Scotland: The Utopia That Never Was

IMG_2626According to some, getting retweeted by No voters and unionist journalists, occasionally, means you are being endorsed by the establishment.  All my dead family and friends will be spinning in their graves at such a thought.  For people so keen to label others they disagree with as apologists for all sorts of lurid and obscene things, did you ever stop to think about those of us who are always apologising for you?

Yes, you, the morally certain, reactionary branch of the dead Yes campaign.  An obtrusive minority of unconsidered opinion that unconsciously exploits every political moment – even the ones where people die – in the singular pursuit of re-animating a corpse for one last blind lunge toward freedom.

If Scotland is a cheap haircut you are its puritanical fringe.

You intend to vote SNP twice next year because you love democracy.  You call the First Minister Nicola.  You think Braveheart is a documentary.  You have The National delivered directly to your ego and you live in a world where the next referendum is always around the corner – should the right crisis occur.

What a paragon of virtue you are.  Except there is one thing you haven’t considered fully that I want to draw your hysterical attention to:  the independent Scotland you dream of is actually no more moral, or just, than the Union.

Sorry but it’s true.  Furthermore, you’re not actually that radical.  You just buy into slick branding and political sloganeering that makes you feel like you are.  You’re not a revolutionary force; the UK media just tricked you into thinking you were so it could dissuade people from voting for your proposals.  In fact, the kind of independence you want is really quite shallow, short-sighted and self-serving.

Your argument for independence is that Scotland would be better off?  Well my friend, there is no great virtue in doing something because you think it will make you better off.

Your naivety and willingness to internalise left-sounding political rhetoric has led to a marginalisation of genuinely left-wing thinking – advantage Tories – which, by your own logic, is immoral.  You have actually overtaken the left as the biggest existential threat to the left; setting back the potential for radical politics in Scotland for many years to come.  I’m not even saying that’s a bad thing I’m just saying that’s what’s happened.

And into the bargain your non-critical moralising and refusal to consider complexity is having a genuinely dangerous impact on public discourse.  Some of us – from within the Yes voting population – have to push back against it.

This is not about SNPbad.  I’ve been voting SNP for years – this is about the freedom to scrutinise all forms of political power wherever that scrutiny may lead.

No doubt you’re half way through your three page retort in the comments section.  But did you know I’ve actually been voting SNP since 2006?  Did you know I actually hid that fact from my own family who were raised to be skeptical of nationalism?  Did you know I’ve shared platforms with both ‘Nicola’ and ‘Alex’ in my capacity as an activist and that I never minced my words then either?  Did you know I’m not known for schmoozing or that I wasn’t created in a test tube in 2014 to amplify your narrow message alone?  If people out there think I’m changing my tune post referendum then they clearly don’t know what my tune sounds like.

I grew up in Pollok – recognised by any real lefty as a genuinely militant, socialist hub, rife with dissent, where activists operated in the community as a parallel local authority all year round and not just before an election?

I literally grew up in political struggle so I know what radical politics looks and feels like – you are not radical and neither is your proposal for independence.   That’s fair enough; you’re entitled to your opinions and preferences, but stop preaching to the rest of us like you’re morally superior.  You’re not.

And I’ll tell you why:

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Scotland: The Slightly Less English British Franchise.

The Franchise where elites a little closer to home enjoy the perks of cronyism and privilege.  The Franchise where we remain plugged into the neo-liberal apparatus we, ourselves, identify as the root of the inequality all the masochistic Unionists apparently love.  The Franchise where corporation tax is lower than it is in London.  The Franchise where you can still go to jail for possessing cannabis, but hey, didn’t we show those English twats who is boss?   The Franchise where we still operate on the same moral playing field as the union we so denounce – politically, economically and militarily insulated by NATO and the EU – while believing ourselves to be morally superior.

Scotland: The Slightly Less English British Franchise where being Scottish alone is what makes us moral.  Where being Scottish in and of itself trumps all else.  Where being Scottish is its own justification and anybody with anything critical to say is a vicious nonce apologist.

And please, spare me the ‘once we’re independent’ argument.

I know that argument.  It’s a bit like the ‘once I learn Spanish’ argument or the ‘once I join the gym’ argument.   That old, ‘i’m going to learn a musical instrument because I watched a BBC Four documentary once’ argument.   You know that ‘once I start my diet on Monday’ argument?  Sadly, that’s not really an argument; it’s a hypothetical comfort blanket.

Power – political or otherwise – does not share your affection for Utopianism.  The reality is the land owners and the corporate forces and all those other murky things we want to pretend don’t exist in our Yes bubble, will lean heavily on their friends in any government irrespective of national borders.  I’m no expert but I think that’s how structures of power work.  In fact, an independence movement led by this kind of political pragmatism wouldn’t even secure a Yes vote without support from the same amoral forces many of you claim you want Scotland rid of:  billionaire donors, multi-national corporations, media oligarchs and partisan hacks.  How many of us were praying Rupert ‘News of the World Phone Hacking Fox News Israel Lobby’ Murdoch would endorse a Yes vote?

What is so moral about that?

To everyone else who knows what I’m talking about, you’re not splitting ‘the movement’ by pushing back against aggressive thought-policing from people who don’t even know they’re doing it.  Nationalism in its basest form, like all diseases of perception, is virtually imperceptible to the sufferer.  So when a nationalist swears blind they are not a nationalist, at least you know they are telling the truth.  Sadly, an intense emotional attachment to ideology has left them vulnerable to skillful manipulation from both sides.  And they have pushed me away from a party I have been supporting quietly for nearly 10 years.

It’s ok to acknowledge nuance.  It’s ok if your opinion evolves.  It’s ok if you were wrong and it’s ok to change your mind.  People will call you a sell out or an intellectual slave but those insults are part of their story – not yours.  And do not be ashamed of protecting your own interests.  Everybody does, but some like to think they put others first because it makes them feel all fuzzy inside.

Look at the fractured world around you.  See what stubborn, uncritical moral certainty is doing in every corner of the globe.  There is a fine line between standing by your principles and fencing yourself off from reality.  Engaging and understanding an opposing point of view doesn’t make you an apologist or a sympathizer, it makes you a richer, fuller more tolerant and useful human being.

Morality does not come from the politics we claim but from the manner in which we carry our message to others.

There’s more to all of us than cognitive dissonance, audience bias and self-exalting moral outrage.

Now surely someone like me, who can make a point people on both sides may actually agree on, is of some use in this harsh and hostile environment?


Comments (357)

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  1. Sheena Jardine says:

    I am so disappointed with you Bella. I have been enjoying your articles for a number of years and rate you up there with the other pro-Indy sites, but recently the number of SNPbad articles is really annoying me. What these articles and people trying to get votes for RISE actually do is split the yes movement. Divide and conquer is the British way, and yet you are emulating it. My priority is Independence for Scotland. We have more than enough people working to destroy the movement by bringing down the SNP without you doing it as well. For the time being, patience and being united is what matters. Divided we go nowhere. So Bella please think about what you are putting out there a bit more carefully.

    1. Kevin Williamson says:

      I dont agree with all of Darren’s polemic. A lot of it is scorched earth generalisations. But not all. There are genuine criticisms of those who have an ostrich-head-sand-till-the-glorious-day approach to politics. But if anyone wants to invoke #SNPbad as a critique of it then Darren has a point.
      FACT: There is NO second referendum on the horizon. The SNP won’t be putting a second referendum before the Scottish people in either their 2016 manifesto nor during the 2016-2020 Holyrood parliament. There is no use pretending they will. It won’t happen.
      Where I agree with Darren is that right here, right now, Scottish politics needs less of the “if we were independent” blah blah and more actual working for change with the powers and abilities we have, in the communities we actually live in.
      It also means telling truth to power and if that means telling the SNP that they need to use the powers they have to initiate radical land reform or democratise local government then so be it.
      That is my opinion and if that’s #SNPbad as well… then I can only shake my head.

      1. Sheena Jardine says:

        I totally agree that we have to make the best of Scotland right now with what powers we have. My point is that as a movement (and I presume Bella still supports Independence and considers itself to be part of the Indy movement) we have precious few outlets. We have several online websites, various excellent blogs and the National and Sunday Herald. On the opposing side, we have the whole British Establishment, BBC, media etc. doing everything they can, day in, day out, to demoralise Scotland, bring down the SNP, divide us, return us to Unionist parties, and be derisive about Scotland in every possible way. We do not need our own to be adding their voices to that demoralisation is what I am saying.

        1. Oldpars says:

          “..the whole British Establishment, BBC, media etc. doing everything they can, day in, day out, to demoralise Scotland, bring down the SNP, divide us, return us to Unionist parties, and be derisive about Scotland in every possible way.” Really, what complete puir-us self-centred bollocks. Actually, everyone else just wishes you’d stop whingeing all the time.

        2. mike stewart says:

          sheena , the derisory comments are towards the snp , not scotland , there is a difference .

      2. tartanfever says:

        Kev – ‘FACT: There is NO second referendum on the horizon. The SNP won’t be putting a second referendum before the Scottish people in either their 2016 manifesto nor during the 2016-2020 Holyrood parliament.’

        Yeah we know that Kev, that’s what Nicola Sturgeon has been saying for months, it’s not a bombshell to anyone, is it ?

        ‘It also means telling truth to power and if that means telling the SNP that they need to use the powers they have to initiate radical land reform or democratise local government then so be it.’

        – and who told them that Kev ? Their own members at conference who sent the proposals back with some amount of disdain. In other words, the very people that this article is aimed at.

      3. Graeme Purves says:

        Spot on, Kevin!

      4. old battle says:

        Loki nailed it in his penultimate sentence when he declares in a moment of self-reflective clarity he defines his piece as “self-exultant moral outrage”. Frustration anchored in anger tends to lash out with whatever weapon comes to hand : in Loki’s case it is angry words.
        Seeing the mirage of national liberation while waking to the compromising words of soft nationalism breeds the outrage of which he speaks.
        When the national movement within national liberation reigns as the dominant partner (NB) the tension takes on the bitter feud of classism v nationalism struggle.
        In the real word of social-democratic (nationalist) power, managing in a neo-liberal economy there is space for a left alternative nagging voice of outrage.
        Nationalism ideologically seeks to operate in the triangulation of right of centre economic policy, left social policy and centrist populism. While the outrage of the romantic uncompromising moral certainties of the left alternative need only speak with the power of audacity: albeit on behalf of the voiceless and powerless.
        History is full of the blood of that particular intra-sovereignty -movement conflict: we saw it close- up not far away in Ireland from 1916. (We have just seen a similar clash of forces creating a crisis in Greece and to some lesser extent in Venezuela where old fashioned imperialism created/bought a right of centre populist nationalism.)
        Bella has provided a platform for a valuable insight into the manner and context in which the struggle between social-democrat nationalism and the left national alternative might play out in Scotland. There is time for debate and Bella might just be the place for it.

        1. Jon Buchanan says:

          Nicely put OB, hear, hear! Lots of to-ing and fro-ing in the comments but yours is one of the most measured and reasoned as well as getting the wider context pretty much spot on, as far as I’m concerned anyhoo, as if that mattered a jot to anyone else posting, nice work though!

      5. billy hammett says:

        Spot on Kevin The blind worship of the SNP is causing indy to implode upon itself.

    2. Calum says:

      See this “SNPbad” chat? It’s pathetic. It’s designed to shut down legitimate criticism of the One True Party. Time to grow up.

      1. Sheena Jardine says:

        I support the SNP because it is the ONLY vehicle for bringing real democracy to Scotland. It has worked tirelessly to this end for 80 years. They are not perfect, no party is, but they are the best chance we have to move Scotland into being a modern, democractic society which it is unable to be at the moment. If we start dividing as a movement, then we are lost. It’s not about being childish, on the contrary, it is about long term thinking. United we stand, divided we fall. Think about it.

        1. Dj says:

          In what way is Scotland not a modern, democratic society? I actually quite like living here and what we have is much much better than most other countries in the world.

          1. Wul says:

            “In what way is Scotland not a modern, democratic society?”

            1) Legislation can be vetoed by a house of unelected, millionaire “Lords”.
            2) Unelected, self-selecting monarchy owns our shoreline
            3) People drawn from a tiny, wealthy elite run most of our important national institutions
            4) Extremely low levels of true local democracy compared to our European neighbours
            5) A tiny, wealthy elite owns most of our land (the only real resource a country has)
            6) People in wigs and costumes make our laws
            7) Whole towns owned by hereditary or millionaire and owners. Locals scared to voice opinions

            The list is very long…..

          2. Christine says:

            Democracy? We have taxation without representation with level. None of the SNP MP’s voted for war. There are no ends to the amount of ways Scotland has no democratic power in this union. We get outvoted or excluded every time. Loki’s article just makes me think he is an egotist bampot.

          3. Sean says:

            In the way that 97% of our elected MPs voted against air strikes in Syria, yet they happened anyway.
            In the way that the 1 single Tory MP has more power than all other Scottish MPs combined.

        2. David McCann says:

          “Your argument for independence is that Scotland would be better off? ”
          How do you know what my views on independence are, since you seem to assume the powers of the Brahan Seer?
          I have supported Scottish independence, before you were a glint in your faither’s eye, and long before it was popular, especially on the far left, which was the case when I joined the SNP 46 years ago.
          There is much in your article I agree with, engage and understand, and sincerely hope this makes me a richer, fuller more tolerant and useful human being.

        3. David Johnson says:

          I did think about it and you are completely wrong.More democracy? What self centred rubbish

        4. The King Hath Spake says:

          You said:

          “I support the SNP because it is the ONLY vehicle for bringing real democracy to Scotland. It has worked tirelessly to this end for 80 years. They are not perfect, no party is, but they are the best chance we have to move Scotland into being a modern, democractic society which it is unable to be at the moment. If we start dividing as a movement, then we are lost. It’s not about being childish, on the contrary, it is about long term thinking. United we stand, divided we fall. Think about it”.

          REAL Democracy? Ouch!
          Do you think further taxes of 9% above what we pay now is an acceptable reason for following the independence cause? BTW, that’s equivalent to the current status quo under the shrewd conservative government. If we want Nicola’s Utopia, add another 4% tax. So, across the board, Scottish tax payers will see an increase in taxes amounting to about 13% extra tax.

          Was this your Utopia? Surely, you are joking?

          1. David Tolmie says:

            Wouldn’t the extra 25 billion from last year’s rock bottom oil price’s negate any tax rises + all income tax NI cooperation tax and Vat raised and kept in Scotland help 25 billion is from our 90% cut of the 30.3 billion taken in the North Sea that’s the Oil and Gas Uk’s figures and they think that figures on the Low Side Xxxxxxxx

        5. Angus says:

          Sheena, twice you have said “united we stand, divided we fall”. Perhaps you feel we are better off in the Union then?

          1. Sheena Jardine says:

            The United Kingdom is not united, it is unfair and elitist, with double standards everywhere, in politics, in the media and in its institutions. Why people cannot see this and still support it, I do not understand. Scotland and England/Wales could take their countries back and start afresh, creating modern democracies where the government work for the good of the people of the nation, not for the city of London, the elite, the corporations and to keep Britain ‘important’. Imagine how good it would be to live in a small country where most people are happy and content and have great opportunities and support. Not happening in the UK, although a federal system might have made this possible.

        6. A Boyle says:

          A one party state that no one can be critical of in fear a massive, threatening backlash from its followers not even people within the party can criticise the SNP. How is that modern democracy Sheena?

          1. Sheena Jardine says:

            Scotland is not a one-party state at all, you obviously read the mainstream media far too much.

            Secondly many many people criticise the SNP daily and have been doing so for a very long time. In doing so they often overlook more important or similar transgressions from the other parties, and of course, completely overlook all the good things the SNP are doing, so double standards abound in British media. If the British media was fair and balanced then all of us who support Scottish Independence and the SNP would be a lot happier and more relaxed about articles such as this, but the fact is the British media is as biased as possible against the SNP and YES.

            This leaves us in a situation where those of us who are for an Independent Scotland need to absolutely support one another as we did during the referendum. Different viewpoints are healthy and needed, but there is a positive, constructive way of doing this and then there is a negative, destructive way. This article, and increasing numbers of Bella articles, are doing the latter.

            It is sad to see, as the beautiful and positive yes campaign uplifted everyone involved with it, and now these kind of articles threaten to divide and destroy what we have.

            (And of course, I suspect many NO voters, which they are entitled to do of course, are piling in here, writing comments to try and make the divide bigger).

            As I said before, Bella, please think about what you are doing. And to the people supporting Independence, let’s keep it positive and constructive, work together and don’t let ourselves become divided, however many different viewpoints we have.

        7. Liam McCabe says:

          Sheena your comments are lacking in nuance. To assume that the SNP are the only root to any other kind of positive politics is to play into both their hands and the hands of the Britisg establishment. If people start to think that the SNP are the only way forward then they can dangle that and the constitutional question over everyone’s head and in front of every issue to avoid talking about their complexity of them and how difficult they’ve found it to govern. They can avoid talking about the realpolitik and instead can use the fear of splitting the movement and the hesitant blind loyalty of hundreds of thousands of voters to go without criticism. They then use that same en masse lack of criticism as a stick to beat all other parties, claiming it displays the validity of their opinions, huge popularity for their policies and a belief in their competence when in reality all its really showing is fear; the fear of the former Yes movement to push against the SNP, not just as the largest pro-indepdence party, but as the government of this country and ask for explanations of their genuine short comings. The British establishment then can use this as a stick to beat us with; branding us unthinking, unquestioning, mindlessly loyal and uncritical of politics. Successfully, this reduces the wider seriousness with which the independence movement is taken by undecided voters and this can be expanded upon by vigorous media attacks, which the British establishemnt and those determined to preserve the Union have already displayed they have no quarrel with using.

          We should be critical of the SNP, they’ve fucked up a lot. As soon as we submit to the notion that they are unassailable then we have given up any claim that we want a better Scotland by refusing to subject them to the same intense scrutiny with which we have viewed, and continue to to view, Westminster and the Conservative government. People who want better for their country question all power, regardless of who wields it and its up to us to do that, and that means instense scrutiny of the SNP.

          Full disclosure, I’m a member of the SSP and thus also an affiliate of RISE. When the SSP were going through the process of affiliating, I and others were intensely critical of the process. We weren’t scared to split the socialist movement, we weren’t scared to ‘soe division,’ because were mature enough to know that we wanted to ensure we were entering into something democratic, open and accessible and our scrutiny made the SSP’s entry into RISE more accountable and RISE better as a result. It isn’t ‘SNPbad’ to ask for people to be critical of the SNP’s policies or their time in Governemnt. If my experience in the SSP and transitioning into RISE has taught me anything, its that scrutiny makes a movement better, more accountable and more transparent and those things don’t split or damage movements, it improves them.

        8. Bob says:

          SNP = democracy? Then why couldn’t I vote for a male candidate in the local candidate election? In an independent Scotland with their plans to open the flood gates to migrants it seems if you are in their “protected” groups you will be a little more equal and have a little more democracy than others.

          “Sadly, an intense emotional attachment to ideology has left them vulnerable to skillful manipulation from both sides. And they have pushed me away from a party I have been supporting quietly for nearly 10 years”.

          Independence is like internet dating when you eventually turn up for the date they look nothing like the pictures in your head. Like the article said the whole Independence things depends upon keep you all in victim mode fighting “oppression”. get on with your lives Only you can improve your world no promise of a fake Utopia.

        9. R McCallun says:

          So Sheena, the answer is “please don’t criticise the SNP, because it is all we have”. Exactly the attitude that the article wisely advocates against. The SNP is failing as a functioning government, and it uses independence as an excuse, when it is no such thing. There is no chance of independence in the forseeable future, not with oil prices where they are. So let the SNP accept this and take responsibility for their decisions

        10. alibaba says:

          “United we stand, divided we fall. Think about it”

          O the irony, lol

      2. Joe O Luain says:

        You can’t be serious with that “One True Party” epithet; surely not? The SNP is a liberal-democratic political party operating in a Liberal Democratic polity and so far as I can tell, to date it has been obeying all of the rules and strictures governing its status as such. What might make it singular or “True”, beats me.

    3. Shen says:

      It is only an opinion, not a death sentence 🙂

    4. Mick Pork says:

      I’m sorry Sheena but I can’t agree with you that this article isn’t useful. I for one will be using it and directing wavering voters to it any time they think about risking the list on the Solidarity/RISE/Greens/People’s Front of Judea. 🙂

      It’s just a stream of pure Pouter invective and abuse with no purpose or stronger narrative than feeding the (clearly) bruised ego of the writer who seem to have had a wee bit of a hissy fit on the way for a while.

      If they seriously thought it would assist the small parties in winning over scots voters then they need to lie down in a dark room for a long, loooong time.

      It’s not as if they were covering themselves in glory already, what with the Pouter style tactical attempts to mislead Scottish voters, (they just need that wee colour wheel to show where to vote and it’ll all work out fine ye ken LOL) but the kind of vapid insults and parade of straw men given vent here is about as likely to persuade SNP voters over to the small parties as yer standard Daily Mail or tory SNP-Bad rant.

      Perhaps there’s a pretty bloody obvious reason these Pouter types refuse to discuss their own party or policy? Hmmmmm? Just a thought. 😉

    5. DB1 says:

      If this is an advert for RISE, then it could have fooled me.

      It comes across more as as an anti-independence, ‘learn to love big brother’ rant, because its all depressing and pointless and there will still be rich people and Tories, so why don’t we all just give up and accept London rule because we probably can’t do any better..

      Maybe it is supposed to be addressed to a handful of nutters – but then attacks the ‘dead yes campaign’ and SNP*2 voters – which comprise most Scots who want self-government !

      Personally I don’t see independence as ‘radical’. I just see it as normal.
      I think Scotland is a country and that countries should govern themselves.
      It does gives us more ability to enact policies which most people want, however ‘radical’ that might be.

      Kevin – I am an SNP member and not one person I know has given up on independence.
      It will be in the manifesto in one form or another – most likely an option to call a referendum when there is sufficient public demand, which is fair enough.
      The path may be debatable, but the destination remains the same.
      There is obviously a need to get a wide vote next year, so it is tactically understandable an immediate second referendum won’t be the #1 selling point for the Holyrood election.

      All I know is that to divide the vote and risk losing a majority removes that possibility entirely.
      And the ability to influence further devolved powers in the meantime.
      No majority, no clout.

      1. If this is an advert for RISE, then you could have fooled me too.

        1. Shen says:

          To be honest Bella Caledonia Editor, this is a response that was waiting in the wings of time .. serious division by a disjointed alternative media waiting to implode. I agree to personal opinions but this has hit a nerve that I could not have anticipated .. One needs to retract (including myself) a point in question ! ARE WE YES UNITED OR MAYBE ? split

    6. robert graham says:

      agree with your comments the same thing on common space , it usually starts with i support the SNP but , always the but , all designed to weaken the SNP from within .

    7. Alan Thomson says:

      The most sensible piece I’ve ever read from the YES camp but Then, Sheena,like most of them, you have no interest in sense; just independence.

    8. Martin Sneddon says:

      Are you happy with a party that is run as a collective Sheena? I mean 56 MPs voting against bombing in Syria, coincidence ? Do as I speak ? This is an affront to democracy , I would expect ,sorry I would demand of my MP to stand up against this madness and break rank , wether agreeing or not with the Syria situation , this is about collective voting to score points for a party that is very poorly running the country I love and irrespective of who I vote for.
      This is grevious politics which there is no end in sight , how long will you vote for the SNP which only has one aim?
      I was born here , I live here, I raised my family here , I work here and pay my dues but it doesn’t matter who you voted for YES or No , the SNP is not listening and that is an affront to the peoples of Scotland . I say stop supporting and start asking question , you say it’s the best option for me at the moment without actually questioning their policies ? Surely this is reason to ask question?

      1. The SNP is run as a collective Martin. Really? Wow. That’s cool.

      2. tickle says:

        martin man come on! “this is about collective voting” of course it is. that’s what political parties are for. the majority of parliamentarians at all levels in the uk vote with their party on the vast majority of votes. even the famously most rebellious labour mp corbyn has only rebelled on average a quarter of the time. you’re making yourself look silly wit your ill considered partisan attacks. I’m saying that and I really do not like the SNP.

    9. Stuart says:

      And in one post Sheena proves Loki right…

    10. justforthecomment says:

      Wow, might want to read the blog again then look up the definition of irony!

  2. Paul Cochrane says:

    “Your argument for independence is that Scotland would be better off? ”
    Twas never thus for me hence this article falls into the elitist stereotype trap of lumping all as one.
    Disappointing as there us a great deal of merit in much of what is written, especially the reflection that there is a Scottish Elite as intent on ruling as there is an English one.

  3. Edwin Moore says:

    Another great piece by Loki

    1. Alex Birnie says:

      Loki is the wee boy who doesn’t like the way the rest of the kids “are no playin’ the wey a want tae – gies ma baw – am gaun hame”

  4. Dougie Blackwood says:

    A well write assessment of the real political situation. I read the National but am thinking of giving it up; there is very little opposition to some of the more extreme positions in it, a bit too much like a “Good News” publication that only includes the best news it can find. I also take The Herald but skip some of the more extreme unionist columnists; some of it’s articles pick up on real problems that should be addressed more effectively by the SNP. I was delighted when the SNP conference remitted the land reform bill to be beefed up; more of this activity please.

    Regardless of the faults, and there are some, the SNP are the most effective party to run Scotland and move forward to another referendum when the time is right – and that is not now. We must have the next referendum when we are certain to win and again it is my belief that the numbers are very slowly moving in our direction.

    This horrible Tory government and the ineffective mess that are the Labour party are playing into our hands. Main Stream Media see independence as off the agenda. Our 56 MPs are safely skipped in the English and BBC Scotland news despite being the only real opposition. The target is to get rid of Corbyn to push the Red and Blue Tory consensus as the way to get back the Blair/Cameron neoliberal land where the poor can be ignored and lobbyists from the CBI get most of their own way. Corbyn will certainly either jump or be pushed paving the way for the return of New Labour. Either way this is manna for those of us with an independence agenda.

    1. Jamie says:

      Is that not the point of the National though? I mean if you want reporting of the good things the SNP do there is no where else to get it. If you want reporting of all the bad things they do all the other papers do that. I think the National is doing a fine job that no one else does and someone should be doing that job of reporting the “good news” otherwise no one will ever know. I think a national and herald combo is a good balancing act. The herald alone would be awful and is a pretty negative paper overall barring some of their columnists.

      1. Kevin Williamson says:

        What if you want to buy a newspaper that occasionally critiques the SNP from the left? This is a problem. Nowhere in the mainstream media will we find a consistent leftist critique of power. The National included.


        1. Me Bungo Post says:

          I must be imagining the columns by Cat Boyd, Caroline Leckie and others. Not to mention the many articles and letters devoted to RISE and other “radical” left organisations. The SNP dominate Scottish politics right now while RISE don’t even register on polls. Despite this, they get plenty of coverage in The National. Far in excess of what such a small, barely formed organisation could realistically expect.

          1. schrodingers cat says:

            even more than jok ferguson in newburgh wind, bungo me old china

          2. Me Bungo Pony says:

   – Newburgh wind was a long time ago and, largely thanks to the offensive/aggressive antics of one individual, a sad episode.

            However, I have noted two turbines have been erected to the West of the town. Three turbines to the East of the town (atop a hill and set back so few would be aware of them) being considered unacceptable, while two to the West (one very prominent) are fine, seems illogical.

        2. Peter Shaw says:

          Kevin, you’ve probably boxed in the answer by requiring all three of: “newspaper” (hence at least weekly), “consistently left-wing” (not just left-ish inputs) and the dreaded (boo-word for perhaps too many? – see 2 & 3) “MSM”:

          Because consistent (fearless) left-wing perspectives – even if these were broadly popular, a problem in itself – rarely become widespread and distributed also in a traditional paper format (some of the standard qualification criteria for “MSM”), and to achieve if they had not started with a critical mass also of adequate financial support: thus even to survive.

          And once you look merely to crowdfunded blogs and/or online subscribed publications, you are – I suppose – even by such self-defining definitions not part of “MSM”.


          1) There IS Morning Star. Which is not the fantastical communist fabrication it once was. As the fisher said to the pelican: that might fit your bill.

          See e.g.

          2) Personally, I respect publications offering a diversity of views, as opposed to a tightly reined political agenda (with an occasional “alibi article” to pretend there’s no doctrinaire political affiliation/dogmatic political line). This of course means such newspapers, magazines etc will include content & views readers are likely to find mistaken, annoying or intolerably heinous. Even an occasional piece by an utter nutter (at least in my view, since I vehemently disagree 😉 ).

          And, more than a hunch, it is partly a deliberate policy of such publications to stir up a bit of response – especially in the political “Opinion” or “Comment” columns.

          Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, New Statesman … all examples of such. Don’t laugh: I find the Scotsman pretty good too (but see 3).

          3) I have to say I think the onus is on the reader to have a critical apparatus and “fair judgment devices” switched on when reading (or listening to, or watching, or hearing, or spotting) ANY political news or views. All such news is in some way a selection, a shaping, a perspective, a view.

          I don’t see that as grounds for despair. It’s for us to glean, to sift the plausible from the warped, to “read through” the news (when not “see through” devious manipulation). To transpose what’s come through whatever prisms into our own fair perception and sense, to mix a hopeful metaphor.

          To this end, most publications (can) have some value – best checked with another source if available, admittedly. And to be honest, I’d prefer to take on, check & consider material from a source which wears its partialities on its sleeve, than one which seeks to conceal its loyalties, and sell “news” as “fact”, and acid-bath partisanship as “balanced opinion”. Hence, I’d (with critical scrutiny mechanisms on, as ever) prefer a Telegraph (!) to a Murdoch Times – except near political elections.

          Tabloids can be fast, informative and stimulating, if not necessarily to be swallowed whole. (Litotes there.) Blogs can be at least one, maybe two of those.

          There are limits. “Guido Fawkes” (online only, thankfully) is a toxic dump, with no redeeming features.

      2. R McCallun says:

        Rather like Pravda then?


  5. Mic11 says:

    Some very valid points but they’re lost in amongst the generalisation he rages against.

  6. Jamie says:

    Fair point well made Editor. I think many people know that the SNP are really the lesser of two evils. The choice has always been, and always will be for some time, SNP or Labour, one is incompetent and the other is average. Sadly, who is the left alternative? SSP and Solidarity? Both have a lot of work to do to convince the many left wing Scottish people that they are worth voting for. Whilst I think they are worth voting for, many people don’t. Until there is a mass left movement independent of parties, nothing will change. Movements are made by people, not parties, like youar article suggests. The sooner this change comes the better.

    1. Stephy says:

      Movements are indeed made from people. Political parties are also made from people.
      Furthermore, nations are made from people of Scotland choose to vote SNP for very good reasons.

  7. Ali Strachan Brown says:

    Brilliant piece of reasoning and writing. Thank you.

  8. Ian says:

    Great piece.

    We need to get on with running Scotland as best we can, not blaming everything on Westminster, moaning about how awful Labour are, defending every SNP/ScotGov decision even when it’s wrong and waiting for the next referendum.

    1. John Bull says:

      Far too sensible. You’ll have your tyres slashed for that balanced view.

  9. Noel Darlow says:

    Jeez that was badly written.

  10. Fed up with the Lies and Propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

    ”Your argument for independence is that Scotland would be better off?” It’s not about that at all, that’s a Brit Nat Unionist argument, they’re obsessed about money, so they think everyone else is obsessed about money. Scotland was an independent nation, the Scots aristocracy stabbed the country in the back in 1707. It doesn’t matter if it was 300 years ago, 30 years ago or 3 years ago, wrong is wrong. The same Ruling Elites who sold us out are in the Commons and the House of Lords, it’s the same faces.

    1. Fed up with the Lies and Propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

      It’s about REgaining our independence.

    2. tickle says:

      That isn’t true at all. I got YES leaflets through my letter box before the ref telling me we’d all be better off. People living in Scotland being better off was one of the main planks of the YES campaign and another major part being a more equitable society doesn’t change that.

    3. Wheeler MacIntyre says:

      See this is is though, in a nutshell, it DOES all come down to money and the point blank refusal to recognise it and in fact tell lies about it was the SNP/YES undoing and thats a bitter pill for you lot to swallow.

      The NHS, education system and even govt itself doens’t run off of the “will of the Scottish people”, it runs off shed loads of cash and expertise, both of which go hand in hand. More you have of one, the more you have of the other.

      Most in this country, despite whingings about media bias (you chuck that one at anyone who doesn’t agree with you, proven in these comments) and unioninst this and that understand you undermine the economy in the way that independence would have you undermine ALL of this, and that frankly is why you lost.

      Just look at us just now, 4 months away from a hypothetical independence day, we have a whopping £9-11bn hole in our budget, and thats before you start to count up just how much foreign investment Scotland attracts as its in a union with 59 million other folk whos economic activity supports jobs here. Our single biggest industry (financial services) is largely dependent on being in the union and our second largest industry is controlled from Riyadh.

      God only know what a post yes Scotland would have look like on the streets, it would have been austerity Russian style and would have made even Thatcher wince. But we can be sure it would not have been nice until you lot sobered up from your braveheart moment.

      And frankly, if your response involves the word “talking Scotland down” then don’t bother. Lionel messi didn’t get as good as he did by being happy that he was already good. Simply acknowledging the challenges this country faces honestly is already a positive move as you can do something about it.

      1. Fed up with the Lies and Propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

        Do you feel better after that demented tantrum ?

        1. I Clark says:

          Do you think the Scotsman knows that Mr./Mrs./Ms. MacIntyre has escaped from their Comments section and is running amok in the real world?

        2. Wheeler MacIntyre says:

          Classic losing response. Don’t attempt to deal with the issues raised, just sling abuse/obfuscate and point to London.

          The country, slowly, is growing tired of this nonsense. Nationalism is religion for the godless. Organised ignorance.

          1. Jon Buchanan says:

            Ah, Wheeler, the old adversarial political gambit; there are no ‘winners’ in a conversation, I think no one engaged with your arguments in this comment because they are so flimsy and facile; the latest polls don’t show a country tired of SNP government, and I say that not as a member and with my own reservations regarding areas of policy. Your claim to the ignorance of others when your own arguments are only supported by the flimsiest of evidence is perhaps a projection your unaware of, myopia in that sense is easily removed by a broader reading base and analyses of the situations you describe.

            The Chancellor of the Govt in Westminster has no grounding in economics, his degree is in history, and admits to spending very little time thinking about it. His economic choices are ideological, as well as being debunked by many leading economists, and are not reducing the deficit, only transferring wealth to those who already have it and shrinking the state; have a check what the UK’s ‘black hole’ is and how many countries around the globe operate at huge deficits yet are considered successful economies; I don’t subscribe to many of the particular strands of economic thinking which underpin them but your reasoning should be applied equally to those you disparage for ignorance and the arguments you use to claim ‘victory’. There are a few posters who have mentioned here the very salient point that an independent Scotland would make different choices, that’s the point; here’s a couple of links to home based economic thinking to help you get started on your reading, I can provide many more to other, non Scottish based economists if you want them.



      2. Fiona Taylor says:

        Well said, Wheeler Macintyre! I cannot understand the need for Nats to continually pass comment on past history. It must be a tool to make their argument more convincing. It doesn’t work, and just informs us of their grudge and envy mentality.

        1. Fed up with the Lies and Propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

          Fiona my child, perhaps you don’t want to know Scotland’s past because it makes unpleasant reading for your Brit nat unionist ostrich mind

    4. Really? says:

      “It doesn’t matter whether it was 300, 30, or 3 years ago, what’s wrong is wrong ” (a highly debatable historical view anyway) & should by your logic therefore be reverted back? Shetland was given to Scotland against their will, so are you handing them and their oilfields back? The “Scots” themselves originally came from Ireland and subjugated the Picts, Britons etc against their will. What a ridiculous argument yours is; do you also propose giving Scotland back to it’s “original inhabitants” and moving back to Ireland too? Or would that be ridiculous because it is longer ago than (insert convenient date to suit your agenda here)?

  11. Jim Graham says:

    This is awful, insulting and unwarranted. I lean pretty much to the far-left myself. But your own ‘Utopia’ has no chance without using the best vehicle for independence, the SNP. This piece is an insult to tens of thousands of decent and intelligent people, many of whom have been patiently working to get where we are for decades.
    And the best you can provide is divisiveness, because, ironically, you are so good and not subject to the failures you ascribe to the rest of us.
    I’ll be giving my subscription to Bella Caledonia some strong reconsideration.

    1. Jenny S says:

      Bella is a platform for sharing indy ideas. We may not all agree with every thought expressed, and that’s fine – that’s what Bella is here for. It’s surely important to be able critique our own movement, examine and discuss the strengths as well as weaknesses.

      1. Quakeawake says:

        I’m up for some examination and discussion about strengths and weaknesses based on rational arguments, but this “article” is nothing more than an emotional rant, completely lacking in reasoned analysis. It’s no more than the sort of divisive trolling that MI5 go in for.
        For this sort of rubbish to get published, it’s clear that editorial standards at Bella have gone out the window. It’s sad. I’m out too.

    2. Wul says:

      That’s daft. You would stop reading a web site because one of its contributors writes an article you disagree with? Surely all genuine opinion is informative.

      1. Colin McKean says:

        This is exactly the underlying issue I think Loki has a problem with. There’s some significant issues I have with the article but the moralising, uncritical, head-in-the-sand attitude of an increasing number of SNP/Yes supporters needs to be challenged. “That opinion challenges my thinking, must stop reading.” “Those awkward questions must be ignored lest we hand Unionists an easy win.”

        The biggest danger to the SNP and support for independence generally, is a lack of self-criticism. Labour destroyed itself through decades of unrivaled power and unquestioning party loyalty to the point that it because a cancer that destroyed the soul of the party. A similar fate lies in wait for the SNP and Yes unless we learn to balance support and criticism, where fresh ideas are encouraged but also criticised. The worst thing we could do is close down debate, to reject opinions, to stop reading those we disagree with.

        One of the strengths of the SNP and of the Yes campaign in general, was a diverse array of opinions. Despite what the media and opposition parties might claim, there was and is far more diversity and dissenting voices within Yes that demonstrated we had ambitions beyond established party political lines.

        Unfortunately, that seems to be fading somewhat and articles like the one above, despite it’s flaws, are important in reminding us to entertain and respect differing opinions. Sadly, the reaction to it is typical in many quarters which ironically underlines some of Loki’s points. The SNP, the Yes campaign, whatever tribal group some appear to align with, are all worse off if that trend continues.

        1. cmk says:

          Agree with Colin’s post. The article goes OTT for me and appears to have contradictions throughout, although Loki probably has more exposure day in day out to the group he is referring to. He makes valid points however and the nonsense about Bella being out of order posting articles like this is proving some of Loki’s points. One of the most beautiful things about the YES campaign was the many different views and people it brought together, having healthy arguments and broad discussions and Bella does this.

        2. Doreen Milne says:

          I agree with the article for the most part and with your comments, Colin. Without discussion, constructive criticism and internal/external debate most things founder. I fear the extreme ‘enthusiasm’ of some of the ‘Movement’ (shudder) closes the door to a productive and healthy way forward and alienates many who would be valuable in the future.

    3. robert graham says:

      agree with you who needs this junk , its always the same with the far left , always fighting and getting nothing , never getting elected , playing into the hands of the unionists , they are determined to split the SNP vote , they do the tories work for them always have .

  12. DB1 says:

    Christ, what a bunch of waffle.

    Who is this even addressed to?
    I certainly don’t know any puritans who only see independence as a cause in itself, where we will all hold hands in a land of milk and honey.

    I simply want Scotland to be a normal country that governs itself.
    Then we at least get the governments and policies that most of us vote for.

    Surely that is better than being ruled by a party with a single MP here.

    1. YesPandas says:

      Totally agree DB1
      What a load of “Baloney” this article is spouting
      Trying to condemn Scots wanting to join the rest of the world as a normal country!!!

  13. JimMc says:

    Yes we get it, you’re more saintly than us.
    We’re stupid voting SNP/SNP because we don’t understand the system the way you do.
    Your vision of an independent Scotland is more honourable than ours.
    We only want Scotland to be independent because we will be better off.

    You are wrong on every account and your continual sniping at the SNP and people who intend to vote SNP is getting very boring. Your actions are a greater danger to the cause of independence than the unionists.

    I would finish with ‘please think what you are doing’, but I’m sure you’re well aware of that.

  14. Lee Douglas. says:

    I was asked once if I would vote for independence if it was proven it would make Scotland poorer. I answered yes.

    Scotland IS a country… It should have the options that all independent countries enjoy.

    Whether to align or retreat from international treaties or agreements.

    To control all tax and spend.

    To be grown up enough to decide on a future; right or wrong.

    As with all things Scotland has passed that age, where self reliance is slowly approaching and if it doesn’t happen, then Scotland will lose its heart.

    1. Wul says:

      I agree. I think Scotland would probably be poorer (financially) with independence. I think there would be a really shitty period (years & years?) of in-fighting as power vacuums are filled & fought over. I think a shiny, wealthy, privileged group would fight tooth & nail to keep running things.

      But we would become REAL. Bring it on.

      1. Nick says:

        What on earth do you mean by “REAL”? You think Scotland will be poorer financially and yet somehow take pleasure in this? The only reality of a financially poorer Scotland would be that greater numbers of people would suffer an even worse life. I applaud your recognition of the economic position independence would bring but deplore your lack of humanity.

        1. Isobel says:

          Nick, I couldn’t agree more, I struggle with the logic of thinking impoverishing generations of everyday Scots is okay, so long as we are doing it to ourselves.

          1. Fearchar says:

            And the mass expulsions of population (a stream of which continues, as it’s now embedded as an option in the national consciousness), the failing industries as they’re packed up and taken south, the denial of a voice in discussing matters where Scots are the biggest contributors (such as fishing and tourism), the deaths on the roads that are underfunded because of the need to pay for the latest “UK” projects in London, the throttling of our oldest tongue by economic and pedagogic means – these are all prices that we, the Scots, should be willing to pay, just in case the costs of moving to independence are a bit heftier now? That sounds like spoiling the ship for a pennyworth of tar to me. In fact, it sounds like died-in-the-wool imperialism. If the Finns had listened to that kind of advice, Finland wouldn’t be a viable progressive democracy now but a minor outpost on the fringes of Mother Russia.

      2. Cath says:

        Good heavens SNP procrastinate about austerity but you seem willing to plunge Scotland into debt for years and years. Personally as one who relies on pension I am unwilling to spend the remaining years of my life on a wing and a prayer that my pensions will continue to be funded. remember Greece? If the SNP had produced a budget strategy that stood up to scrutiny I still would not vote for such divisive politics and that is all it is after all the brave heart nonsense………..

  15. John McCall says:

    Wow! Straw men across Scotland have been literally blown away by this. Devastated.

  16. John Mcnab says:

    Well said

  17. Tom Duffin says:

    What a load of patronising generalisations. If I thought he was talking to me I’d be angry, but I think he’s just shouting random insults in the general direction of anyone who voted Yes, and would vote Yes again, because he thinks he’s so much smarter than all of them.

    Maybe he’s been given a roasting on social media recently for talking similar twaddle, and wants to get some of his own back. Childish.

  18. tartanfever says:

    ‘No doubt you’re half way through your three page retort in the comments section.’

    Nup, just amazed at your hypocrisy.

  19. Duncan McLennan says:

    Seems to me the author left out the last sentence, “Please, please, please, please, please, please vote for Rise, we a truly the only party who cares, the only one….. honest!”

    Same old simplistic SNP Bad and divide and rule tactic that will delight the unionists.

    I don’t recognise the Scottish political elite you imagined up to describe the SNP. That is your shallowest argument, the SNP has been renewed by ab expanded membership and its elected representatives are fresh faced.

    I do recognise an existing elite as being brown, forsyth, darling, lang, steele, watson and campbell, etc. All alive and rubbing their hands at the nationalist vote splintering like theirs has. If it hadn’t escaped your attention, all these individuals get their standing in the world from London, they have little or no support in Scotland.

    Look at the current split in labour, they would not be trusted to run a whelk store. Independence will only materialise if delivered by the SNP with others support, I will not be delivered by a splintered nationalist movement promising different things to different people.

    1. Carol McLean says:

      Hahaha isn’t it just.
      Begging fur Rise votes from yes voters that feel dirty from snps impurity.

      This is the shite that excludes working class, the very demographic that they claim tae speak fur.

      I grew up in a family ay steel workers absolutely nae budy I know relates tae this self hating faction of the indy movement. They are daen working class wrang.

  20. Glassfet says:

    “All my dead family and friends will be spinning in their graves at such a thought.”

    Oh dear, off to bad start. I think the party approved phrase is “birling” (or burling depending which paper it was reported in)

    “It’s ok to acknowledge nuance. It’s ok if your opinion evolves. It’s ok if you were wrong and it’s ok to change your mind.”

    Unless you are an MP, where no dissent can be tolerated

  21. Peter Russell says:

    In Sturgeon’s Scotland

    In Sturgeons’ Scotland,
    There’s only one party that counts
    Politics is thugs stalking women
    And mobs shouting “Red Tories Out!”

    In Sturgeon’s Scotland,
    She’ll heal the halt and lame
    It’s the Nicola Health Service –
    Taking the credit but none of the blame

    In Sturgeon’s Scotland,
    We’ll pluck wealth from a Money Tree
    Or we’ll pay more tax, and all be skint,
    But unicorns run free

    In Sturgeon’s Scotland,
    Our message is “hope over fear”
    And to say so, a convicted perjurer
    Holds a rally every year

    In Sturgeon’s Scotland,
    We invented tv, tyres and phones –
    So if we don’t like reality,
    We’ll just invent our own

    In Sturgeon’s Scotland,
    We’ll eat our flag as daily bread
    We’re all Jock Tamson’s brainless Bairns,
    Since the Referendum turned our heads.

    1. Jim_McIntyre says:

      Christ alive, this is why I don’t like these articles.

      Some guy I never met tells me that I am not radical for wanting to end the British state, and he knows because he is from Pollok.

      A long-winded justification for rubbing shoulders with the likes of David Torrance (a fanatical Tories who denies he’s a Tory), Stephen Daisley (the guy who writes far-right polemics about Israel in-between pictures of lolcats for our only private sector broadcaster, STV), and Andrew Neil (a man with a far less convincing back-story than Oscar Pistorius). That’s not about being ‘retweeted’ by unionists. It’s about recognising complete and utter mentalists who are given platforms in our national press for their political beliefs (i.e., right-wing, Tory).

      But don’t let that stop moan about the folk responsible for spending our allocated budget on a bridge. They’re clearly what’s wrong with Scotland and my job prospects here.

      Let’s face it, we are one step away from a bunch of Rangers first fans invading this site with ‘Alex Salmond is fat’ comments.

      1. The King Hath Spake says:

        It appears that the mental state you currently suffer from is clouding your vision. It appears you would prefer to be a slave to a 13% increase in income tax under SNP proposals for independence. You may wish to squirm in the pit of squalor but the majority of Scots choose to share the economic benefits of remaining within the UK…………while still retaining a Scottish identity, proud, strong, compassionate…………..rarely foolish! And yet, SNP may yet make fools of us all!

        1. Me Bungo Post says:

          What you appear to believe TKHS (Kingy for short), is that there is no future but one that directly mirrors a Westminster future. That whether Scotland is independent or remains a peripheral region of the UK, it would always have to copy whatever Westminster does. Utter bunkum!

          An independent Scotland would be able to follow its own path and make decisions in its own best interests. It would not have to vainly wait for Westminster to finally get round to dealing with Scotland’s specific problems while hoping against hope any decisions taken in the best interests of SE England will not be too damaging for Scotland.

          The 13% rise in tax you are fond of quoting is not an indication of how bad an independent Scotland would be; it is an indication of how broken the Westminster system is where Scotland is concerned. If Scotland “thrived” under the union as unionists maintain, it would not have the deficit your 13% increase in taxation implies. It would be prosperous and, at least, in balance. That it is not is a damning indictment of life under the union for Scotland.

          If ALL our small, independent, West European neighbours can prosper to a far greater extent than a Scotland under the union, there is no reason to believe an independent Scotland could not emulate them. Unless, of course, you believe Scots are uniquely incapable of looking after themselves. Sure, an initial larger deficit would be a legacy of the damage done by the union. However, as I said, an independent Scotland would finally be able to make decisions solely in its own best interests and would soon turn that around.

          1. Rab M says:

            “If ALL our small, independent, West European neighbours can prosper to a far greater extent than a Scotland under the union, there is no reason to believe an independent Scotland could not emulate them.” Would one of those countries happen to be Ireland? Or should we not mention their name anymore as it doesn’t fit the bill anymore? We should only speak of Norway nowadays.

          2. The King Hath Spake says:

            Try to be rational with your thinking. Remember, it’s reality we deal in and not dreams.
            Scotland does extremely well in the Union.
            Be very careful what you wish for!
            The economic reality:


          3. Me Bungo Pony says:

            Rabm – Ireland is currently doing pretty well with a GDP per head far higher than the UKs and poverty/prosperity stats the UK (never mind Scotland) can only dream of. It’s not Indies but unionists who have suddenly gone quiet on Ireland. It came out of the recession quicker than the UK and, while not out of trouble, is in a better place than the UK. Such are the advantages of being a small country looking after its own best interests. Thanks for bringing it up.

            Kingy – You still fail to understand that the dire figures you quote are a picture of Scotland under the union. NOT an independent Scotland able to govern itself in its own best interests. It is ludicrous to believe this is evidence of Scotland doing well under the union. I can only imagine it is because you believe we do “well” on the back of “English charity/goodwill”; that we are a “beggar nation”. It is a fairly pathetic position to take and begs the question – “what happens WHEN Westminster withdraws that charity/goodwill”? – as your beloved Tories and an ill informed “middle England” are increasingly keen to do. Will you support independence then? Or will the mass exodus and impoverishment of those who remain convince you even further of Scots inability to govern themselves.

            Independence is not just for now, it is to secure Scotland’s future by placing it in the hands of those best placed to take the decisions that will effect it – the people of Scotland.

          4. JG says:


            Ask the Irish if they want to rejoin the UK.

  22. Edward Harkins says:

    “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Scotland: The Slightly Less English British Franchise”.

    So, Alex Massie is correct with his quiet polite folk, and the Scots being all that no different to the English, analysis?

    This entire piece leaves me mildly bewildered. It seems to be a bit of an angry, over-heated, generalised rant against … well those who come out with angry, over-heated, generalised rants.

    There’s a real need for some sort of informed and rational analysis, critique and transformative narrative on Scotland’s condition and possible futures. This piece is not it, or even a start. Indeed it may be pandering to the very type of bald, barren discourse that at present seems to dominate.

    That’s a discourse I’ve personally suffered the sharp edge of. That’s been the consequence of suggesting the absence of any credible offer of a new and better economics as part of the case for a different kind of Scotland. Bella is pointing that up in the paragraph beginning with” Power – political or otherwise …”

    Perhaps the piece is meant to be no more than a polemic, bore of frustration? Given Bella’s track record that would be a deserved enough bit of release.

  23. John says:

    This is well meaning but like many of Darren’s articles or comments they are over simplified and run off at tangents.

    The Cybernats are indeed a tedious pain the arse, and there are a small minority of them who attack you for anything you say that is against the SNP, but Darren focuses on a handful of rogues rather than the bigger picture.

    Darren suggests that there is no difference between England and Scotland but I disagree, Scotland is far more left leaning, we didn’t vote the Tories in, we didn’t vote UKIP in the same sort of numbers that the rest of the UK did and I voted Yes because I see that the UK is a busted flush and needs ripped up.

    He’s spot on about this shit about a referendum every five minutes though, fucking hell.

    1. blakey says:

      I’ll pick up on your UKIP point. I think the reason we don’t see UKIP support up here is because the archetypal racist, misogynist twat that would vote for them, instead supports SNP. No, I’m not saying all SNP voters are like that, just some – before I get chewed a new arsehole. Being a centrist, nationalist party, the SNP meet the needs of both right- and left-wing advocates of an independent or at least more-empowered Scotland. Why vote UKIP when they can send the same political message but for a stronger Scotland at the same time?

      1. Carol McLean says:

        Aye because a pro immigration, pro EU, pro positive discrimination to increase female representation party wid be the natural choice for potential ukip voters, aye?

      2. Valerie says:

        Gosh, that makes such sense. It appears Carmichael isn’t a liar after all. Also explains why SNP support so many Tory policies.

        I’m resigning from the party as we speak.

  24. Me Bungo Pony says:

    This article is full of passion and lays out the author’s personal, highly subjective view perfectly. And that is its problem. It is one person’s opinion. And an offensive one at that. Does the author really think he will convince people to vote for RISE by insulting them?

    It is almost as if the “left” cannot stand broad agreement. The old adage “could start a fight in an empty room” is one that is FAR too easily applied to the “left”. Every “radical left” movement in Scotland has imploded sooner rather than later. Look at the SSP, Solidarity et al.

    I’m sure I share many beliefs with both the author and RISE, but I’m not going to risk the cause of Scottish independence by taking a punt on a loose alliance of groups who will most probably split in acrimony in pretty short order. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not already briefing against each other. I intend voting SNP/SNP. The only other combo I would consider is SNP/Green. At least the Greens are a coherent, provenly stable, pro independence movement.

    1. rabmac says:

      MBP couldn’t agree more, especially the 2nd paragraph, except that IMO the problem with left-wingers splintering isn’t confined to Scotland.

      There *always* comes a time when the “we’re more left wing than you, you’re not radical enough” arguments begin, and alliances fall apart with all the acrimony of the bitterest divorce.

      1. Valerie says:

        Yeah, it’s almost like SNP aren’t allowed to have any socialist policies, cos they are so ‘estaishment’, and aren’t constantly bad mouthing their opponents.

        SNP get such an easy ride by the media, always invited etc., it’s never one sided, eh?

        If this is RISE, they sound exactly like SLab. Never use a positive approach, when you can use bile and name calling.

  25. manandboy says:

    The message is ‘ forget independence, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be. Just make the best of your oppressed situation while you are being robbed blind by the Westminster Establishment’.

    I’m sure the Establishment said the same thing to every country which ever sought Independence from British Colonial rule.
    It was right for them to tell Westminster where to go, just as it’s now right for Scotland. It’s our turn.

    Disappointing Bella.

    1. Cameron Walker says:

      Scotland is not, and never has been a colony. You make a fool of yourself and further drag the indy campaign into disrepute by wallowing in such gross revisionism.

      1. Jim_McIntyre says:

        Pretending ‘Scotland gets a good deal’ or there is any concept of ‘pooling and sharing’ is Labourite idiocy of the highest order. Colonialism and imperialism is a far better description of the UK than ‘a Union of countries’. Whether Scotland suffers as much as other regions is immaterial.

      2. Alf Baird says:

        You’re right, in a colony there would be a governor general, somebody like Secr of State Mundell, and a Tory Lord or 2, pulling the ‘big decision’ legislative strings!

  26. Colin says:

    Excellent article in my opinion. If people are to be swayed to voting for a “better society” then articles like this are needed. A balanced view is needed. People like me, like to hear both sides of the argument. (then we can make an informed decision).
    What has put me off is ill informed “nationalists” repeating factually incorrect data, rather than stating their case and have true facts to back it up.

    1. JimMc says:

      You say this is an ‘Excellent article’ then go on to say you like a balanced view. I think you’re posting on the wrong page.

  27. Shen says:

    I Really Do Get This Article .. IT IS JUST YOUR OPINION 🙂 i respect your opinion.

    That is how you respond to something you disagree without stating the obvious. peace

  28. bill boyd says:

    I know it isnae fashionable to knock Loki, but really this is quite dire. So many stereotypes and generalisations in one short piece. Disappointing from Bella.

  29. Andrew Morton says:

    Wasn’t the Better Together message that if we voted No, we’d be better off?

    Think about it.

  30. Duncan McLennan says:

    The more I hear and read of Rise, the more they come across as Johnny come lately’s with little or no principles jumping on the SNP band wagon and trying to bask in the reflected electoral success of the SNP.

    How many times do people have to tell authors of Rise propaganda on these pages that their existence helps on the unionists by divide and rule.

    Look no further than the tory manipulation of the vote last week in the commons as an example of how they divided and ruled labour, the consequences of which we will see in the months to come!

  31. David Brands says:

    I’ve had enough of this! £10 recurring payment duly cancelled. if I want to be insulted, I can get it for free. You no more understand me or my beliefs than the worst of the unionist press.

  32. Derek Grierson says:

    I read your article carefully. I’d like to make the following comments:

    1. The fact that you’ve been politically active and shared a stage with Jesus in person doesn’t make your opinion worth one damn bit more valuable than anyone else’s. We each have our tales to tell.

    2. It’s easy to be on a moral crusade when the UK is run by folks with the morals of a sewer rat.

    3. Morals don’t come from the manner you carry your message in. They come from how you conduct yourself when the cameras aren’t looking. They come from what we do.

    4. I’ve been certain of virtually nothing since I started pushing for Indy. I’m sure a lot of us are. What I am certain of is this: we’ve spent centuries being told by political elites in London how blessed and lucky we were to be their willing tools. It’s horse shit. Nobody is going to look after our interests until WE do.

    Until you’re willing to get off your ass and fight for what you believe in, don’t tell me to stop fighting.

  33. Bill Hume says:

    Gain independence first….then fight for the Scotland you want. Don’t divide before you conquer.
    SNP x 2 is the best way forward.

    1. bill fraser says:

      I agree with what you say.I wish folk would stop this SNP bad stuff.It gets boring.Let’s go 2 for SNP at the Election

  34. kath says:

    The reason for wanting indy is simply, and entirely justifiably, selfdetermination. What we make of it would be up to us, I don’t think any Yes voter thought there wouldn’t be hell of a lot of hard work

    Would we have to watch out for scots who wanted to form ruling elites… Hell yes, thousands of indigenous people all round the globe have histories that speak of that kind of scot existing.

    Democracy is no utopia. It requires effort, vigilance and participation. That includes reading articles that seem highly offensive, because they too hide nuggets of truth or warning. (I did read through til the end dear author).

    The ‘Yes’ movement’s strength was in its diversity-lets keep it that way. We will need a diversity of ideas, groups etc for the future.

    1. The King Hath Spake says:

      How much of your weekly income are you prepared to accept for your ‘self-determination’?
      Does your dream of being one people, one Scotland, one ideology recognise how sharp the economic crisis will be…………….for the average Scot, which your dreams don’t anticipate?

      1. diabloandco says:

        And your crystal was bought in Poundland – along with all the others that predict which way any economy will flow tomorrow , far less in a year or in a decade.

        Meanwhile our hard earned money will be used to bomb innocents and give the arms traders a very comfy life – not to mention their pals in the HoC or HoL.

        it seems the UK government is quite prepared to view those flooded out of their homes , the disabled , the homeless as some sort of collateral damage while they continue to
        ” strut” the world stage at the behest of Washington .

      2. Rat Xue says:

        “How much of your weekly income are you prepared to accept for your ‘self-determination’?”

        All of it, 1000% of it, which is to say zero; like many others I’m sentenced to starve this winter (and please don’t anyone give me the food-bank guff peddled by generally everyone who hasn’t had to find out how it actually works the hard way).
        The only thing I ever wanted was a country-code; The Question really was one word too long.
        Folk seem to think they have a crystal ball but all they see is mired in the past, the arguments of the form “you can’t get there from here”.
        I haven’t heard a single truly radical idea from any political camp that wasn’t just degenerate or lunatic.
        There are only 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and..

  35. Bob Mack says:

    Somewhat self indulgent piece.There are ambitions greater than you.

  36. Paula Rose says:

    I have read this three times and am still at a loss as to who it is addressed to.

  37. Go for it says:

    Hm. A rant about the “puritanical fringe”, from er… the puritanical fringe ?

  38. Johnny says:

    I’m afraid this just reads like ‘why won’t you all do what I say? I’m the keeper of the radical faith and you lot are not worthy!’. Also, it’s interesting that an article which claims SNP voters are not radical enough are doing the Tories’ job for them castigates SNP voters as ‘thinking Braveheart is a documentary’, precisely the sort of gibberish one would expect from a unionist who wanted to trivialise the motivations of those who seek independence (though clearly you only mean it to be an attack on those who would vote SNP). Not much nuance there, really. You’re not all that moral either, are you, Loki? Browbeating and insulting people who don’t agree with you….

  39. Kimberley says:

    This is pure narcissism with a dollop of stating the obvious (i.e that there are greed-driven, immoral wankers in Scotland too)… But I would urge people upset It’s been posted to remember Bella is a platform for all sorts of views across the independence movement; in my opinion that’s one of the reasons it’s such a great political website…

  40. Footballman20 says:

    This piece has completely confused me. A hipster #iamverysmart blowout.

    The whole thing only applies to those who voted Yes for utterly divisive reasons (otherwise known as the Brave heart)

    I thought we were celebrating how the whole referendum brought more nuanced politics to the fore?

    What a flimsy, demeaning rant.

  41. Les Wilson says:

    Not something I liked reading, I do not know what Bella’s problem is, but they have one that is for sure. They do themselves no good printing stuff like this. Smell of the Scottish cringe about it, I do not know if the author is afflicted, or is trying to keep it alive.
    SNP x2

    1. Jon Drummond says:

      I quite agree, Les.

      There was talk during Indy Ref about the New Scottish Enlightenment. Though never categorically defined, it was perhaps something those of us who voted Yes aspired to, and committed to work towards.

      This Loki chap has but only now figured on my radar but exemplifies totally and utterly the New Scottish Cringe writ large. The unionist clique is similarly increasingly crippled by it week in, week out; to their detriment not ours.

      He is entitled to this opinion piece, for it is no more than that.

      His sweeping generalities expose his newly found political stance. This is a piece from an unconsolidated mindset; to be treated with no more than casual recognition.

      If indeed, as has been suggested, he represents or is attempting to promote RISE then he can surely expect no more than passing ridicule.

      The lack of perspective and self awareness is rather sad, really.

      Bella demeans itself with articles such as this. What next, space for your Prof. Adam Tompkins’ & Dr Scott Arthurs’?

      SNP/SNP Hope that helps “Loki”

      1. Yes, we have Adam Tomkins lined up next. Loki and him have been working on a piece together. They see eye to eye on most things.

        1. Les Wilson says:

          Looking at the comments, if you are hoping to boost numbers by appealing to both sides of the fence, then you have achieved your aim. A good number of Unionists habiting here now.
          Even the Scotsman being quoted from. Nice work, I have to say.

          1. Ken Waldron says:

            Yea…they think they have found a turncoat. it’s like Frankie Boyle’s comment on the Hilary Benn speech though:
            “…if you say something and Tories start cheering, then you have said something awful…”

      2. Shen says:

        Bella does not censorship peoples opinions people, when they do I am gone in an instance ! I do not agree with this article, but when we YES’RES START REACTING LIKE THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA, THE YES CAMPAIGN IS DEAD !!

        1. schrodingers cat says:

          wrong shen

          they blocked pter bel

        2. schrodingers cat says:

          “You think Braveheart is a documentary.”

          gibsons law?

          how does this sort of comment make loki on the side of the independence supporters?

          the entire media in Scotland is a continual torrent of snpbad. (nb, not sspbad, or ricbad or risebad, they are even more irrelevant after this article)

          how does jumping under the bridge and joining the unionist trolls doesn’t make loki an independence supporter with a difference of opinion?

          it doesn’t, it makes loki a unionist troll

          yet bella blocked pter bel for having a genuine difference of opinion

          bella, xmas again, times are hard, here’s yer fukcin Christmas card.

          1. We didn’t block Peter for having a ‘difference of opinion’ we blocked him for being consistently obnoxious.

          2. schrodingers cat says:

            10 hours ago
            Bella does not censorship peoples opinions people, when they do I am gone in an instance !

            a note from the editor below yer comment shen. bye

            ps editor, and you don’t think loki accusing everyone in the yes camp of thinking braveheart is a documentary is a tad obnoxious?

          3. No I don’t because that’s *clearly* not meant literally.

          4. schrodingers cat says:

            dear editor

            you need to crowd fund a dictionary for bella

            look up obnoxious and……irony

  42. Carol McLean says:

    Well preached! Aw yer hard left idealists will be loving this Loki.

    Doesny really draw anybody else in though. It alienates and is typical of the canibalistic left.

    Meanwhile in the real world SNP are governing Scotland better than any previous governments, they are making a difference. I appreciate that and everywan that made it happen.

    If only ye lofty sorts were as guid at getting stuff done as ye are at trying to make people feel bad.

    Scotland deciding oor ain affairs is aw I want, hopefully politics will stay center left but if no I’ll accept democracy, in whatever shade that comes in.

    Ye can keep yer radical pretentiousness fur yer ego driven bubble of condescending haverers.

  43. Gary says:

    If you want independence, be independent, behave independently, think independently, be self-determined.

    These are the qualities that individuals need if they want to build an independent society.

  44. Kimberley says:

    This is pure narcissism with a dollop of stating the obvious (i.e that there are greed-driven immoral wanks in Scotland too); but Bella is a platform for all sorts of views across the indy movement – part of what makes it so great imo….

  45. muttley79 says:

    What is the point of this rambling, incoherent mess of an article? How did it manage to slip through Bella Caledonia’s quality control process, if there is one?…

  46. thomaspotter2014 says:


    You oan the heavy comedown or what?

    A coupla valli’s and a good kip might help.


  47. mogabee says:

    I do believe I know why this was written.

    Berate the SNP voters to ensure they will definitely vote SNP/SNP next election.

    Absolutely brilliant I must say…

    1. Derick fae Yell says:

      Aye it’s fairly convinced me.

      Oh, hang on…no….it was….what was it?

      Ah…..juvenile tosh

  48. Jamie says:

    Reading this is like being prodded in the arm repeatedly by someone saying “look at me, I am important”. Or maybe like the guy at work that keeps interrupting to tell you how to do your job (which you have done for the past 10 years).

    I know why I vote snp, thank you. It seems like the author may think they are the first person to have ever self-reflected and needs to show the world how rounded their sharp corners have become.

  49. Independence or Bust says:

    Not entirely related to Loki’s article but, then again, not entirely not. (Loki – if you’re reading this – your opinion on anything isn’t anywhere near as important as you think it is. Get ‘right-sized bro).
    I’m kind of swinging back to giving the SNP an easyish ride until the next #indyref which I predict will be 2021. 2021 is only 5 years away. 1 Scottish Government term. They are still the best vehicle to deliver an independent Scotland in the shortest length of time possible.
    Personally, I’m really unimpressed by the other ‘Yes’ parties. Rise means well but, let’s face it, most of the people in it are talking the tired old left record that nobody listens to any more (even if it’s true).
    In Edinburgh, Lothians and the South of Scotland many Green Party members commitment and activism during indyref was distinctly lukewarm. There is a sizeable Unionist grouping within the Greens and they will hijack any issue at the moment to present SNP in a bad light. If the barricades were ever to go up, would you trust Green Party people in Edinburgh & the Lothians to redistribute wealth? I wouldn’t – too many elitists in there, just elitism with an environmental hue.
    So let’s continue to lobby the SNP to make it more radical. For me, the SNP should never be beyond reproach but I personally won’t be shouting my many criticisms of them from the rooftops. I’ll save that for those who want to bomb innocent Syrians to death.

  50. gordoz says:

    This piece is complete pretentious garbage for the most part. Its all over the place. Very poorly written.

    Writer has a big opinion of themselves at least.

    And your point caller ??

  51. marky says:

    shove yir countries up yir arse, can the government pay ma council tax? CIN THEY FUUUUCK

    yir aw dafties, away play yir 19th century cosplay shite somewhere else ya bampots, ye can pretend yir that “progressive” Kier Hardie some place else – ye know the cunt that talked shite about the Polish workers aye?

    political parties are the new fitbaa casuals, ya power hungry, fascist wanks

    1. Neil Anderson says:

      Speaks volumes marky. Well said mah man.

  52. Doug Daniel says:

    Some of the criticisms here are actually fair enough – there’s certainly an element of truth to the “when I start my diet” analogy – but unfortunately they’re surrounded by an awful lot of railing against straw men (folk who think Braveheart is a documentery? Puh-leeeease!) and self-important nonsense (there’s an awful lot of self-referencing in the middle section) that the folk they’re aimed at are unlikely to actually pay any attention. Especially when there are so many generalisations that stem from various unionist tropes. And, really, berating folk for thinking they’re morally superior generally works best if you don’t spend half the article blawing about how superior your own political mindset is.

    If the purpose of this article was to try and get folk to see the error of their ways, then it fails, because you don’t get people to change their mind by slagging them off (which, in fairness, is a criticism that could be levelled at many of the folk who seem to have annoyed Loki. And perhaps this comment…) That just entrenches their views and behaviour.

    But perhaps the most bizarre thing is this: why do you give a toss about an “obtrusive minority of unconsidered opinion”? Why even bother bringing attention to them?

    1. ThereWasACoo says:

      What you said. +1

      1. Neil Anderson says:

        That’s a bit boring now.

      2. Me Bungo Pony says:

        The fact a devolutionary settlement will be disadvantageous to Scotland is, again, no evidence of independence being bad for Scotland. It is just yet more evidence of how bad the union is for Scotland and how it hamstrings the country economically and, subsequently, socially.

        As I’ve said before, until you can coherently explain to me how the dire economic state of affairs you claim exists

        1. Me Bungo Pony says:

          (Inadvertantly pressed the “Post Comment” button)

          …. for Scotland under the union is a good thing, it actually only shows that the union is bad for both the country and, ultimately, its people.

  53. Francis says:

    Loki, I want independence not for a left wing heaven, not for a Swiss style capitalist Elysium. As a Scot living in Scotland I believe we should be in charge of our own affairs, its not complicated and everyone has a part to play.

    You are full of anger and resentment but at who? Everyone who does not think the same as you? That makes you the same as the ultra die hard unionists.

  54. Bhoy Green says:

    There is much in the article I can relate to although it does smack a bit of self righteousness .

    Undoubtedly there is a power elite in Edinburgh of bankers and the legal establishment.Yes I want a fairer Scotland ,I dont care too much about the economics of Independence I would vote for Independence even if it means Scotland would be poorer.
    It also smacks of you must vote for Rise .Loki makes a point that he comes from a working class area well so do I and can assure you no one I meet in the shops pub have ever heard of RISE .Most people I know voted Yes and will vote SNP in May except those who have connections or sympathy with the Orange Order (unfortunately they still have influence in some working class communities) and ofcourse the elderly

    Rise are very much in danger of believing their own hype .They believe a facebook page,a twitter account a good website and a couple of rallies up Buchanan St and bingo they will get a seat.
    Many of the people I know who are connected to RISE who I met through the referendum are dabbling in politics they have no idea of how to gain electoral success nor do they have the organisational knowledge or the understand the vast amount of on the ground work required to win at the ballot box.

    They are far far to late to win a seat in May 2016 .The only way to guarantee electoral success is to chap doors and thousands of them Also you must involve your selves in real local issues Not the glamorous stuff the real live issues boring stuff like the proposed change of a bus route or closure of a local post office
    .Whilst RISE have been discussing policies formulating party structures producing good articles the real world is passing them by I have noticed that some SNP candidates have already started door to door canvassing .RISE will get hammered in May 2016and fail to get 2 or 3% even in Glasgow. I also cant understand their strategy ,they want to win SNP voters second vote but 90% of the time they attack the SNP pissing off most SNP voters,nuts if you ask me but who am I to say.

    Its all quite sad because I would perhaps give my second vote to a credible radical party but a vote for RISE is a wasted vote and will only let the Unionists in

    1. Loki’s not talking about RISE.

    2. The King Hath Spake says:

      Do you think your family will thank you for being 13% worse off financially? Will you feel more Scottish?
      Have you ever questioned your own paralysis?

      1. kailyard rules says:

        Do not be afraid your majesty. Have a sit down with a big cup of tea. Ten sugars.

      2. Neil Anderson says:

        That’s a bit boring now.

  55. r baxter says:

    I have some times thought your-self and d bateman are a little apologetic to friends in the media. and taken a knockback somewhere along the line.

  56. Maureen McCann says:

    I was saddened by this article, found it a bit insulting .What’s wrong with our country taking charge of itself and us being responsible for our own actions.
    If we were Independent we would not now be at war As a nation we do not have the power lust that England does They are bombing Syria now to regain their place in the top dog spot along wit) their allies USA.
    I want rid of Trident from the Clyde on principle but also on grounds of safety.
    What other country has its neighbours WMD foisted on it .Independence is the only way we can be rid of these evil weapons and it is our right

    1. Jim Alexander says:

      So you want rid of Trident “on principle” but are ok with Scotland being a Member of NATO who have a WMD First Strike Policy – so you aren’t really against WMD in Principle – you are simply saying you want someone else (USA/France) to push the button on our behalf

      I really don’t get a principled stance that simply passes the buck to someone else to do our killing for us

      There is possibly an argument as to the fact that Trident isn’t really an Independent Missile System so why bother spending all the Money on it BUT there is no “principled ” argument if Scotland were a Member of NATO – that Memberships clearly state a WMD First Strike Policy if required

      1. The King Hath Spake says:

        Well said Jim. I hope Maureen picks up on the facts rather than the dream!
        I wonder how She’d feel 13% worse off, because this is the reality of Scotland’s future at the moment, that is, if the government in Scotland want the same revenue they currently enjoy…… austerity transfer to our children and we’ll only have to pay 9% extra tax!!! Does this seam appealing to anyone?

        1. kailyard rules says:

          Be not afraid your majesty. The fanshen soup is nourishing.

        2. Neil Anderson says:

          That’s a bit boring now.

      2. I Clark says:

        Where did Maureen McCann state or imply she was “… ok with Scotland being a Member of NATO … “?

        1. I Clark says:

          My last post was in reply to Jim Alexander. It seems that there is an issue with allocating replies to correct posts. A source of confusion unfortunately.

    2. cmk says:

      I don’t think Loki is saying there is anything wrong with Scotland being independent. If we were independent we might not be at war but there will still be a war going on, this still matters. Independence is not necessarily the only way to solve these problems and we certainly do not have the ‘right’ to independence. It’s not really a healthy way of looking at it, thinking you have the right to it, is it?

    3. The King Hath Spake says:

      If we were independent today we would have to raise taxes 9% to simply equal current Scottish Government revenues!!!!!!!! Alarming, right?
      Add on the further austerity costs espoused by the SNP and we would need 13% increase in taxes.
      Add on the exodus of people who have no wish to pay 13% in taxes, and business suspicious of the Totalitarian state the SNP threaten us with, and you can continue increasing tax rates in order for the current Scottish government arriving at the same revenues they enjoy today.

      Apparently, we earned £100 million in oil revenues in the past year. Today, the oil price has sunk below $40, which means scottish govt revenues will be ‘ZERO’ from oil! Didn’t they suggest that the oil industry would generate £7 billion this year????????

      While dreams of a better future are wonderful for the thinkers in society the facts remain that our economy is better served without your interference, your socialist state doomed to failure. Anyone recently had a good look at the socialist states failing yet again around the world? Capitalism, in its true form, policed and regulated by central government, allows nations to flourish. Whereas socialism simply allows everyone to speak of equality, democracy, totalitarianism and ‘it’s just not fair’…………… we’ve all been reading from the bleating responses on Bella. Bella’s heroes have left their countries destitute, don’t forget!!! But, I assume the warnings are immaterial to many of you as your fixation with the theories of fair play prevent you from actually ‘working’ and being rewarded for that effort!
      Scots, all over the World, are famous for their canny ability to trade and prosper. Apparently, many on this site believe these people are no longer required in Scotland…………you know, they who have ensured Scotland becomes prosperous. The concept of cutting these people off suggests the ‘Bella tribe’ have no real concern for families throughout Scotland………….your destiny with borders being uppermost in your minds, and the destruction of relations with England, a nation we have partnered for many years with huge economic success for our peoples.
      So, let’s throw it all away, so that, we can appease the ‘intellectual revolutionaries’ in Bella! Let’s allow our taxes to rise by 15-18% in order to be where we are today…………….’because everything is so unjust in our country’!!
      Bella intellectuals? Or, twisted minds?

  57. Greg says:

    I didn`t grow up in Pollok. I grew up in Cardonald. I guess that means i can`t be a real radical like you. I hope that if ever i do watch “Braveheart” I`ll be able to sus out its not a documentary. If the goal is Independence then that is what you aim for. The distraction of whether you/we are left enough travelling that road is insignificant in comparison to what can be achieved united. The SNP have taken us to touching distance and to promote calls for a split in the cohesion of that vote is pathetic and naive. SNPx2

  58. kate says:

    I’m sure i once read Loki say he has no problem with capitalism and so his critiques of class issues always feel partly insincere, or at least not committed, to me. there is always a tension about whether he wants to end existing systems of class/economic privilege, or join them. i think loki has not really decided who he will back . it is similar with gender issues.

    1. Jim Bennett says:

      Are you saying that Loki is bi-sexual?

  59. Jim Alexander says:

    I seem to recall the Poster Boy of Business for Scotland being Jim McColl the Billionaire Tax Exile – are people suggesting that an Independent Scotland wouldn’t have self serving elites or Big Business influencing decisions – 80% of Yes Scotland funding came from the Weirs – hardly Grass roots Support for an Independent Scotland – take away the Weir Money and how much of a Campiagn could have been run
    – are we suggesting the Edinburgh our own Scottish Establishment City with the highest Private School Pupil Ratio to population will suddenly become A Socialist Republic or that as a population we will ceased to be hooked on Shopping – Booze and Poor Diets

    What the Author is pointing out is that ignoring the lofty flag waving “If only we were free” nonsense – Scotland an England are pretty similar in Culture and the levers of Power – being Scottish doesn’t give us greater morals – nor would independence give us Freedom – $44 a barrel – anyone ?

    Nope – thought not – there is no Indy2 and the American Fracking Companies – Iran & the Saudis will pretty much kick it into the long Grass for a few Years to come

    Loki is discussing reality – We aren’t like England – Poorer Kids get a better Education – there Health Service delivers – there bridges aren’t falling down,

    But didn’t Alex look Great in his Portrait and Nicola looked Great at the Climate Summit and in Hello Magazine

    Scottish elite – nah – thats an English thing

    How dare Bella publish critiscm of “the leadership” – lets all shout SNPBAD until they all go away and leave us living in Utopia

    1. Stewart Kerr Brown says:

      So…we’ve to shut up and eat our cereal?

    2. Bhoy Green says:

      The English NHS delivers are you having a laugh .Hospital foundation trusts are apparently £2 billion in debt and many of the services are now operated by by private companies

      1. Jim alexander says:

        The Nuffield Trust found there were fewer health staff per head in England, but higher levels of activity and productivity, as well as shorter waits

        As for Debt Levels – pretty sure you will find that most NHS Trusts in UK have high debt levels including Scotland

        As for Private Contractors – your point is ? – if they are delivering a High quality Service to patients does it matter ?

        We are failing the poorest in Society – which is the point of the article by Loki – the SNP & the Yes Camo have to move on from the referendum – its gone for at least a decade – the halving of Oil Prices killed it – no one will take any Yes Campaign seriously every again – SNP 2016 Oil Tax Revenue forecast £7.6BN – current forecast £150MN

        So the blessed Nicola has to get on with running the Country and stop going for Photo Shoots

        England are performing better in the Education Gap between Rich & Poor – University Education and the NHS – and a widening Economic Growth forecast between Scotland & England – that’s not SNPBad that’s reality

        Wake up an smell the Coffee – we are going backwards

        1. Me Bungo Pony says:

          But Jim, why are ALL our small West European neighbours NOT struggling financially as you vociferously claim Scotland is? Why do they (including Ireland and Iceland) all prosper while Scotland under the union does not? Do you believe it is because Scots are uniquely incapable of governing ourselves successfully and that, bad as things are under the union, the union is saving us from ourselves as we’d only make things much worse if left to our own devices?

          What a poor opinion you have of your country’s ability to govern itself successfully in its own best interests, emulating the success of ALL our small, independent neighbours. It is the stance of someone in thrall to the myths of “too wee, poor and stupid” and who lacks the will and imagination to do something about it. The stance of someone who would rather accept “charity” than take the measures necessary to prosper in their own right. Very sad.

  60. Les Wilson says:

    I came back to read the article again, trying to make some sense of it, on reflection I thought that by reading it again maybe I would understand it better, but no, dear editor.

    My first impressions are confirmed. What a load of utter shite.
    I used to subscribe to donations for Bella, no more…..
    I will only inhabit Indy supporting sites that have a real want to see Scotland free from our shackles.

    Bella has let a lot of it’s supporters down lately, this one takes the cake.
    I no longer see what Bella is for, Unionists of course will enjoy the new(ish) tone.
    What a poor article, which also manages to insult a load of it’s readers.

  61. Joe says:

    Today Bella, tomorrow Scotland 2015 and call Kaye…

  62. Stewart Kerr Brown says:

    Bit of a scattergun rant that, takes aim at so many targets, mostly in the independence lobby, and misses them due to a speed fuelled ego, you know something? No one knows what an independent Scotland would truly be like…not the SNP…not Westminster….not the IFS or OBR, not me, nor the author, who likes to state his opinion as fact…which is probably what I sound like…oh well…

  63. Zen Broon says:

    Spookily enough Kevin McKenna scribbled almost the same #ScotlandBad tripe in the Guardian this week (albeit 100x better written).

    So this is just another Brit attack line folks, though I’m sure the writer’s self-righteous posturing (so typical of the British left) and “aren’t we shit” cringing (so typical of the Scottish left) is wholly genuine. But to quote the author…

    “That’s fair enough; you’re entitled to your opinions and preferences, but stop preaching to the rest of us like you’re morally superior. You’re not.”

    You said it, pal.

  64. Tally Ho says:

    I think a lot of the ‘briefly convinced by indy’ indyref self-annointed team leaders (Loki, Gerry Hassan, Lesley Riddoch, Kevin McKenna etc) are looking for a way out now from discussing the ‘divisive’ issue of independence. Difficult to get on when one is marked as a Nat, you know!
    Let’s move on and fight the Tories…
    Eh…will you tell them or will we leave them to work it out themselves?

  65. Gavin Hill says:

    Man from Pollok spouts lots of words….

    Objective – unknown

    Target Audience – unknown

    Result – glee amongst the unionist literati like David Torrance and Maggie Vaughan, and a phalanx of emotions amongst Yessers ranging from bewilderment, to sadness, to frustration, to anger, to rebellion, then back to bewilderment again

    Whatever intention the author had in writing this piece, self publicising apart, I’m reckoning it has missed it’s mark, by quite a wide margin

  66. Gordie says:

    Scotland: The Slightly Less English British Franchise where being Scottish alone is what makes us moral.

    For Darren mcGarvey maybe

  67. Stuart says:

    Maureen McCann

    ‘If we were Independent we would not now be at war’

    Oh er Maureen and anyone else, playing the ‘Indy Scotland would not bomb Syria card’, because we are morally superior and better than Westminster.

    Yeah right!

    What of this then?

    “AN independent Scotland would not have rejected the prospect of military intervention in Syria like the UK has done, Alex Salmond said today.

    The First Minister said Scottish MPs at Westminster backed the possibility of action through the UN – if the use of chemical weapons had been proved by weapons inspectors.”

    Well, well, the SNP was in favour of going to war, when Westminster was against it, and now Westminster is in favour of it, the SNP are against it, heaven forfend that Nationalists are playing games!

    However Maureen I think you have just proved Loki’s point for him…

    No doubt the Nationalists and the SNP think it’s England’s war because they didn’t vote for it.

    They said exactly the same between 1939 & 1945….

    1. Footballman20 says:

      Oh give over. Note the part about ‘chemical weapons’. Albeit I suspect you know this, just couldn’t resist the cheap chance to mislead.

      1. Stuart says:

        Chemical weapons you say?

        So Celia Assads regime has already used chemical weapons Check

        UN resolution in place to bomb Syria Check

        Seems like you only to happy to be an appeaser, and hold the UK’s coat while it does the fighting!

        Just like your Nationalist compatriots between 1939-45, some things never change!

    2. Neil Anderson says:

      And here’s the operative phrase: “…if the use of chemical weapons had been proved by weapons inspectors.”

      Were they? Is there proof? Who provided it, If any exists that is.

  68. Dr Jim says:

    Predict the future and call it shit, well, it’s suicide for you mate, you obviously would prefer not to live in the awful world that definitely maybe could, is it drugs? because this is just infantile stamp yer wee foot nonsense because if it’s an attempt to win friends and influence people, Ya missed!

    Wee hint son, the world is what it is and what we attempt to make it, each individual can make of it what they may, but I suspect most would rather have a little optimism
    But then again if it’s just that you’re pissed off because nobody’s going to vote for RISE just say so and be done with it, but to shout and insult others for your own lack of vitality is just plain stupid

    An opinion belongs to everybody rightly or wrongly and they have the right to express it that’s why you’re allowed to have one too, try to remember that important bit (Rightly or Wrongly)

    I’m just an ordinary Scotsman who thinks you’re a Pratt but I thought that before I read your article but mibbees be a wee bit thankful you live in Scotland where nobody’s going to shoot you for being a Pratt, just my opinion

  69. Darby O'Gill says:

    Is it not possible to be a supporter of the SNP in general, and the leadership of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon in particular, whilst wishing for example to see Scotland withdraw from NATO, end the Monarchy, create a fairer society, and bring certain of Scotland’s assets into public ownership? Surely there is room for different shades of opinion on the ‘independence’ side.

  70. yesindyref2 says:

    Rattling cages.

    No better time for it, but it’s a bit noisy for the inmates all the same.

  71. Jake Gittes says:

    Just a few observations.

    1. I don’t think Braveheart is a documentary. Few do.

    2. To suggest the political culture and sources of wealth and power in Indy Scotland will be the same as now within the Union is an opinion not a fact. The Scottish people will decide the nature of the new Scottish polity.

    3. The SNP have not set back leftist politics, Labour in Scotland have with decades of dull managerialism a la McConnell and Establishment pandering through Brown and Murphy. You have the wrong target mate.

    SNP not radical enough for you? Maybe, but is not seeking to smash the British State apart not enough for you. The SNP exists to achieve independence. Having done so, use your imagination, a new as yet undetermined polity will emerge.

    It need not be as you fear either a kind of De Valera type Ireland or a country in which corporate elites rule the roost. Independence offers only a chance of a fresh beginning not a guarantee. What is clear is that the kind of arrangements you so deplore can and will only endure within the status quo because even you must agree that the “British Road to Socialism” if it ever existed, is gone.

  72. deewal says:

    Goodbye Bella.

  73. Brian says:

    The last sentence pretty much sums up the whole article – “Now surely someone like me, who can make a point people on both sides may actually agree on, is of some use in this harsh and hostile environment?”

    It’s basically a cheap stab at self-aggrandisement and self-promotion from a self-proclaimed ‘radical’ who is only interested in furthering his own and his small clique’s agenda.

    Darren got out of Pollock as early as he could and moved to leafy Hyndland – a hub of red blooded socialism I’m sure you will agree. And while his locale should not be the only influence on his current mistaken belief that he somehow represents the true left, the fact is, this pseudo-intellectual nonsense is the sort of posh socialism people in the run down parts of Glasgow cannot stand.

    It is in fact you, the author who seeks a Utopian leftist colony while most people just want jobs and don’t actually care for the sort of socialism that belongs in the soft right wing of the labour party, or even worse, the Lib Dems.

    If you really were a socialist, or cared about left wing politics, why did you vote SNP and not a proper socialist party? The answer is obvious, like the vast majority of people who think they’re left wing, you are actually a right leaning centrist who has woven issues that have nothing to do with true left wing politics into their narrative.

    It is people like you who drag the political centre to the right and honestly, your political compass is way out if you think that this nonsense above somehow in any way represents ordinary Scots.

    1. Angry Weegie says:

      Sorry Bella, but this was the last straw. The BTL comments read like something out of the Daily Mail or the Scotsman (in fact someone even linked to a Scotsman article). If I wanted to read such tripe, I’d go for the real thing.

      PS. Can I have my money back

      1. Do you want only articles that confirm everything you already think?

        1. Brian says:

          No, I’m happy with all articles, whether I agree with them or not. I have just as much right as the author to to speak my own mind. I generally don’t comment on articles I agree with as that would be futile and unnecessary.

          However, if I think something is wrong with an article, should I refrain from saying why I think it’s wrong?

      2. Brian says:

        You used the exact same reply to another comment further up the thread. Furthermore, the editor/moderator gave the exact same reply above as he did to you earlier on the thread when I initially read it and commented.

        I did read the entire thread before making my original comments, so I find it rather odd and decidedly unoriginal, that you both decide to reply with the exact same rebuttal twice.

        I see now there’s an arts article on live spoken word poetry – does Loki and his small clique of agent provocateurs have a monopoly on this site now?

    2. Loki says:

      i never left as early as I could I left when I was 17 because I was invited to leave amidst a a family breakdown. I never lived in Hyndland until my mid-twneties and it was because my former partner’s Mum owned a flat.

      I voted SNP because it was branded in such a way as to appeal to people like me who were disenfranchised by dysfunctional Labour and imploding SSP.

      This is not an attack on the SNP this is an attempt to float the idea of critical thinking as well as political loyalty. If some of it is ill-judged or emotional I’m happy to accept that. I’m not an expert on anything I was just speaking my mind.

      Thank you for your comment

      1. Brian says:

        I’m not condemmning your background or why you moved to Hyndland and changed your circle of friends, all I had suggested was that your new surroundings had influenced and skewed your rationale behind what left wing politics is and the sort of people such political opinion pieces as this reverbarate with – it does nothing to support ordinary working people and has more in common with the bourgeois leftists who on the face of it, defy the political hegemony, but are in fact the major chink in the left wing’s armour – pieces like this as I said originally, drag the political centre further to the right than to the left.

        While you may disagree with the Scottish Socialist Party due to the in-fighting (I’ve never voted for them myself), they do espouse proper socialist principles, unlike middle class student rags like the socialist worker, which is essentially a platform for other right leaning centrists to claim left wing credentials and opinion pieces such as this which actually have nothing to do with true socialism.

        Tommy Sheridan is a socialist from Pollock, just like you. Why do you think your ‘new age’ socialism is the correct form of socialism and the traditional Clydeside socialism of Tommy Sheridan and others is irrelevant? I would surmise it is because you now have an outsider’s view of working class Scotland and how they think because you are now largely cut off from them and rather than admit that you actually have more in common with the left wing of the Lib Dems, or the right wing of Labour, than you do with true socialism and working class Scotland, you position yourself with the new left, which isn’t actually left at all – much like the Fabian Society and other Bourgeois collectives, socialism is not even on your radar.

        Don’t be ashamed of your political opinion, just don’t try and pull the wool over the eyes of those who disagree with this pseudo-socialism you espouse – Labour have done it for 20 years, it’s nothing new.

  74. The King Hath Spake says:

    It’s extraordinary that so many Scots have been deceived by the fast buck, the notion of immediate wealth promoted so eloquently by the deceitful SNP. And, so many are gullible enough to swallow the SNP drug.

    If you want to think of SNP independence, think 13% increase in taxes for the whole of the country! It’s amazing what you might learn with an educated mind.

    Seriously, be very careful what you wish for!

    1. kailyard rules says:

      Please be calm your majesty. Another sweet tea will soothe thine anxious mind.

      1. Edward Harkins says:

        His majesty doth urge us to remain in the fastness of the Union Keep… where all is safe and sound.
        No massive national debt in the trillions, no ideology-led destruction of the national health service, no unbalanced economy with the declining in true wealth production and still led by debt-borne consumer spending, no tax-payers’ funded rescue of a corrupt and inept banking sector that’s then allowed to return to the same old ways, no largest assembly of unelected lordly legislators in the world, no unaccountable Establishment leading us in to recurrent immoral and probably illegal military interventions, no building of obscenely expensive pointless aircraft carriers that we cannot afford the aircraft to fly from, no political system where graft continues unabated and no faux democracy hollowed out by the fact that only a minority of the population ever supports a particular government….

        Let us hope and prey that among the subject people that ‘so many are gullible enough’ not to heed the reality behing what he proclaims (indeed the reality).

    2. Sheena Jardine says:

      Who created the Scotland Bill? Not the SNP that’s for sure. If Scotland is going to be worse off the SNP will reject it and quite rightly so. WM has made a bill which ties our hands further than before. We have to collect income tax, costing us money to set up and then we can’t really do anything much with it just as we couldn’t really use tax varying powers before. No other major tax power has been handed over and yet our share of the Barnett formula will be cut. What a fudge, and we have very little control over any of it. Why anyone thinks this is a good state of affairs if beyond me.

      1. Mark says:

        I’m pretty sure the Scotland Bill was derived from the Smith Commission, a cross party process which in fact John Swinney was a member?

      2. The King Hath Spake says:

        When you rock the boat the outcome can often less than savoury!

  75. Illy says:

    “You think Braveheart is a documentary.”

    Stopped reading here.

    The only people bringing up Braveheart in reference to Scottish independence were unionists.

  76. Jamie says:

    Seriously, why are people knocking bella here? If you don’t like the article then don’t read it or write a well argued response.

    I for one think this article is complete self promoting nonsense, and I struggle to take it or the author seriously, but that doesn’t mean that bella endorses the author’s opinions. Bella Caledonia is a priceless resource. Articles like this are best used to focus our minds on what we want and what we are striving to achieve.

    1. Eric says:

      It’s all very well to take the view that a broad church of opinion should be represented in any given media outlet, but that’s not what generally happens in the mainstream press and for me that’s one of the raisons d’etre of a blog like Bella – to counter the splurge of pro-unionist propaganda that fills the mainstream press. And by that I don’t mean uncritical acceptance of everything associated with a) the Yes campaign or b) our present Scottish government, but still I would expect better of a media outlet which arose out of the countering need I mention than to publicise with an editorial leader this kind of muddle-headed drivel from someone whose ego and general pleasedness with himself obviously far outweighs his thinking powers. Leading articles in any media outlet do, after all inform the shape and feel and character of that outlet and I agree with the readers who’ve already declared their disappointment with Bella in publishing this cack-headed nonsense. To make matters worse, the editor, instead of at least having the grace to remain neutral in the comments exchanges, decides at times to weigh in with defending remarks for what increasingly seems like his protege – poor judgement, editor, and a poor outlook for your retention of your readership.

      1. Which part of the article do you disagree with?

        1. Eric says:

          Lots, but let’s take this as a sample:

          ‘Power – political or otherwise – does not share your affection for Utopianism. The reality is the land owners and the corporate forces and all those other murky things we want to pretend don’t exist in our Yes bubble, will lean heavily on their friends in any government irrespective of national borders.’

          1. He premises an ‘affection for Utopianism’ on those who exist in a ‘Yes bubble’. To talk of those who aspire towards self-determination and a greater degree of democratic control in an independent Scotland as existing in a bubble is nonsensical. It is in fact an achievable reality which will probably become a reality in the not too distant future. And neither I nor those I know who discuss and debate such matters are under any illusion about the possibility of any pie in the sky utopia – this is an unwarranted and generalised bit of silly positing of values to those he disagrees with.
          2. The mention of the ‘murky things’ is trite – of course in any nation state there will be those who seek their own advantage in selfish and greedy ways, but the whole point (for me, and others I know) of seeking Scottish independence is to redress the balance of power enjoyed at present in our Westminster establishment by ‘murky’ operators. Such forces of selfishness and greed will never disappear – it’s an unfortunate aspect of all human societies – but to argue that the corollary is a pointlessness in trying for anything better than the present state of affairs (which is what his argument here comes down to) is totally illogical and doesn’t bear examination in the real world where there are great differences in equality in governments throughout the world.

  77. Shirley Wishart says:

    An article that promised a lot then petered out. What exactly are you trying to say? That all governments have to govern? No surprise there. No-one is looking for Utopia but no harm in trying. Disappointing piece that kicks itself off the park.

  78. gordoz says:

    2nd reading – This work would tend to categorise the bold Loki as a spirited changling cuckoo, masquerading socialist emancipation ideals whilst displaying UK unity Labour antics of SNPouters

  79. Broadbield says:

    Sorry, but this is a pub rant. Like Shirley I’ve no idea what point he’s trying to make, it’s poorly argued and structured. Just a lot of insults. I shall press the “ignore” button next time I see his byline.

    1. Broadbield says:

      …while he is in the vaunted position of being beyond criticism – at least in his own mind. Or perhaps he’s just talking about himself?

  80. Jim Robertson says:

    It’s refreshing to hear the constructive criticism of the somewhat substantial heedbanging Nationalist socialist / republican. The very type that repels me and many others to ever want to share or entertain a separatist Scotland (though to be fair Salmond contributed enough for that).

    They’re the ones who talk of “colonialism”, who ooze victimhood and who talk of “destroying the British State” and Referendum 2 as opposed to being patriotic about Scotland. The ones who project a economically pollyanna like world – if only they could get rid of those nasty English, big business and Scottish “Unionists” but conversely would like to grasp their sticky mitts on the former’s hard earned cash for themselves – for doing nothing.

    If only Nationalist Separatists could be honest and a little self reflective like this article perhaps Scotland would not be utterly divided on the subject and more people would be willing to listen rather than repel.

    1. gordoz says:

      Brilliant intellect in this response.

      Are you Loki ?

  81. Flower of Scotland says:

    I’m going to ignore this drivel because it is insulting.

    I am now seriously thinking of discontinuing my support for Bella.

    1. Jim Robertson says:

      Flower of Scotland – “I am now seriously thinking of discontinuing my support for Bella”

      As serious as Salmond’s white paper to the economic case of a separatist Scotland?

      How do you seriously think about discontinuing your support? Will it take a committee with minutes?

  82. Tommy says:

    I grew up in Pollok and don’t recognise this militant place you talk of. Most of the lads I grew up with, saw the militants as drug dealers and hoods and no more. We, the Unionists of Pollok, knew fine well what the comrades were up to, we witnessed it and we took you on. We fought the drug dealers, who masqueraded as Militants, we exposed the scams involved and we took you on physically.

    Please don’t tell the world Pollok is some sort of Venezuala of south Glasgow, it’s not and never has been. In fact, if anything, Pollok was a hotbed for Loyalists who sneered at the comrades.

    So many of these Pollok militants were criminals, so many have never worked a day in their life and so, we the Unionists of Pollok and hard working people of the area, want nothing to do with your red / Trotsky nonsense.

    If anyone wants to know the truth about the militant faction, ask the local junkies.

    1. T222Deracha says:

      Loyalists and Unionists of Pollok have been drug dealing gangsters as well.

  83. Grouse Beater says:

    The article is intellectually chaotic, grammatically contorted, posturing at best, the equivalent of firing a plate of spaghetti at a wall and hoping something sticks. It reads as if a parody of a rant. Please raise your standards of debate and of literacy.

  84. Alf Baird says:

    A superb article, thank you Loki.

    “The Franchise where elites a little closer to home enjoy the perks of cronyism and privilege. ”

    The SNP in government seem content allowing this unionist ‘elite’ to ‘manage’ institutional Scotland. Their reforms have involved mere tinkering, especially on land – people want/need a lot more. There are now 1,000 or more on the SNP ‘payroll’, ‘career politicians’ piling in, so its a big ‘business’ as it were, with a ‘charasmatic’ ceo. Its become a part of the establishment, and part of the ‘elite’, which freely wafts through Holyrood’s lobbies. People should use their list vote wisely, if they want real change, and avoid becoming a ‘franchise’.

    1. Clive Scott says:

      “People should use their list vote wisely” – yes, indeed they should by putting their cross against SNP and not RISE or any other such deluded fantasists.

      The rant from Locki is like a naughty teenager farting at his big sister’s wedding. Pure attention seeking. Very disappointing that Bella indulged his ego.

  85. Grouse Beater says:

    There are now 1,000 or more on the SNP ‘payroll’, ‘career politicians’ piling in, so its a big ‘business’ as it were, with a ‘charasmatic’ ceo”

    Evidence please, otherwise you are merely indulging in mud slinging.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Nearly 500 cooncillors, 56 MPs, 60-odd MSPs, 2 MPs, and parliamentarians each have 1-2 or 3 assistants/researchers, plus Ministers SPADs, then there’s HQ personnel. So 1,000 on the SNP public/party payroll might be conservative (small c). Once on it, there is a tendency to sing the same tune, as we all know with slab, though some like Jean Urquart have put the people above party.

      1. Broadbield says:

        Well 600 of those you mention must have been voted in. Are they supposed to work without any help? If they are becoming like clones, and I think that has yet to be proved, then it’s up to the membership to effect change.

        I’m also highly suspicious of individuals who get elected on one ticket and then suddenly find a single issue, that was there all the time, too much to contemplate and “examine their conscience” and go their own way. More to do with their own ego I think.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          My point was merely to emphasise the extent of the organisation, with around 1,000 on the public/party payroll. That’s quite a big gravy train (at least £30m+ in salaries per annum, plus exp.) that’s mostly transferred from slab to snp.

  86. Liam McCabe says:

    It so typical for people to brand this is as ‘incoherent,’ ‘lacking a narrative’ or undermining the legitimacy of its point by other means as a means of avoiding the salience of the message.

    The author is very clearly saying that the defense mechanism of ‘SNPbad’ is damaging the pro-independence movement and damagimg democracy because it removes due criticism of the SNP. That’s a very straighforward, uncontroversial statement and I’m struggling to see how people could disagree with it.

    1. Jon Buchanan says:

      Nearly missed your post lurking amidst the cacophony Liam, nice and succinctly put and seeing through to what should be the wholly apparent subtext read into the entire article, regardless of its pros and cons, I completely agree; telling how it has gone ignored and the rants continued unabated around it!

    2. Jac Gallacher says:

      Totally agree with you Liam

      1. Celia Fitzgerald says:

        Totally agree too. It really is destroying the independence movement which so many of us have dedicated ourselves to for many years. Nicola put Independence on the back burner and asked us to meanwhile occupy ourselves with winning over people to Yes. What part of the SNP, even inside the veiled bubble of their mutual congratulation society, thinks that the way to win over people is by bleating “SNPBad”, obdurately refusing to contemplate the possibility that the SNP and the Dear Leader are ordinary mortals who are capable of doing wrong, and, above all, insulting and often abusing anyone who dares to even mildly suggest the contrary. The standard response to me doing that is to call me a silly bitch, a troll, being told to fuck off, and so on, which is seriously putting me off independence and I’ve done almost nothing else but campaign for Indy for many years. Imagine the effect this would have on No voters! For Goodness sake Nicola and co, reign in your mob of mindless nationalist zealots and their hate campaign against anyone who is not SNP regardless of whether or not they are pro-Indy.

      2. Celia Fitzgerald says:

        Totally agree too. It really is destroying the independence movement which so many of us have dedicated ourselves to for many years. Nicola put Independence on the back burner and asked us to meanwhile occupy ourselves with winning over people to Yes. What part of the SNP, even inside the veiled bubble of their mutual congratulation society, thinks that the way to win over people is by bleating “SNPBad”, obdurately refusing to contemplate the possibility that the SNP and the Dear Leader are ordinary mortals who are capable of doing wrong, and, above all, insulting and often abusing anyone who dares to even mildly suggest the contrary. The standard response to me doing that is to call me a silly bitch, a troll, being told to f*** off, and so on, which is seriously putting me off independence and I’ve done almost nothing else but campaign for Indy for many years. Imagine the effect this would have on No voters! For Goodness sake Nicola and co, reign in your mob of mindless nationalist zealots and their hate campaign against anyone who is not SNP regardless of whether or not they are pro-Indy.

      3. Celia Fitzgerald says:

        Totally agree too. It really is destroying the independence movement which so many of us have dedicated ourselves to for many years. Nicola put Independence on the back burner and asked us to meanwhile occupy ourselves with winning over people to Yes. What part of the SNP, even inside the veiled bubble of their mutual congratulation society, thinks that the way to win over people is by bleating “SNPBad”, obdurately refusing to contemplate the possibility that the SNP and the Dear Leader are ordinary mortals who are capable of doing wrong, and, above all, insulting and often abusing anyone who dares to even mildly suggest the contrary. The standard response to me doing that is to call me a silly b****h, a troll, being told to f*** off, and so on, which is seriously putting me off independence and I’ve done almost nothing else but campaign for Indy for many years. Imagine the effect this would have on No voters! For Goodness sake Nicola and co, reign in your mob of mindless nationalist zealots and their hate campaign against anyone who is not SNP regardless of whether or not they are pro-Indy.

  87. JG says:

    Dear dear Loki, everybody else is cliche and only you can see the complexities.

    Ah dinnae think so pal!

    Mind you, you make lots of good points and write well so I for one am open to hearing more.

    In many ways Scotland is indeed a more closed society – one of the more miserable elements is the dead hand of Freemasonry with it’s merit killing control of the Legal establishment and Local Govt and even Government itself, that ensures that public activity in Scotland is largely incompetent – just look at Edinburgh Council for instance – world class incompetence and corruption.

    I have always not given a damn about the economic aspects of independence – for me it’s always been about emotion and indeed justness – how close this brings me to ” Blut und Boden” is open for debate. All aspects of human activity are dangerous – our journey to Indepedence just the same – but I still want it.

    Remember this the work of ages, and even if it could be proved that independence would make us worse off or that Scotland would be even more corrupt or badly managed for 10, 20 or even 50 years, I don’t care – what Scotland is like in a Hundred years is to me more important.

  88. Douglas says:

    Locki´s got the humph….loving it…especially about that rag known as The National….

  89. Truffs says:

    An interesting article and Bella deserves credit for publishing it.

    The majority of comments so far, have kind of proved the point of the article, that there is a sizable chunk of the ‘Yes’ movement that are completely unwilling to engage in any kind of reasonable debate and just want a talking shop where they get their fix of confirmation bias.

    ‘Wings’ is a case in point where Stuart seems to have just become an SNP apologist and any counter argument is dismissed by ad hominem insults and childish rants… this may go down well with his supporters but it is never going to bring Unionists over to the Independence cause and there needs to be a much greater nuance to the debate. Yes the Unionists love the ‘SNP Bad’ tagline but equally the Nationalists are stuck in a mire of everything that comes out of Westminster ‘Bad’ and everything SNP does ‘good’. It is a depressing situation where the lines between the two sides seem to have descended in to a kind of 1916 trench warfare with the trenches getting deeper by the day.

    If the ‘Yes’ movement has any chance of success it needs to wean itself away from the SNP and the mind numbing lunatic fringe… the ‘Yes’ movement did a reasonable job during the Indy campaign of presenting Nationalism through the guise of a civic left leaning grass route movement but since the result there has been a much darker Nationalism that seems to be creeping into the mainstream ‘Yes’ discourse and now is the time to have a good hard look at where the movement is going and how it can achieve success.

  90. Frank says:

    Poor article. Almost every sentence is a cliché which is quite a feat. Was this intended as irony and I didn’t get it? For all the positives about social media, there are downsides; for example, it has produced a new phenomenon – ‘the social media celebrity’. Some are interesting, others, like this author, a social media version of a Big Brother contestant…

    However, there are some interesting points about ‘nationalists’ on the yes side who do the ’cause’ more harm than good. Yet, from what I see many of them are on the far left. Tommy Sheridan is a good example. At a time when the 45% should reach out, build alliances, analyse defeat, the Hope over Fear rallies have reduced independence to shouty tub thumping and simplistic slogans. I’m convinced these do more harm than good. Likewise, those who shout indyref2 now every time the Tories do something unpopular, or engage in permanent mudslinging against Labour, or personal and at times sexist attacks on Kezia Dugdale, also damage the cause.

    1. Dan Huil says:

      Aye, a suspiciously “poor article”, Frank. Nothing wrong if Bella wants to support Rise but it would be fair to us all if it could be honest about it. I agree with everything you say in your comment BTW.

      1. Bella supports all radical and progressive pro-indy parties and voices. We have in the past and will in the future publish writing by SNP MPs and MSPs, as well as civic and non parliamentary groups.

  91. JG says:

    I forgot to say that I will not be abandoning Bella – not just when it’s getting so very interesting!

  92. marnie anderson says:

    Staying true to myself on this one.
    I read it, coz I think you should, but it didn’t make me change my mind to follow any other parties.
    Am a bit surprised at the route Bella is taking these days, but hey ho, there is a wee dwam in Scottish politics at the moment which may change after this festive season and the campaign for Holyrood really starts. Somebody has to stir things up and get us all revitalised!

  93. Celia Fitzgerald says:

    Thank you Loki for expressing what I, and many others, feel. I’m really sorry to say that you are right in almost every way. I worked for the SNP and for independence for years. My misgivings gradually built up but my first real shock came when Nicola & others joined forces with the Blairites & the Tories in discrediting the genuinely left wing popular leader Jeremy Corbyn. My second shock came when Nicola announced that independence was now on the back burner and that the vote for the SNP was not a vote for independence since about 30% of the SNP had voted NO. I felt deeply betrayed, as did many, many others who worked like fury for independence and even voted for the SNP in the Westminster elections believing that this would promote the cause of independence. Now that my half blinkers have fallen away, I can find very little purpose or virtue in the SNP although I like many of their members and really rate some of the SNP elected officials such as Tommy Shephard & George Kerevan (both ex Labour) and a few others. it’s worth bearing in mind that about 30% of Labour voted YES even after Labour was seriously depleted by defections to the SNP (believing it promoted the cause of independence) and Labour has even fielded an openly pro-independence list MSP candidate. Also, let’s not forget that Kezia Dugdale has indicated there will be a free vote in YES2.

    1. Dan Huil says:

      “…and that the vote for the SNP was not a vote for independence since about 30% of the SNP had voted NO.”

      Really? Could you give us the exact quote, please, Celia?

      1. Celia Fitzgerald says:

        Our Dear Leader herself said that when she announced that Independence was on the back burner & told us that a vote for the SNP is not necessarily a vote for Independence. I would add that a vote for Labour is not necessarily a vote for Unionism since about 30% of Scot Labour voted Yes and Labour has fielded at least one, but I hear there are more, pro-Indy Labour list candidates.

  94. Mark Ryan Smith says:

    ‘the freedom to scrutinise all forms of political power’ – absolutely right. Crucial when a centre-left party has such a massive majority. It’s worth asking, I think, if independence has gathered a fair bit of support because it’s palatable to middle-class liberals who, deep down, don’t want truly radical change. The principle of Scotland becoming a normal country is self-evidently right, but, even so, we should always seek out the radical territory. If we end up with a cosy, entrenched, unquestioned SNP majority, people should ask themselves if the radical territory is still to be found in the version of independence that party represents.

  95. Andrew says:

    A couple of points

    1. There is a huge difference between the SNP as a party and the SNP as a government. Support the party all you want, but it is of paramount importance that no government is ever given a free ride without maximum scrutiny of how they are spending peoples money and running services. I support independence, I quite like Nicola Sturgeon and have voted SNP before, but that doesn’t mean they should get a free pass on things they have control over.

    Health, education, transport and justice are all important areas and any government that controls them should be given maximum scrutiny. It’s not a case of ‘SNPbad’ (which I think some people hide behind to nullify criticism) but rather it is a healthy skepticism of power and those who wield it. There is nothing disloyal about demanding better from the NHS etc.

    2. The article is pretty bad. However, I’m glad Bella ran it. No-one should ever only read news sources they agree with or get angry when their ideas are challenged. Fairplay to Bella for running this piece and all the others they will do so in the future that provoke such a big and varied response.

    1. I Clark says:

      Normally it would be of “ … paramount importance that no government is ever given a free ride without maximum scrutiny of how they are spending people’s money and running services.” But the situation the SNP finds itself in is not normal. Being the Scottish Government and also the main vehicle for Independence would seem to involve two separate roles.

      It is not so easy though to separate these roles and be critical of one and supportive of the other, when the unionists – especially the Corporate Media and the BBC – conflate the two and then attack the SNP in order to weaken the movement towards independence. Because of this, like many, I am willing to allow the SNP some leeway in the cause of the greater good.

      I agree with you that the article was pretty bad (sweeping generalisations, a rant etc.), but I tend to think it was a bad move running it. I say this even though I agree with your statement “No-one should ever only read news sources they agree with or get angry when their ideas are challenged.”

      It was provocative and stimulated discussion, but it has also sown considerable division. It’s easy to ignore the escapees from the Scotsman’s comments sections, but not the angry reaction here by many who are committed to independence and a better society. Fighting for independence is a serious business and Bella may have to decide if it wants to act as a liberal enabler of challenging views or wants to further the movement towards independence. A well constructed argument could have helped achieve both goals.

      But, criticising others is easy and we need to avoid giving unionists more ammunition from our armoury.

  96. johnny tik tok says:

    Loki is right. Scotland is the tartan wing of the british empire and the SNP leadership are part of the scottish elite. Independence is pointless unless it is used to change a political and economic system which was designed to work for a small minority.

    Without direct, participatory democracy any changes are just window dressing designed to appeal to single issue voters.

    What is the point of leaving westminster and then signing up to be an even smaller fish in the undemocratic superstate that is europe. The new secret trade deals effectively move us to a full blown, world corporatocracy where companies can block the democratic choices of democratically elected officials using secret courts.

    What is needed is a citizens movement which unites to demand an end to this absolute piss take. The old world of full employment has come to an end. Politicians promising to bring jobs and investment are either deluded or simply lying. Its zero hours for very little pay or work for free on some stupid training course for free.

    Its time to wake up.

  97. Celia Fitzgerald says:

    Thank you Loki for saying what many of us think,

  98. Ken Waldron says:


    “And next week in Bella an exciting article by private Frazer entitled: “Wur Doomed captain…DOOMED! ah tell ye…”

    1. schrodingers cat says:

      ken try

      bella, bella in a Gordon Sinclair accent

      1. Ken Waldron says:

        Wur Doomed, Entombed… Marooned!… Who needs colonialism whenseveral hundred years of Calvinist navelgazing seems to have imprisoned the national psyche all by itself. Lets talk about our flaws…again? No let’s get the feck out of this rancid union, breath some fresh air and then talk about stuff we can do.

        1. schrodingers cat says:

          allan grogan left Rise today.

          another split in the left, dummies being spat out all over the place

          this article by loki is just another rant into cyberspace, maybe it isn’t directed at the snp but at allan grogan

          1. Celia Fitzgerald says:

            RISE was never going to cut it as an opposition, not even close! Why does nobody mention Solidarity which is 100% pro-independence and very effective, or Corbyn’s Labour which has the potential to be pro-Indy? Labour has fielded a high profile Indy supporter as list candidate for the Scottish Parliament and they are aware that a large number of Labour & ex Labour are pro-indy so it’s more than likely there will, at the very least, be a free vote in indyref2. No doubt, having seen all that, Allan Grogan will now go back to Labour.

  99. Macart says:

    Whoa! Its deja vu all over again.

    That was a bit like reading a bingo card on the Guardian CiF pre referendum. Pigeonholing, Braveheart, utopian dream, no radical enough?

    Dang, but you’ve a grand future ahead of you in the diplomatic corps. 😀

  100. Topher Dawson says:

    Fair play to Bella for running the article. It raises a lot of points in a rather random order.
    Currently about half the people in Scotland want independence. This is too many for defenders of the union to feel safe, and my hunch is that support for indy has not peaked but will grow, given the hostile regime in Westminster and the incompetence of Labour and the Libdems.
    The article attacks the SNP which is the flagbearer for independence and is a pretty large target in Scotland, having gathered unprecedented political support. But not all independence supporters are SNP, and the non-SNP Yes people may give a clue to the future political makeup of an independent Scotland.

    I am a Green, and my support for independence comes from a belief that if Scotland was allowed to make our own choices we would come up with a more egalitarian and community minded civic society than exists in the UK generally. We would be able to pursue an energy policy transferring from oil to renewables, of which we have a lot and need to develop the industrial capacity to extract. Currently the Tories are tearing up the renewables and committing to build new nuclear.

    During the referendum campaign we were urged to “work as though you live in the early years of a better nation”. We are creating the new Scotland right now; post independence Scotland will reflect the decisions we are making right now.

    Of course that new/old nation will have political arguments going on between its new/old parties, but right now RISE, Scottish Greens, the SSP, and the SNP need to acknowledge that they share a major aim, independence. Without it we are snookered and the Tories can laugh at us.

    So I’d call on Loki to reflect on the infinite capacity of the far left for splintering into smaller and smaller factions, and keep his eye on the main goal without which little progress can be made. The SNP has done a great job of government, on the whole, in difficult circumstances, and has to carry all shades of political opinion with it. Parties which are to the left of it, and parties which are greener, will keep it honest. I think for instance that the enormous expansion of the Greens has strengthened the SNP’s moratorium on fracking.

    Fair enough for RISE to advocate policies to the left of the SNP but visceral attacks on SNP voters is just going to result in its annihilation at the polls. Keep the heid Loki.

    1. Illy says:

      RISE has policies?

        1. Illy says:

          That’s news to me, all I’ve heard of from RISE is that they want to split the independence vote and hurt the SNP.

          1. Illy says:

            Reading through them now…

            More council houses: Wouldn’t that be the job of local councils, not Hollyrood or Westminster? So irrelevant for either major election.

            Abolish Police Scotland: Headline: meh, meat: stopping “stop and search”, good; demilitarising the police, good, but I’d do it the other way around, letting everyone carry equivalent gear to the police; “Offensive Behaviour at Football Act”, seems to have sorted a lot of trouble on the EdinburghGlasgow trains, and generally seems appreciated by everyone living near the stadiums.

            Abolish Private Schools: Impossible to do while allowing home schooling. Cannot abolish home schooling, so impossible.

            Public ownership of energy companies: agreed.

            New tax system: I’d go a different way there, and it’s impossible to put a cap on the amount one person can own, unless you’re willing to open the can of worms about companies owning things. Poorly thought through.

            Legalise all drugs: agreed.

            Sanction zero hours employers: Not practically possible, and I’d argue that raising the minimum wage was more important, along with getting rid of “workfare” slavery.

            So, 3/7 not possible, 1/7 nothing to do with Hollyrood elections, 2/7 sensible, and 1/7 completely mixed up about what it’s about, and should be split into multiple policies.

            The fact that three of the seven policies that they’ve highlighted are actually impossible to implement is *not* a good sign, and that they’re targeting the wrong election for another tips them over to over half being useless.

            Why should I trust them to be competent in government when over half their policies show that they don’t understand what they’re saying?

          2. Illy says:

            It’s “fantastic” that the political party you’ve been plugging on this site has no idea what they’re doing?

            O. K. . .

  101. HaggisHunter says:

    Quite an opinionated article, don’t get me wrong I am not disagreeing with all of it, but not everyone has your same experience of Scotland.
    I am not in favour of NATO, but hey, lets get our independence first then argue the toss later, because with your method we will never escape NATO because we are never going to escape from the ‘union’.
    I have SNP friends that are pro and anti Royals, so what, they talk about it and get on with getting Independence first.
    The strategy of this article is at best dubious.

    1. r11co says:

      @HaggisHunter “lets get our independence first then argue the toss later”. Err, No Thanks, not ever! Not interested in voting for a pig-in-a-poke and neither is any sane person.

      1. HaggisHunter says:

        So we have to divide ourselves, over issues like NATO and the Queen, which means we will never have these choices, because we are in a ‘union’ that will never change?

        Independence was never won by any country where people were so timid and worried about a pig in a poke.

    2. Celia Fitzgerald says:

      In Quebec, after they had lost their second referendum, all pro-Indy people voted for their equivalent of the SNP only to find it brought them no closer to independence and it destroyed the Left into the bargain. It was twenty years before a single left wing candidate got elected to parliament. Enough of this voting SNP! They are not a left wing party nor are they the route to Scottish independence.

  102. Brian Kass says:

    A crann-tara in words, hitting home hard; both foreboding and lingering. Scotland’s future voices are calling – end this Union farce.

  103. James says:

    Yes Campaigner has a go at remainder of Yes movement and SNP in particular. Move along now, nothing to see here.

    An attempt at controversy where none is required. We are all trying hard to work towards independence and a better future, we don’t need folk slapping our faces and throwing garbage at us along the way.

  104. Dan Huil says:

    First things first: do everything we can to achieve independence. After that we can only have ourselves to acclaim or blame. And that’s how it should be.

    1. HaggisHunter says:

      Spot on Dan.

  105. Robert says:

    When I first read this article, my instinctive reaction was “This is such a gift to the Unionist media – a big stick they can use to beat us with”. But perhaps that’s not important. If it wasn’t this, then it would be something else. Self-reflection is important.

    And yet I’m still left with a bad taste.

    I think what irks me about this piece is the moral superiority it exudes. It implies that choosing the SNP route to indy by voting twice is undemocratic, and that if you read the National you are a flag-waving nationalist. However, it doesn’t just suggest these things, it goes further by implying that those who do these things are, essentially, knuckle-dragging cretins.

    I really don’t think gathering all sorts of disparate people into one big corral and then labelling them in this way is helpful.

    While the author tries to redeem himself by suggesting that he is referring to a fringe element, he can’t quite bring himself to commit to that idea. The subtext is quite clear. You are all part of the cheap haircut that is Scotland, after all.

    Unless, of course, you’re a real activist who is smart enough to understand the complex issues on both sides and can see that the only way forward is to abandon the SNP route to indy (which only got half the country behind it, after all) and create a completely new People’s Movement (Hey, what about RISE?) which excludes all the cretinous National readers and SNP supporters and everyone else in the country who “doesn’t get it”.

    1. My Cocaine says:

      Agreed. The self-righteousness of this piece, and the author’s perceived ‘moral superiority,’ makes me want to vomit, and I say that as a independence supporter who is no fan of the SNP, either.

  106. My Cocaine says:

    Without a shadow of a doubt, this has to be the biggest bucket of pish I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading on Bella.

    Christ almighty, I half expected the author to say that he had more in common with a bus driver in Liverpool, than a Yes supporter in Livingston…

    It reads like one of those Unionist bingo cards. Braveheart, check. Utopia, check. Neo-Liberal, check.

    “I grew up in Pollok – recognised by any real lefty as a genuinely militant, socialist hub, rife with dissent, where activists operated in the community as a parallel local authority all year round and not just before an election?”

    Real lefty? Don’t hurt yourself when you fall of that high horse of yours.

    Genuinely militant socialist hub? What the author means to say that whilst his friends were out playing football in the streets, he was locked away indoors, reading Das Kapital or the writings of Leon Trotsky, because this author is a ‘real’ leafty.

    Normally, personal attacks are not my MO, but when an author rants forth sweeping generalisations about an entire movement, then he/she deserves any verbal barbs directed their way.

  107. Iain Gillespie says:

    Ma HEID is Birlin whit a load o crap — Ithought Bella was far more than this — who does this writer think they are — tell you what i think ive just read one of the most egotistical pieces you have ever given space to –what a blind individual you are

  108. Loki says:

    Some things you said that I genuinely agree with

    Thanks for reading the piece. I agree with most of the comments and will now attempt to respond in a general way to some of the recurring themes.

    Firstly, I agree my argument is full of vitriol and emotion. I agree that I generalise when I discuss things and that this does not help. I agree that I am hypocritical with an agenda that I’m either not owning up to or am not fully aware of yet. I agree that I am confused about the very nature of life and that misplaced anger and baseless frustration leads to me picking targets that could do without my criticism.

    I agree that I am an opportunistic egotist. I agree that I am envious of other people’s success and stature in public discourse and culture and that part of my motivation when taking certain positions in life is to elevate and empower myself in order that I may compete with those I would emulate.

    I agree that the SNP is the best route to Scottish Independence and that they have been up front and effective in making this possible. I agree I should be grateful for that.

    I agree that I take myself far too seriously. I agree that I am not a serious writer, debater or political voice or authority of any kind. I agree that none of this well end well for me and that my spelling gramar and punctuation and structures requires a lots of work – of editing.

    I agree that I enjoy being acknowledged for the work I do and the points I make. I agree that I take pleasure in some of the attention that my work receives and that it would be disingenuous for me to pretend everything I say and do is motivated by altruism or a wish to serve others.

    I agree that almost every sentence so far has started with the letter ‘I’ and that you will have already picked up on that. I agree this re-enforces an unhealthy level of self-concern on the part of my favourite guy – me. I agree that being from Pollok is of no real consequence and doesn’t really qualify anything else I say. I agree that trying to exploit or evoke where I’m from to further an argument is unhelpful.

    I agree that I have been guilty of misogyny at times in my life and that my general outlook requires work and, occasionally, professional attention. I agree that I need to check my own privilege as well as other people’s and that I ought to look in the mirror before blowing holes in the arguments of people I don’t even know and will probably never meet.

    Don’t worry. I agree. Every day I steal a few moments out of my busy day to remind myself of my own unavoidable absurdity; embracing what a ridiculously self-deluded human being I really am.

    I’m sure you’re all wondering what that’s like.

    Thanks for the passionate response from everyone


    1. My Cocaine says:

      Having an opposing view, or an opinion contrary to the majority of the Yes movement, is not a crime, but a blessing in any democratic movement, as far as I’m concerned.

      Self-analysis, and reflection are essential if the Yes movement is to learn from its mistakes and correct these if it wants to win any future referendum.

      Your methodology, however, is self-righteous, patronizing at best, insulting at worst, and comes across as a deluge of verbal claptrap!

      Your argument boils down to I’m from Pollock, so I’m more left-wing than anybody else in the Yes movement, or Scotland, or the world, or the known universe for that matter!

      Some of your other statements are risible at best, and at their worst, reek of concentrated snobbery. Take these beauties for example:

      “Furthermore, you’re not actually that radical.”

      Code: You’re not as radical as me. I’ve read Das Kapital, you haven’t.

      “Did you know I’m not known for schmoozing or that I wasn’t created in a test tube in 2014 to amplify your narrow message alone?”

      Code: I’ve been campaigning for Scottish independence longer than these Johnny come lately types, so they can all fuck off!

      “I literally grew up in political struggle so I know what radical politics looks and feels like – you are not radical and neither is your proposal for independence.”

      Nelson Mandela eat your heart out. Pollock is the new Gaza Strip….

      Do me a favour, Loki…

      I will defend to the death your right to spout pish like this until the cows come home, but please, spare us the wounded persona when people take offence at insults you direct their way.

      If you could lay down your disdain for the masses, you might actually be able to pen a good article. There are one or two decent points in this diatribe, but like I say, the snobbery tends to drown them out.

      Finally, and I apologise to the Rise alliance if I’m making a mistake here in advance, but if articles like this are indicative of the ‘new’ Scottish left’s ‘intellectual’ prowess, then its demise can’t come soon enough.

    2. Jon Drummond says:

      An appropriately obsequious response.

      Expected no less 😉

    3. DB1 says:

      I read this article several times, and was confused by it.
      In attacking a sub-group, it seemed to cast too wide a net.
      Everyone who still sees independence as desirable and not some dead dream.
      People who intend to vote SNP ? Half of Scotland according to the polls..

      Gleeful re-tweets by those who spend most of their time talking Scotland down..
      Who use the same insults – anti-English, close-minded bravehearts.
      It’s confusing. I don’t even know if your reply is taking the piss.

      At the end of the day, we are all on a rock floating in infinity. Everything might be ultimately pointless, but all we can do is make the best from the reality that is our everyday lives. In this world, for right or wrong, nation states exist and have political power. The people who make up our country, this Scotland.. we have the choice to govern ourselves as a nation. Or not.

      I don’t like the feeling that we might as well give up because we can’t do better before we have even tried. All I can speak for is myself. I will vote SNP as the best possible choice after having honestly weighed up the options. They aren’t perfect, but no political party is. I like ‘Nicola’ and I think she is genuine.

      Sure we can all live radical independent lives in local communities, but at the end of the day our taxes still go to Westminster, and get spent on our behalf by a party most people here don’t vote for.
      And we are represented on the international stage as a minor part of a bigger country where whinging jocks are a political insignificance.

      If we were independent would Scotland be bombing Syria, saying we got our mojo back ?
      Or would we just be aiming towards being a small and prosperous and fair country where we get governments and policies that most people vote for.
      Hopefully improving our economy and tourism industry, looking after all our citizens, protecting our environment and trying to give everyone a fair go.

      We might succeed, we might not. But at least we will have tried.
      That’s radical enough for me.

    4. Jim Bennett says:

      What a fantastic reply, Loki. Thank you!

  109. Douglas says:

    Locki is totally right….the holy and all mighty SNP windbags need taking down a peg or two…I mean they hate our culture…they friggin hate it…they offer tokenism to Gaelic and Scots, they bore us with their corporate f¨ckin drivel at Creative Scotland….they kill us every day, every day a wee bit more…

    ….they kill the one thing that makes Scotland, Scotland, which is our culture.

    In any case, I got off the train at the last stop. I don´t care any more….I am a professional ex-pat, like so many Scots have had to be over the course of the years….

  110. Andy Ellis says:

    Rather than clog up the BTL exchanges with a response to this deeply misguided piece, I thought I’d just put pen to paper and blog about it!

  111. Douglas says:

    I mean these guys, they go and call themselves the National Party…what nation is it that they represent, cause it´s no fückin mine…is Scots a speech impediment, is that what it is? Is what ma granny spoke no guid enough for the fukin SNP?

    I´m wi Locki, so much complacency, so much high moral ground that we cannay see ye´s now….ye´s are too high up for us, or maybe just up yer own arses?

  112. Mark Devlin says:

    Hi, I added your post to ScotBub, my new site for Scottish news, which lets you upvote and comment on other people’s submissions. Feel free to add any new commentary posts you make to the site.

  113. Douglas says:

    Locki, siempre con la Revolucion y olvidate del resto hijo, que es trampa….

  114. Loki says:

    Also I just want to clarify that I’m from Pollok and that I consider myself working class.

    1. Frank says:

      No shit? Lol.

  115. Douglas says:

    As if in the barrios populares de Madrid we give a shit if Catalonia is independent? Impossible that things could work out for us worse in the barrios populares de the great city of Madrid. Would Leith notice a friggin blind bit of difference if Scotland was indie. Would it f@ck….

    …put me down on the Left, that is my home.

    I am for class warfare…

  116. Douglas says:

    The SNP go and offer free child care…hee hee hee….that´s their pitch….80 years thinking about it, and that is the bull they come up with….

    …am I the only one who is for the Revolution? Let´s forget the SNP please and just go and do it….

  117. Douglas says:

    Where are the martyrs…? I am a martyr to break the f@ckin insupportable yoke of Englishness….just tell me where I have to go…I’ll appear with a book of poetry and a pistol…..who else can say the same?

  118. Angry Weegie says:

    So annoyed, I managed to post a reply to someone else’s comment.

    Sorry Bella, but this was the last straw. The BTL comments read like something out of the Daily Mail or the Scotsman (in fact someone even linked to a Scotsman article). If I wanted to read such tripe, I’d go for the real thing.

    PS. Can I have my money back

    1. David says:

      New media isn’t supposed to just tell you stuff you already agree with. More than one viewpoint is allowed.

      This is a forum for the independence movement, and this article is one of the voices of the independence movement. Why would you want to stifle it.

      1. Illy says:

        More than one viewpoint is allowed, yet you don’t want to take people’s *viewpoint* that this article is a load of self-aggrandising twaddle seriously? (and for a forum for the independence movement to sponsor an anti-independence rant is kinda wierd)

        Unless this is very badly pitched satire, of course.

  119. Mattph says:

    I meet zero of the five criteria addressed to “you” which you lay out in paragraph four and neither do the vast majority of SNP members/Yes campaigners who I know. In fact the fraction of the movement that is applicable to is so small as to barely merit an article on it. For those who are inclined to a more radical version of left wing politics, two solid vehicles currently exist in the form of RISE and RIC.
    As many below have commented, the SNP is, quite simply, the best placed vehicle to get us over the line to independence. After that, who knows? Personally I see the arrival on the scene of several new political parties in Scotland as SLAB splinter and the Tories finally decide to pack it in. But only time will tell where the voters will drift to once the broad church comes down.
    You seem to be caught between frustration with newer members of the SNP and the actual party itself. But what you cannot deny is that is getting the job done and producing results rather than endless talk of the revolution a la Judean Peoples’ Front. Your activism in Pollock may well have been part of the “genuinely militant, socialist hub” you describe. But where is its legacy?

  120. FairBairn says:

    Bella, I agree with your sentiments. I was disappointed with the SNP politicians after IndyRef, with their greetin’ faces, when it was, in fact, a major truimph for democracy. This was the victory this time: an active interest in politics from most of the population, from schoolkids to grannies. As with Corbyn, why be afraid of democracy.

  121. Jon Buchanan says:

    Bella’s BTL comments often reflect the diversity of independence supporting opinion and the articles and editorial content do a good job of reflecting that diversity, culturally and politically, in my humble opinion. I read Loki’s article last night, before there were any comments and knew it would make interesting reading BTL if I returned to it today, I wasn’t disappointed!

    I enjoyed the article, didn’t agree with everything said or how it was said but I always put Loki’s written stuff into context alongside his music and rhymes. He’s reactionary, as well as all the other things he admits to himself in reply to comments above, I expect that. When a guys been used to battling ciphers, head to head, words to words, wits to wits, and finds it difficult to do the same with every social media user who might take issue with a viewpoint, and there is a platform like this to engage them all at once, I’d take it too!

    But then if you take further issue with what’s said, maybe picture yourself battling in one of those ciphers (and if your really ye olde schoole, you could take account of the notion in some hiphop histories which see ‘the cipher’, or battle, between two or more ‘rappers’ as having ultimately derived from the flytings between medieval Scots poets, which continued into the modern era, perhaps culminating in the infamous stooshie between Hugh McDiarmid and Alexander Trocchi), and maybe say something more than the equivalent of ‘well, that’s just rubbish, and so is the venue which chose to let you say that’, before dropping the mic and leaving the stage; that’s clearly not the case with all the comments here but some clearly allowed their red mist to kick in before the context settled; have a listen to Loki’s album, his views are expressed so much more fully and eloquently there and it will be a poignant reminder of the zeitgeist longer than any withdrawn subscriptions to Bella!

    1. Jon Buchanan says:

      …for the non-believers, don’t just take my word for it about G.I.M.P., Loki & the Kartel’s album, have a listen to the wee snippet here and see what the quotes and sound bites at the end say!(and no I’m not on his pr team or a doe-eyed fan, just painting in some context!)

  122. duncan says:

    Is this a case of the kettle calling the pot a hydronic cauldron? Loki has rescinded his old allies for supposed anti-state offenses. Everyone is accused and enforced labor at the kwan-li-so quickly follows. Displays of public loyalty are also treated with suspicion. Loki has a cup of tea and cooks a marsh mallow over the grate. Poor little Foal of an oppressed race! I love the languid patience of thy face.

  123. arthur thomson says:

    Well Loki, I’m not certain what your goal was but you achieved something that I haven’t seen before on Bella – you flushed out some genuine unionists. It was such a treat to read their comments and be reinforced in my opinions. They have come out like blue bottles attracted to a pile of mince.

    But I am not going to be as scathing as some of my pro-independence peers. I read and re-read your article and I thought there was a fair bit of truth in it. That didn’t shock or unsettle me for the simple reason that I have always understood that those who support independence are a cross section of people. So from my perspective it is ok that you made your call.

    So far as the SNP is concerned, I have been a member since aged 16 approximately 50 years ago. The SNP is only a political ‘party’ because it has to be in order to further independence. It has to encompass as wide a cross section of people as possible and it is inevitably a compromise. This creates the obvious problems.

    There are many people who are unprepared to accept the SNP compromise but who are still committed to independence and I absolutely respect that. All I ask is that their criticisms of the SNP are constructive and don’t ape the unionist parties’ approach of mindless mud slinging.

    There are people who have commented on this article and other articles on Bella who genuinely wish to undermine the independence movement. Some are up front, slightly irritating because they are such dipsticks but in a perverse way probably as much a help as a hindrance.

    There are others who are deliberately obscuring their motives and seeking to destroy the independence movement by attacking the SNP. I would be genuinely saddened but not dismayed if Loki was one of these people. How can I know?

    My message to those who are trying to undermine the SNP is simple – you will not succeed. We observe the efforts of Nicola and Alex (individuals both who have a right to be addressed as such) and others and we are often pleased. We don’t expect the SNP to be perfect or to reflect all our individual preferences. But we don’t disengage our critical faculties. We are people of independent mind, prepared if necessary to replace people if they should be found wanting. But we will judge them by their actions, not on the say so of those who protesteth too much and whose motives may be ulterior.

    1. JG says:

      Common Sense at last.

      A previous poster noted that we are in a bit of a Dwam (good word!) just now, or maybe it’s just a wee touch of SAD brought on by the shitiest spell of weather for a long time – lets hope we can shake it off after Hogmanay and get on with the bloody job!

      It’s almost a cliche now to talk about the English Establishment’s superb “Divide and Suppress” skills – but they are real and can be very subtle indeed.

    2. John Page says:

      A good and fair post, Arthur, Thank you.
      In the absence of any credible opposition to the SNP given the Labour Party’s dysfunctionality, there are many who genuinely want independence who think the SNP could be doing better right now on a number of issues……fracking, greater moves to a green economy through transport, land reform and most important of all social inclusion and the education attainment gap. No doubt there are other issues.
      The SNP leadership should use their unprecedentedly favourable poll ratings to be bolder.
      I think the 2nd vote re Holyrood 2016 is crucial in this regard. If as the polls suggest, the SNP will win all the constituency seats in many regions, a second vote for the SNP will hand victory to more Labour candidates. I see that as a major risk when SNP/Green or SNP/RISE voting could bring into Holyrood people like Andy Wightman, Veronika Tudhope and Colin Fox who will bring intelligent and radical challenges to this lack of short term boldness from the SNP.
      in passing, I would commend Bella for giving space to this article which has generated such interest
      Thank you
      John Page

  124. The King Hath Spake says:

    Rule Britannia!
    James Thomson, a true son of Scotland.

    1. Jon Buchanan says:

      You know just how goading your being with that post…(not generally prone to partisan posts or historical based diatribes, but come on, your posts have been tiresome all through this thread, as if The Scotsman was ever going to be a convincing place to quote economic ‘facts’ from, over and over and over!)

      …if you mean a true Scot as one who had their own ‘cultural identity’ proscribed in the post 1745 era, whilst a German accession to the throne of a Kingdom, barely 60 years in its ‘uniting’ since the Treaty of Union when the poem was written, supplanted rightful (as a republican, I say ‘rightful’ only in a contemporaneous context of lineage) heirs due to religious and cultural intolerance as well as capitalist greed, could act as unofficial world police of the slave trade to further entrench their own monopoly of it through building a navy, partly by denuding Scotland of its natural forestation whilst supplanting it with sheep farming, so a sulky prince could curry favour with his father by setting the (dubiously authored) poem to music, then, oh yeah, fair point…

      It was propaganda then and its propaganda now, Britannia waives the rules!

      1. Jon Buchanan says:

        Apologies, slight typo, should of course have said, ‘…barely 30 years…’.

    2. Fed up with the Lies and Propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

      ”Rule Britannia! James Thomson, a true son of Scotland.” A sad attempt at trolling, quite pitiful.

      1. Jon Buchanan says:

        Absolutely FUWTLAPOTLMIC, I probably shouldn’t have bitten or fed the troll but seeing the post as the last on the thread in the wee sma hours and knowing a bit about Thomson and ‘that poem’, as well as the times it was conceived in, I couldn’t help myself! When Thomson left Leith docks for London in his early twenties he was never to set foot in Scotland again nor to write or speak much of it, not even a ProudScoutBut. Managed to resist going into the debate around how originally, before it was in the form used in the play ‘Albert’ and passed into modern parlance, it was taken up by both sides in Parliament as an anthem to use against the other, its politics were so open to interpretation. Likewise I didn’t go into the debate around when Prince Frederick commissioned the play from Mallet, Thomson’s lifelong friend, its first performance at Cliveden House was seen by some as an attempt to curry favour with the King, by others as a rebellion against his position. The play, for which the poem was fairly drastically edited, was never performed widely and the song was seen as being of dubious context. It only really took on popularity when Britain went into self denial about its role in the slave trade, makes me want to shout ‘pay reparations to the right people!’ every time I hear it!

        1. alan says:

          Slightly alarming how you offer ‘your version’ of the song’s foundation, most likely conveniently in line with your politics.
          Glasgow, will have to pay huge reparations ‘to the right people’ every time you hear that Bonnie song written by a great scottish poet, Rule Britannia.

          1. Jon Buchanan says:

            Not sure what you find alarming alan, what you call my version is derived from past research for post graduate work in ethnology and literature. Thomson can only really be called a Scots poet by virtue of birth, he wrote nothing in Scots or of Scotland and claimed to Britishness himself.

            When I said reparations to the right people I meant to the former slaves descendants rather than the slave owners, as the United Kingdom Govt did on abolition, it is to all our shame and the land and titles bought with money from the plantations should be more than enough to pay it, regardless of where in the country the slave owners came from.

  125. Daisy Walker says:

    Dear Loki,

    I have read your article and would just like to reply with this…

    I think the new bridge should be called FORTUITOUS

    Someone else suggested THANK FUCK. But frankly that’s just not photogenic enough.

    Someone else suggested The Saltire, but I think it would lull drivers into a false sense of security come the icy weather.

    Anyway, I’m a YESSER, ye Dinna ken me, ah dina ken you. Might be a good idea not to generalise and make assumptions too much, eh?

    1. Illy says:

      I’d call the new bridge “The SNP’s Folly”

      I’m sure that would appeal to all those Labour M(S)Ps who thought it such when it was suggested.

    2. HaggisHunter says:

      Haha… that reply is spot on also.

  126. duncan says:

    Loki, a tin pot-working class-Sun Columnist-wanna-be, perhaps?

  127. HaggisHunter says:

    I think we should not be so timid and scared and worry about it, get the Independence, I am quite sure the Scottish people will be able enough to decide if we need to be in NATO or not

    1. Illy says:

      Here’s the thing, until we’re an independent nation, we can’t *decide* if we want to be in NATO or not, we just get dragged along by England, wherever they decide to go, whichever wars they decide to start…

      It *really* doesn’t matter if an independent Scotland would be in NATO or not, the important thing is that the people of Scotland gets to decide the issue, not England’s ruling class.

      1. johnny tik tok says:

        It will be the scottish elites who decide. Same horse, different rider.

        1. Illy says:

          Smaller rider.

          Less power.

          Easier to unseat.

          And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it went to a referendum. Every major decision a country makes should do, if you actually believe in democracy.

        2. HaggisHunter says:

          No it wont, unless Scotland is so pathetic that we cannot change from a Westminster type governance.
          Jings, all this negativity, we fight for Freedom, then we fight for what is right and what our priorities are.
          Cannot believe some of the weak negative wishie washie nonsense like that

  128. justforthecomment says:

    The replies to this are sheer comedy gold, hardly an ounce of irony to go round!

  129. Justforthecommenttoo says:

    Here for the comments too

  130. Peter Shaw says:

    I raise a glass to Loki
    Whose Northern puckish humour is too little understood;
    This hot toddy to Loki
    His owlmirror mayhem wreaks mischievous harm
    And more good:

    Unless your sense of humour
    Is a solid block of wood

    “Odin’s hoarse!”

  131. Fran says:

    I have to say I enjoy a rant from Loki. It was obvious from the start to me that that’s what it was, and like all good rants there’s truth in it along with anger and entertaining outbursts expressed in wonderful use of words. Difficult for anyone who feels got at, I agree, but I’m glad that Bella make room for him. As Lesley Riddoch says we need trouble makers like him to shake things up. And I always admire his humility and willingness to take a look at himself afterwards.

    1. tickle says:

      The guy’s nothing if not reflective and self aware. 😀

  132. Cath says:

    Balance balance balance……… I love it when the no side produce an article which just states the obvious……..the facts go before us. Anyways as someone who relies on my pensions there is no way I would vote independence when the SNP hAve categorically proven that they cannot budget for major services whilst in the union never mind if independent. I don’t wish to spend my last years on earth wondering where my next pension will come from. Greece was a warning shot across our bows…………

    1. Anagach says:

      You think that the UK Government will withdraw your pension ?

  133. Anagach says:

    I finally worked out the aim of the article.

    “You intend to vote SNP twice next year”

    The author isn’t actually under attack from people who “think Braveheart is a documentary” since there really aren’t any, and, factually, corporation tax is the same in Scotland as it is in London. Setting aside the weird inconsistency of “there is no great virtue in doing something because you think it will make you better off” but “do not be ashamed of protecting your own interests.”.

    The author is selling an alternative to the SNP, because they cant change Scotland from the evil social and political system it has being a branch of the neo-liberal, western, class based etc etc

    So the answer is to insult and ridicule people who consider voting SNP twice next year.


  134. Peter Barjonas says:

    Dear Loki,
    In reply to your article may I say as, I approach my 70s, that my Gorbals upbringing has also resulted in fury regarding the state we are in: fuming since my enlightenment about 40 years ago! The path to independence is now, at last, well defined and I again hope to see this in my lifetime. We are all in this together and there will be plenty of post-independence time to argue our personal independence issues.
    I wish you well, Loki.

  135. Quarmby says:

    Bella Calledonia is mistaking giving a platform for a wide range of independence-supporting views for providing a platform for BritNat trolls who undermine Scottish aspirations and attack the SNP whilst speciously declaring themselves to be Yes supporters of longstanding. The fact of the matter is, the SNP is not perfect – but compared to the alternatives currently on offer in Scotland, it’s a bloody paragon of political virtue. More importantly, however, it is the ONLY political vehicle capable of delivering independence. Any article which attacks it, and the at least half the Scottish electorate which support it, with the spiteful virulence and utter lack of perspective of this piece by ‘Loki’ is no friend of Scottish independence, however much they might protest otherwise. I’ll be sidelining Bella Caledonia until it comes to its senses and decides which side of the fence it’s on. At the moment, only a Unionist would take comfort from articles like this.

    1. So just to be clear Quarmby – there should be no criticism of the SNP – and any critical voices are treasonous to the cause, is that right?

      1. Quarmby says:

        Those are your words, ‘Editor’, not mine so keep them to yourself and don’t impute them to me. And what a pathetic attempt to

        Weong. Those are your words, ‘Editor’, not mine, so fly them under your own name and don’t impute hem to me. In your eagerness to deflect from your providing a platform for ‘Loki’s’ anti-SNP vitriol, you’ve clearly chosen to overlook one of the points I made – viz. “The fact of the matter is, the SNP is not perfect….” In other words, the SNP is of course open to reasoned criticism. However, ‘Loki’ wasn’t out to provide reasoned criticism, but a hatchet job using inflammatory – and frankly ludicrous – analogies between Scotland under an SNP government and the UK under the Tories. If his/her purpose was to provoke, then I guess solely on that measure they have succeeded going by the number of responses, mine included. But creating controversy by outrageous statements is easy, and merely generates more heat than light. Your non-response to the points I made regarding this platform’s judgement is merely more of the same. As I say, sort yourself out as far as providing click bait by and for Unionist trolls is concerned.

        1. ‘I’ love your ‘use’ of inverted commas. Loki is a boy and not a Unionist Troll.

  136. Quarmby says:

    The pathetic and deflective quality of your responses to what was a substantive criticism is noted. It’s your site – it’s up to you if you want it to go tits up through association with vitriol such as that spewed by ‘Loki’ in this ‘article’ and cheered on by BritNats here. But you’ve evaded the central point of how you imagine independence will be achieved without a strong and supported SNP at the core of the Indy movement – for no other political engine in Scotland will get us there. The time for political polemics within Indy ranks will be *after* independence – if you and ‘Loki’ can’t grasp that, I can’t help you. I’ll resume support for your site when you’ve decided what you stand for.

    1. Hi Quarmby, okay, here’s a more considered response.

      You ask: how I imagine independence to be achieved without a strong and supported SNP at the core of the Indy movement?

      I see the SNP as a core pivotal and vital part of the independence movement, of course. But I think it would be a much more powerful movement with different and diverse pro-indy parties and elements. So, I, and many others are imagining a parliament, and a wider movement made up of various groups who share a belief in independence, which becomes the norm, the assumed direction. This would then carry and reflect a wider movement that would take us to independence versus a huge majority in Holyrood and a subsequent referendum.

      The political task of the next generation is to win-over previous No voters and abstainers. It is not our role to agree amongst ourselves. This is an exercise in futility. In order to convince others we need to re-examine our own arguments and be able to engage in self-criticism. That was the point of publishing Loki and is the wider remit of Bella.

      You say ‘the time for political polemics within Indy ranks will be *after* independence – if you and ‘Loki’ can’t grasp that, I can’t help you.

      I’m afraid we won’t get to independence if we suspend critical thinking until ‘after’. Telling people not to think for themselves for a period of time until liberation descends from on high is a recipe for inertia.

      What do we stand for?

      We stand for independence – self-determination and autonomy: building autonomous communities, regions, neighborhoods and cities – building a movement of independent-minded and critical thinking people for an independent Scotland. This takes more work than just shouting ‘Labour Bad’ ‘Tory Bad’ and then slapping each others back and saying ‘nailed it’.

      We stand for independence and social justice. We stand for open media and fresh thinking. We support no single party but offer a platform for progressive and radical ideas.

      1. Doreen Milne says:

        We stand for independence – self-determination and autonomy: building autonomous communities, regions, neighborhoods and cities – building a movement of independent-minded and critical thinking people for an independent Scotland. This takes more work than just shouting ‘Labour Bad’ ‘Tory Bad’ and then slapping each others back and saying ‘nailed it’.

        Spot on, BCEd. The emphasis being on ‘independent-minded and critical thinking people’.

  137. Jim Bennett says:

    A rant yes but what a fabulous rant! Loki anticipated every attack on his position in his original article.
    Thank god (or rather Bella) for this gloriously creative piece of antisyzigy.
    Loki, ye’ll aye be whaur extremes meet! I’ll happily help you mount your steed and don your lance for your next charge.
    Scotland needs the contraryists, the radical heretics. Keep thinking, keep criticising and most of all, keep writing! i

    1. David McCann says:

      Its a pity the Sunday Times also sees it as an anti independence polemic. But then who reads the Sunday Times!

  138. Robin Stevenson says:

    Was “Loki” not a pain in the arse and went out of his way to mix things up between the Norse gods? Mischief making and dividing opinion for the sake of it?…Hmm…Seems that nothing has changed much? The gullible muppets are STILL oblivious with his tacs…

    1. Jim Bennett says:

      Loki’s positive relations with the Gods ended with him being tied up with the entrails of one of his sons. Are you suggesting that Alex and Nicola might be loitering with intent, Robin?

  139. Thomas says:

    Great blog, really like the point it is making. Politics would be better off all round if we could all be a little more self-critical and less tribal about the whole thing.

  140. Iain says:

    What the unionists can’t understand that the union is finished. We won’t go back in our boxes. It is a matter of time till we are free of the empire and England is all alone in the world. We won’t be subsidizing England any more. England, one of the most heavily indebted countries in the world is Greece without the sunshine.

    1. Peter Shaw says:

      “If independence were a simple thing to define, not a wide spectrum of possibilities, the goal would be clear.

      As for what is meant by Scottish, I may as well have tried to count the dust mites in the shaft of afternoon light. This may be puzzling to a wider audience, who like their emergent nations to have feather-hatted marching soldiers and a ferocious mythology. But the issues facing Scotland today are common to any developed European nation: how do we rebuild society in the light of the financial crash, a crisis in democracy and an onslaught on the welfare state – and do so in a sustainable fashion?

      The campaigns to date have been a tedious parade of union flags versus saltires, of pop identity about caring Scots versus heartless Tories. By insisting on something particular to Scotland and contrasting it to the UK, Salmond has denied a crucial truth about the debate: Scotland’s problems are common to the developed world, and the questions for him are the same as those for David Cameron and Ed Miliband, François Hollande and Angela Merkel.

      (…) The issue is how do citizens regain control over their collective welfare? (…)”

      That was September 2013.

      And yet – there are still those who see it all like a a Star Wars fantasy without the imagination, as a Golden Rising of the Virtuous against the satanic, conniving powers of an Evil Empire.

      And irrespective of the questionable hegemonic attempts of the SNP, the division and damage the propaganda (with little obvious sign of progressive achievement) of a government also North of the border does along the way.

      In any case: … Happy Christmas, peace and good will to one and all!

  141. Catherine Hester says:

    The SNP are Traitors to the Hard working, Tax-paying citizens of Scotland. It was thanks to the SNP siding with Margaret Thatchers Conservative government in 1979, rather than side with the Labour Party that Thatcher was elected and enabled her to unleash her Vindictive and Devastating policies, which robbed the hard working Scottish indigenous born citizens like myself of their inalienable rights to a social and family life of their own. If they had been genuinely sincere about wanting Independence for Scotland, the time to have held a referendum would have been in 1979. But being the Traitors they are, they backstabbed the working people of Scotland. In the words of Robert Burns, “We’re bought and sold for English gold, such a parcel of Rogues in a Nation”! or “O would some Power the giftie to gie us, To see oursels as others see us”!

  142. Johnathan Fusner says:

    I agree with you

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