforcing those values amongst themselves, closing off alternative opinions, etc., you basically have a bubble of fake news that is incredibly flimsy and very easily burst.

          Let me say up front that I am guessing the SNP base a lot of what they say and do on issues like Independence on what they read in the papers, polling that is done on their behalf by the polling industry (90% of which ordinary people never get to see), and the more usual opinions of analysts and researchers who are hired for that purpose.

          There’s just one problem; it’s all fake. Not only is it all fake, it’s all based on fake assumptions made by fake journalists and social scientists who all drink from the same fake well.

          The core issue here is that the traditional sinews and channels of public opinion and the media are increasingly less relevant because they are geared towards shaping the minds of (and listening to) the decreasing number of people who subscribe to and feed them.

          It’s no surprise that traditional journalists want you to believe in the continuing importance of their role — “we check stuff!” — but when it comes to ordinary people you are really left with pensioners and white van drivers who want to read about sport and look at pictures of scantily clad women. That’s the traditional media but it’s also the underpinnings of the polling industry and politics in the wider sense. It’s all fake, increasingly irrelevant, and everybody increasingly knows it.

          There’s more room than there ever has been to ignore all that stuff and to move underneath it with success in terms of winning arguments and shaping opinion. The SNP need to get into this and fast. Craig Murray said the SNP stopped arguing for independence in 2014 and he was right, but why?

          If the SNP or anyone relies on the traditional models for their understanding of the world and public opinion, well, of course, they are bound to be left with doubts and misinformed ideas; those traditional models are rigged against the SNP, and they always have been.

          Look at the ratio of pro-indy to ant-indy newspapers and news agencies and tell me the SNP has anything to gain by using those platforms to win people over. They are hostile to everything the SNP and Indy movement represent and, crucially, they themselves are geared towards feeding and shaping the minds of those decreasing numbers of people (primarily pensioners) who rely on them for their understanding of the world.

          2014 was remarkable because it proved what I am saying here is true; you don’t need the mainstream media or mainstream anything any more. Consider for a moment the scale of Project Fear back then, with every newspaper, all the big national political parties, news channels, celebrities, businesses, and everybody telling us Independence was a terrible idea. Despite all that, we won 45% over.

          Even if the SNP could achieve an equal share of airplay and access to the MSM it wouldn’t amount to much. But they can’t and they never will. The good news is they don’t need to.

          Scotland is getting dragged by the hair out of the EU against its will. Scotland voted to stay in the EU and also voted for a manifesto that included a pledge to hold another referendum in these exact circumstances. Nobody anywhere can dispute this and if you can’t win with arguments like that then you should give up politics and make room for someone who can.

          Reply
          • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 weeks ago

            Thanks for spelling this out for me. Having run an alternative media magazine for a decade I simply had no idea of these issues about media bias. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

        • Maria F 4 weeks ago

          How?
          By following the strong mandate the SNP already has:
          We voted SNP into Holyrood on a manifesto containing a clause to call in another referendum should Scotland be dragged out of the EU against its democratically expressed will. The tories activated that manifesto so the light is now green. Why should we have to wait until for another Holyrood election to decide if we have a referendum or not? Why should we have to vote again to confirm that we want this? Why should we risk the unionist parties getting together like they did for the last GE so they can throw the SNP out and therefore there will be no referendum no more? Why should we wait for yet another potential snap GE to be called in by the establishment to thin down even more the representation of the SNP in Westminster so they can use our assets as bargaining chips?
          Our vote to remain in the EU counts. Our vote to get a referendum if we are dragged out of the EU against Scotland’s democratic will counts. Our vote to keep 35 SNP MPs at Westminter counts. So why on earth are the SNP demeaning the value of those votes? They should be defending them to death and calling day in day out for that referendum and if Theresa May refuses to give the green light for such a referendum, then threat with UDI and do it. Scotland is not a region of England so why on earth should English MPs have more say in our matters than our very own MPs? If it turns out as Alf above says that Scotland is at all effects a colony, then expose it to everybody and fight through the international courts/UN for decolonisation.

          When?
          How about now?
          My personal opinion is that a date for the next independence referendum must be fixed before the end of this Holyrood government. I don’t care if the referendum itself is beyond the end of this government, but the cast iron guarantee of that referendum with a set date must be there. This is what I personally voted for and I want to see it. We were lied to by the unionists when they claimed that the way to remain in the EU was by voting to remain in the EU and now our democratic vote on the 26th June 2016 is being ruthlessly overruled. How much more do we have to take? It is not for a bunch of English MPs elected by English constituents to decide when the Scottish people should have their referendum. It is for us and our democratically elected representatives in Holyrood to decide so. Scotland did not vote for brexit, decaffeinated or not. Scotland voted to remain in the EU, therefore nothing that brexit may offer compares to the option Scotland voted for, which is to remain in the EU. Why should we settle for less than what we already have? Why do we have to give up our membership when we voted against? Why do we have to endure economic hardship because of the ill advised vote of another country? Because a bunch of MPs representing English seats says so? Scotland should be allowed to vote in a referendum on time to remain in the EU once the rUK leaves.

          Reply
          • A Truly Concerned Troll 4 weeks ago

            Maria F, I agree with every word. I think a huge majority of Indy supporters would agree too. On the basis of what Sheppard is proposing, we are all possibly at odds now with the SNP leadership.

            This is very familiar territory to those of us who were systematically stabbed in the back by Red Tories. And anyone who panders to this sort of nonsense, in my opinion, is a victim of the fake-news-fake-reality bubble created and controlled by our political enemies. They are going to kill our chances of ever getting independence.

            Why are we holding the SNP government to a different standard all of a sudden? Failure to implement the wishes of the electorate on the EU and indyref2 would straightforwardly be a serious dereliction of duty. If it proves impossible to do that then it must not be through a lack of trying.

    • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 weeks ago

      What a depressing picture.

      An independence movement cowering inward, veering towards ethnicity, blaming others, shuddering towards violence. What an awful, dire, narrow prospect.

      I don’t want anything to do with it.

      Reply
      • Redgauntlet 4 weeks ago

        Who are you addressing yourself to Bella? Not me I hope…

        Reply
      • Redgauntlet 4 weeks ago

        The continual and now (unofficially) intensifying (after the ‘near miss’ in 2014) ‘Russification’ of Scotland is most certainly a thoroughly “..depressing picture…(and) an awful, dire, narrow prospect”.

        Reply
        • Redgauntlet 4 weeks ago

          Again, Bella , the above is a comment I did not make. Somebody else has inadvertently made it on my behalf…not the first time…

          Can you not work out your software problem? I mean,how can it be such a big deal?

          Reply
        • Alf Baird 4 weeks ago

          I think the “‘Russification’ of Scotland” quote was mine ed, not Redgauntlet, my error, apologies to all. Related to this, to those of us wishing to see Scots language taught in Scotland, and the need for effective Scottish control over such fundamental matters, this might sound familiar:

          “One example of 19th century Russification was the replacement of the Ukrainian, Polish, Lithuanian, and Belarusian languages by Russian in those areas, which were annexed by the Russian Empire after the Partitions of Poland (1772–1795) and the Congress of Vienna (1815). Russification intensified after the November Uprising of 1831, and in particular after the January Uprising of 1863.[10] In 1864, the Polish and Belarusian languages were banned in public places; in the 1880s, Polish was banned in schools and on school grounds and offices of Congress Poland. Research and teaching of the Polish language, history or of Catholicism were forbidden. Illiteracy rose as Poles refused to learn Russian. Students were beaten for resisting Russification.[11] A Polish underground education network was formed, including the famous Flying University. According to Russian estimates, by 1901 one-third of the inhabitants in the Congress Kingdom was involved in clandestine education based on Polish literature.[12] From 1840s Russia even considered introducing Cyrillic script for spelling Polish language, with the first school books printed in 1860s; these attempts failed.[13] A similar development took place in Lithuania.[10] Its Governor General, Mikhail Muravyov, prohibited the public use of spoken Polish and Lithuanian and closed Polish and Lithuanian schools; teachers from other parts of Russia who did not speak these languages were moved in to teach pupils. “

          Reply
          • Redgauntlet 4 weeks ago

            Aye, it was yours Alf, and I am not going to post on Bella again, because I don’t want to see myself, for a third time, having things said in my name by third parties inadvertently…

            I don’t even know what you mean by the “Russifcation” of Scotland. What the hell do you know about Russia? Do you speak Russian? What the FF are you talking about?

            Bella, if you can’t work out your technological problems, then your credibility diminishes and you will lose readers….

          • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 weeks ago

            Hi Redgauntlet, believe me we are working on solving the problem, can I ask are you using Chrome as a browser? Thanks

          • Alf Baird 4 weeks ago

            There did appear to be a software issue, RG.

            “Russification or Russianization is a form of cultural assimilation process during which non-Russian communities, voluntarily or not, give up their culture and language in favor of the Russian one.”

            The same (ongoing) process seems to fit Scotland pretty well, in terms of Anglicisation, don’t you think?

            I agree with your other comments, the SNP is simply part of the establishment now, all talk and no action. As you imply, and as Scots expat business associates of mine often say in regard to Scotland’s incapability to do the kind of things most other countries take for granted, ‘anybody with get up and go, got up and left’.

  • Redgauntlet 4 weeks ago

    Well, I have listened to Tommy for a bit, but not to the end. You know, Tommy is a really good guy, he really is, but he’s no intellectual, I don’t think he would have a gripe with that comment. He doesn’t pretend to be an intellectual by the way, he’s no pretentious at all…

    With all that said, why is Tommy doing this lecture? Where the FF did our intellectual tradition go by the way? How set up the SNP? Why not have a lecture about that? Hugh Macdiarmid, nobody even says his name these days…

    How can it be possible that we Scottish intellectuals have to live outside the country because we can’t make a bean in the SNP run Scotland?

    The SNP who have done NOTHING for us, zero, zilch…not a single thing for Scottish film. not a single thing for Scottish literature, a country of morons, the laughing stock of the literary world who actually have an Edwin Morgan translation fund which pays the way for the translation of texts OUT OF SCOTS, not into it…how do you culturally enrich Scotland? You subsidise people who translate INTO IT, not out of it….Edwin Morgan, a great adventurer and explorer, who brought us back so many great poets, will be turning in his grave…

    You know what? I don’t even want to be Scottish anymore. You’re a country of NUMPTIES….

    Reply
    • Alf Baird 4 weeks ago

      “why is Tommy doing this lecture?”

      This is a very pertinent point RG. Can anyone answer it? Unlike Muir, Sheppard is not exactly someone who has personally suffered at the hands of Scotland’s oppressors; indeed as Craig Murray might say Sheppard and the SNP MP’s have settled in rather too comfortably to Westminster, as have the MSP’s to the UK’s devolved/neutered ‘parliament’. In that regard Tommy Sheridan would have been a far more appropriate invite in my view, a man not afraid to march in the streets for independence. Sheppard’s delivery seemed like a rather bland political lecture, not saying anything new or remotely inspirational, raising as the only ‘hope’ for Scotland’s independence ‘movement’ another dubious referendum, at some obscure time in the future, post brexit, and even that assumes us poor hapless naïve Scots being permitted a referendum by our betters. And all this time he and his 34 SNP MP colleagues have the power of a Scottish electoral majority (as did the 56) in their hands sufficient to call an end to the ‘union’ charade now, as it began, and as Muir would most certainly have done, and no doubt Sheridan also. Independence is a cultural process and requires passionate and courageous leadership, not party apparatchiks and political timeservers who cringe at the very thought of waving a saltire.

      Reply
      • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 weeks ago

        Feel free to organise your own lecture Alf with Tommy Sheridan as the headline speaker and on your platform of an ethnic based vote. I’m sure it would have a broad appeal.

        You seem confused though sometimes you advocate a referendum for ethnic Scots, then you seem to suggest UDI, then you suggest ‘independence is a cultural process. Which is it?

        Reply
        • Alf Baird 4 weeks ago

          Thanks Ed. My preference would be for a simple majority of Scotland’s democratically elected MP’s to call an end to the ‘union’ charade, i.e. in the same way it began, which is something I and many other Scots have always understood to be the only necessary requirement for independence. It is Scotland’s elected MP’s who hold the sovereignty of Scotland’s people in their hands, and they should use it accordingly. Another referendum is doomed to failure, in my view, given the ongoing census data and long-term fundamental changes to Scotland’s population; in essence an increasing number of people identifying more strongly with a culturally British/English (national) identity are forming the population of Scotland, which means the No vote is constantly being replenished. A further option, failing the majority of Scotland’s MP’s giving notice to end the union, would be to take Scotland’s case for independence to the UN and specifically the Fourth (Special Political Decolonization) Committee of the General Assembly. I would note that Mr. Sheppard’s lecture (on an independence ‘strategy’?) failed to adequately address any of these points.

          Reply
          • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 weeks ago

            So talk me through it … the majority of Scotland’s MP’s give notice to end the union … leave Westminster …then what?

          • Crubag 4 weeks ago

            Was Thomas Muir actually in favour of Scottish independence – from what I’ve read of the trial, it seems to be about the reform of the House of Commons and a (much) wider franchise.

            Nowadays the equivalent would probably be the reform of the House of Lords.

            TS’s speech is interesting, but after kicking off with Thomas Muir, he never actually returns to the subject.

          • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 weeks ago

            Yeah – the lecture isn’t about Thomas Muir, its dedicated to his ideals.

            The talk was preceded by a speech by Murray Armstrong about Muir. You can get his Liberty Tree here:
            http://www.calton-books.co.uk/books/the-liberty-tree-murray-armstrong/

          • Alf Baird 4 weeks ago

            Ed, it could equally be argued that, on the basis of “the ongoing census data and long-term fundamental changes to Scotland’s population; in essence an increasing number of people identifying more strongly with a culturally British/English (national) identity are forming the population of Scotland, which means the No vote is constantly being replenished”, itself reflects “an ethnic based vote”.

            Are you able to address the Redgauntlet point on “why is Tommy doing this lecture?”

          • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 weeks ago

            Yes indeed because myself and the committee that organises the lecture thought he would contribute something to the public debate. And I believe he did, even if you don’t agree with him. Particulalry in the sense of putting the independence movement in some historical republican context and in terms of the need for solidarity not tribalism, especially the sort of ethnic-driven conflict which you’re own disastrously ill-thought-out ideas represent.

          • Alf Baird 4 weeks ago

            “then what?”

            Scotland is independent.

          • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 weeks ago

            Great. Simple.

  • Crubag 4 weeks ago

    The most recent electoral test saw pro-Brexit parties win a majority in Scotland. The calculation has to be that EU membership could lose almost as many votes as it gains (and the SNP leadership itself has since revised its EU policy to focus on single market access rather than being a member state in the EU).

    With uncertainties over borders, I don’t see the SNP revisiting this until after Brexit. If the Growth Commission report really has been delivered and is not going to be published, then that to me is a signal that no attempt at indy2 will be made by the SNP in the next 5 years (or even in Nicola Sturgeon’s political lifetime – 10 years).

    Yes is quite a broad church, so some would be comfortable with that slow pace, others not. But no party feels unbreakable at the moment. If there is a delay of that duration we might see new Scottish left and right parties emerge to share the stage.

    Reply
    • Redgauntlet 4 weeks ago

      Crubag, you are just an incredible windbag with your LIE that the General Election was about Brexit when it was not….

      Do you defend the sovereign will of the Scottish people, yes or no? If you defend it, we are in the EU, and if you don’t then I don’t know what you’re doing on the pages of Bella Caledonia…go away, go somewhere else, go to the Daily Mail for example….

      Reply
      • A Truly Concerned Troll 4 weeks ago

        Red Gauntlet is correct, Crubag, the most recent electoral test had nothing to do with Brexit. Theresa May barely mentioned the subject. Also, the SNP won more seats than all the other parties put together; even if what you were saying was true, and it isn’t, the SNP with its policies won an absolute majority of seats.

        Why is it that people in Scotland are so prone to take the cautious and cowardly slant? If you’re going to be wrong, why not go the other way and be wrong with some passion and verve?

        Reply
        • Crubag 4 weeks ago

          The election was about Brexit – that’s why it was called, to give the Tories more political firepower. The manifestos also majored on it – both the Tory and Labour pitches were for exit, both the SNP and Lib Dems had an option for remaining in the EU via another referendum (with added independence in the case of the SNP, obviously).

          Labour and the Tories both gained votes, both the Lib Dems and the SNP lost votes, heavily in the case of the SNP. Hence the shift by the SNP leadership.

          The SNP doing better at converting votes into seats under First Past the Post doesn’t mean anything, unless you believe in UDI via MPs, or that the SNP are an end in themselves. Indy2 will be decided on national votes, not on FPTP.

          Reply
          • RICHARD ANDERSON 4 weeks ago

            I’ve just gone through the leaflets I received during the election campaign. All 3 parties stood quite categorically on a ‘beat the SNP’ and ‘no2indyref2’. There was no policy discussion except for the greens and snp manifestos. Imo, the only ‘normal’ general election campaign was south of the border. In Northern Ireland and, as we are now seeing in the Tory bigots party, the vote in some parts of Scotland was largely sectarian. It’s no surprise that, after murdo fraser and Adam Tomkins deliberately Blew their dog whistles for the ‘teddy bear’ unionist crowd that the Tories are full to the brim with them. Labour, to be fair, couldn’t bring themselves to be quite so cynical. Scotland, at least the part I came from, wasn’t allowed to consider policies. Particularly since rape clause Ruth got a kicking over that matter.

  • Leya 4 weeks ago

    Thanks so much to Phantom Power and Bella for making this available! Just finished it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope Tommy Sheppard does more of this kind of thing. Very thought provoking too. Hard to tell when Scotref will happen now, but if it is post 2021 then I do hope he’s right about Yes support getting behind pro-indy parties, as this inevitably means voting SNP on the constituency vote. But that’s all a way down the line…I would still prefer we have Scotref before 2021, but that all depends on Brexit at this stage. Not sure about proposing another EU referendum after indy either, but as I say, lots to think about.

    Reply
  • Redgauntlet 4 weeks ago

    You know, Tommy says, “Why has Hollywood not shot a film about Thomas Muir” and that is the wrong question. The pertinent question is “Why has Scotland not shot a film about Thomas Muir?”. And the answer is that there is no backing for film in Scotland, zero, zilch…

    I am thoroughly sick of the Scottish mentality…you know, cap in handers galore….

    And Muir was an exile, like so many of us have to be to live…incredible….utterly incredible…

    And Alex Salmond inviting David Davis to Edinburgh? You know, fck off Scotland…I just don’t want to know anymore….the most pathetic bunch of posers ever, the SNP….Salmond? Go and fck off…its not about you and your ego….

    Reply
  • Redgauntlet 4 weeks ago

    Bella, you know, I go to post and A Very Concerned Troll’s name and email address comes up. You can’t hand out people’s email addresses, Bella, it’s against the law. Shut down your site for a day and fix it, and if you can’t afford to, go back to a WordPress blog, what’s the problem?

    As for Scotland, Salmond at the Edinburgh Festival with David Davis speaks volumes, that says it all. It’s all just a joke and a stunt apparently…doesn’t matter that Scotland’s difference is vanishing before our eyes, what does that matter? When did the SNP really care about Scotland?

    Nicola, having been gifted the most sterling argument for Scottish independence, which is the massive difference between the Brexit vote in Scotland and England, announces a “reset”. There hasn’t been a more catastrophic decision made by the Scots since Willy Miller and Alan Hanson decided to chase the same ball against Russia in Spain, 1982….

    Absolutely incredible. I don’t want independence ten years down the line, I want it now. I want a second referendum now, I am a European, I did not get a vote, I want my fcking country back, now and as A Very Concerned Troll rightly says, if there are people there who can’t deliver it, move on, make space, there are plenty of us who can…

    A “reset”. What a bunch of total cretins….

    Reply
  • Redgauntlet 4 weeks ago

    What are the SNP even doing attending a parliament which has been decided to be constitutionally of no importance at all? I mean, what the FF is going on? When the High Court ruling came in, Nicola should have walked every single Scottish MP out of there…

    What the FF is going on in Scotland? Any decent nationalist is looking for a crisis moment, the SNP get handed one on a plate, and they have a “reset”….I mean it’s a total joke.

    Salmond will be minted eh? Alec Salmond will be totally minted? What the FF does he care about Scottish independence, really? He goes down in my book as a total arsehole for bringing up David Davis – the man who fought against ID cards for the Brits, and proposes it for the EU residents in Scotland, let’s not forget it. Davis is a Brit nat fascist, so what does that make Salmond?

    The Scots don’t deserve independence, the SNP are simply not up to the job…

    Reply
  • w.b.robertson 4 weeks ago

    any unionists snooping in on this ongoing argument must be laughing their heads off…seems to me that it is time the SNP provided some strong leadership, a clear cut timetable, and some political balls to get all the yessers reunited behind it. Unity is strength (as old tyme Socialists used to chant).

    Reply
  • David Walker 4 weeks ago

    I hang my head in shame & despair at the bitching, Zebedeeing” & apparent disorganisation that is apparent in the ever more diffuse “YES” movement. Yes, the SNP appear ever more bland & established. What else have we got other than some form of UDI or revolution? I can’t in reality see people rising up – pity really.

    I am one of those “pensioners” by the way who are decried by the oh so knowledgeable young. I do not read red-top news trash nor search for photos of scantily clad women (my eyesight is not good enough!) This assessment of the older generation requires reassessment & perhaps more inter- generational communication.

    Reply
  • Scott Egner 4 weeks ago

    I enjoyed the lecture. Thanks bella and phantom power.
    I have to say I disagree with tommy.

    The SNP stood on a mandate of having a second referendum in the event of a significant material change. It really doesn’t get much more material than being pulled out of the EU.

    The SNP and the greens asked to represent the people based on the above mandate so they need to get on and represent the people.
    Perhaps tommy (for whom I have the greatest respect) doubts the chances of success, but that’s actually besides the point. It was part of the manifesto.

    Reply
  • Lochside 3 weeks ago

    Redgauntlet and Alf Baird…thanks for saying all the thingsthat many many Scots are thinking. the snp…Sturgeon, Salmond and Shepherd are fearties and a disgrace. We have to call the English out on their attempted destruction of our political, economic and cultural identity.

    Mealy mouthed PC bullshit about ‘ethnic nationalism’ being anathema to the civic nationalist crowd is so misguided and stupid but it symbolises why we are drifting rudderless waiting for a leader.
    As Alf points out the demographic movement of RUK voters is going to inevitably lead to a numeric majority permanently against our independence. 3/4 of RUK residents in Scotland voted ‘NO’ in the REF 2014. There is absolutely no reason to expect this majority to alter. The cultural and nationalist allegiances of this population show no signs of assimilation. Indeed this population has steadily used its superior economic wealth to displace our poorer and younger indigenous population forcing emigration, reducing the native Scots’ number to below 5 million, less than the population of a century ago. It is aggressively anti-Scottish both vocally and politically. It dominates the arts, universities, media, and much of civic society. It controls the narrative of our historical sites through Anglophile controlled organisations such as Historic Scotland. Distorting and diminishing our role in our own evolution as a nation.

    Ethnicity by the way is a red herring, if a United Ireland becomes ever more a possibility due to Brexit, we are faced by an even more toxic influx of our ‘Ulster Scot’ cousins, implacable Unionists. With the even more worrisome sectarian baggage that they will import without any doubt.

    Redgauntlet’s disgust with AS and his good pal the arrogant and devious idiot, David Davies was mirrored by my own revulsion at this collboration which is the hallmark of our feeble and treasonous leadership throughout history. Nicola sturgeon is weak and guilty of both equivocation and cowardice in the face of English and Britnat aggression. Shepherd, I’m afraid. is another suspect bandwagon jumper. We appear to have lost our spine as a nation. We need new leaders who are not afraid to challenge our oppressors and brave enough to take the fight to them for our nation’s very survival.

    Reply
    • Alf Baird 3 weeks ago

      Thank you Lochside; absolutely nothing to disagree with you there. The SNP rank and file need to force the leadership to ‘reset’ well out of its lazy and confused pc-neoliberal comfort zone (hopefully at the Oct conference), and to develop serious strategies that can deliver independence, while others across the ‘independence movement’ should continue to come forward with ideas for more rapid progress. I agree we are absolutely needing new leadership; on current form the SNP bigwigs might reasonably expect knighthoods/damehoods and peerages to add to their privy counsellorships in return for their loyalty and deference tae oor colonial maisters.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other articles in Events

See all in Events >