Shsh for Indy

tunnocksThe Yes movement was characterised by its openness to new ideas and fresh thinking, its imagination and innovation and its ability to engage and inspire a wider and wider group of people, often folks who had been disaffected and turned off politics. It had a diversity of leaders, styles of leadership and spoke with ‘many voices’. Gender norms were disrupted, new heightened expectations replaced old orthodoxies (all male panels became unacceptable). Young people took charge. Dozens of ‘new faces’ you’d never heard of appeared out of nowhere and were great. Some of them are sitting in Westminster now. It was challenging and inspiring.

The past few days and weeks has seen campaigning characterised by narrowness, a rejection of ideas, a distinct lack of imagination and a withdrawal into a kind of closed world.

It’s boring and dispiriting.

We’ve moved from questioning everything to questioning nothing.

It’s not disheartening, it’s soul-destroying.

The sight of Stuart Campbell distributing lists of people to block on Twitter and the stream of enthusiastic acolytes lapping it up, or the vision  of Sean Clerkin  ‘Hear Roar Us’ wrestling with chocolate-coated marshmallow treats or the woeful diatribe by G.A. Ponsonby on Newsnet – are all examples of this tired new culture.

G.A. Ponsonby seems confused. Is RISE a marginal irrelevance of marginal wannabies surviving only because of its media allies, or a dire threat to the indy dream? He can’t seem to decide.

He writes sniffily: “the creation of RISE looked like the latest manifestation of what I viewed as reluctance by some to accept their time in the limelight had come to an end.”

Tunnocksboy“Few had heard of Cat Boyd or Alan Bissett before the referendum, and Robin McAlpine was a name I only vaguely recognised.  All three had high-profile roles throughout the referendum and were an asset to the Yes campaign.  They were not alone. But the increased profile enjoyed by these and others was down to one party – the SNP.”

Casting aside that someone might have actually have heard of Alan Bissett before the referendum if they’d perhaps read a book, the message is clear: the movement is distilled in one party and one party alone. Any deviance is not to be tolerated. It’s time up. Time to go back in your box.

Ponsonby is quite clear, not only are new political expressions not to be tolerated, coverage of them is an act of betrayal: “Creating a new party is one thing, it is quite another to raise its public awareness and to convince that same public to vote for it.  RISE has benefited from generous coverage from the online sites Bella Caledonia and Common Space. Bella editor Mike Small has publicly backed the new party and was one of the speakers at its official launch last August.  Cat Boyd serves on the Bella Caledonia editorial board.  So it is no surprise that the site has provided RISE with much-needed exposure.”

Despite having earlier quoted the Herald (and presumably the now boycotted pro-indy Sunday Herald) it is the ‘alternative media’ who are to blame for this atrocity. For Ponsonby, and perhaps Newsnet, the title ‘alternative’ is a misnomer. The role of outlets like Bella and CommonSpace should be as unquestioning mouthpieces of the SNP. Anything else can and should be dubbed, immediately #SNPBad. Anything else is traitorous. It’s tramadol politics.

To cover new developments in Scottish politics, even of parties committed to independence is intolerable, apparently.

It’s a closed shop. Discounting the validity of creating a radical plurality of pro-indy voices, Ponsonby explains: “Polling specialist James Kelly has dismantled the claim more than once on his Scot Goes Pop blog.  Stuart Campbell, writing on his Wings Over Scotland blog, has also challenged the claim that a second vote for the SNP is wasted.  But RISE and its supporters persist.”

Imagine persisting?

He explains: “For most of us, the SNP is the vehicle to independence.  Only when we have reached that destination do we disembark and set about creating the new Scotland.” This is Shsh for Indy. The logic is this: independence is the only goal, after that has been achieved everything will be golden. Before that: shut up and eat your cereal. Crucially, it’s never actually mapped out how even a 100% SNP Holyrood would achieve independence? None of the mistakes, strategic errors or enduring problems are faced up to at all. ‘SNP 1 & 2’ isn’t a strategy however many times its repeated. Most of this is dismissed by relentless attacks on the BBC, and a lazy useless assumption that ‘if only we hadn’t been lied to we’d be independent now’.

Helpfully he explains: “I don’t support RISE, I’ve said so publicly.” We’d gathered that.

The atmosphere of paranoia and often outlandish conspiracy is rife. One commentator wrote: “Rise are just a distraction , and probably backed by the Tory Party , who else would want to damage the SNP , the only party capable of actually delivering Independence , as for your comments on the article ,childish dosnt come close , rise will end the way all left wing outfits do, irrelevant, unelectable , talking to themselves.”

‘Talking to themselves.’ That sounds familiar.

CYtwN0yWYAA6bDCBut what is this extreme lack of self-confidence about? Current voting intentions are marked, seats via Weber Shandwick show: SNP 70 (+1) LAB 26 (-11) CON 18 (+3) GRN 8 (+6) LD 7 (+2). With polls showing a massive (and growing) SNP lead – and with 56 out of 59 MPs at Westminster, and with overwhelming voter satisfaction on justice, health & education.(see right) why don’t SNP activists like Ponsonby just say, “I welcome other pro-indy voices”. Don’t we want a vibrant political culture? The calibre of many of the Green and RISE candidates is so far above the old unionist parties, they’d frankly be an asset to any parliament. The notion that the Conservatives or Labour are in any state to mount a revival are outlandsish. Dugdale is nice but hopeless. She is tethered to a shambles. Davidson is nice but hopeless. She is tethered to a disgrace. Neither are going to do anything other than watch quietly as their vote goes down the pan.

To clarify Ponsonbyy’s accusation our board has SNP members, Green Party members and RISE members, but most importantly members of no political party at all. We consider ourselves part of a movement and we will support, celebrate (and criticise) all aspect of Scottish politics and culture. What else would you do?



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  1. A strachan says:

    What a brilliant piece! You do however stop short of pointing fingers 😉

    Over these last few months I have gone from a firm yes supporter, having stood on stages and in the crowds. To someone no longer trusting the SNP objectives. I fear fracking and TTIP neither of which have been banned.

    I see a growing aggressive and angry nationalist crowd and find myself thankful we failed to win! Yes, I am not an snp supporter! I now find myself reverted back to Devo max until we get our stuff sorted. SNP is not what we want or need after winning a referendum!

    I am also depressed seeing all these people stating snp 1 and 2 with no consideration for other indy parties who have actively assisted SNP get whee they are by lending votes. All very sad 🙁

    1. Craig says:

      Thankful we lost? Have a word with yourself…

      1. DB1 says:

        This problem for RISE is the voting system.
        I read the Scotgoespop and the Wings articles, and they make a convincing case.

        Many people in the SNP would love to see a better opposition, and respect many of the Green and RISE candidates, but independence will ALWAYS come first, and for that, yes, many of us do Shsh for indy.
        Don’t you think many in the SNP are split in their political viewpoints? We put that aside, campaign on a social democratic platform, and look at the bigger picture.

        The time for a wider YES platform is during a referendum, when there is a single issue Yes or No vote. RISE and Green members did an amazing job in boosting the turnout.

        But the time for an SNP vote is to achieve a referendum in the first place – in a system where it is hard to get a majority, and hard for small parties to break through.

        Look at the latest survation poll. Rise are nowhere to be found.

        Data tables:

        List vote:
        SNP 42%
        Labour 20%
        Tories 16%
        Greens 9%
        Liberals 8%
        Ukip 5%
        Rise 0%

        Assuming that RISE achieves a few hundred votes in Glasgow, the harsh reality is that they are wasted, and even counter productive if they help to get an extra Tory or Labour MSP elected on the List vote.

        With the Greens looking almost identical, having 2 similar parties just isn’t practical, because sensible voters do consider the voting system.
        It has taken the SNP DECADES to get to the point where they can get results.
        Anyone who supports RISE for their other policies will vote for that – perhaps hoping to achieve a foothold and build it up for the future. But for anyone who sees independence as a priority, then SNP*2 is the only practical and logical way to achieve a second referendum.

        What RISE should have done is join the established Green party and change it from within, similar to how Corbyn supporters took over the Labour party in England.

        1. mrbfaethedee says:

          Couldn’t agree more with the sentiment (as i read it) from DB1 that so many people for so long have (and still do) ssshh’d for indy. It’s the reason that SNP exists at the scale it does.
          The Greens have serially failed to learn from the SNP the lesson that first you have to convince and carry large numbers with you (that takes time and effort, regardless of how right you may be), now the rest of the self-appointed ‘left’ of Scottish politics who have also failed to carry people with them are joining together into the “I’m not a nationalist, but…” party/group/etc… And demanding a share of the vote just because.

          I’m also sympathetic to the view that some (currently untenable) parties/blocks would be better served changing policy from within other parties.

    2. tartanfever says:

      A Strachan – ‘I fear fracking and TTIP neither of which have been banned.’

      Please enlighten me and tell me how TTIP can be banned by the SNP ?

      This should be good…

      1. tarisgal says:

        Or fracking for that matter? They have put a moratorium on it for the moment, until they have the wherewithal to ban it completely, which they don’t have at the moment. I worried about this too and actually spoke with my MSP. He assured me the plan was to ban it. But until they could, the best they can do is the moratorium. At present, they can only ban it through planning laws. And the Fracking Company is then able to go to WM to appeal. If they win, which is likely seeing WM is FOR Fracking, then they will have carte blanche to frack wherever they wish, doing whatever they want and destroying whatever!! And Scotgov with then be able to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to stop them. Presently the moritorium is the only way Scotgov has to control the situation. So – I ask, A Strachan, what more would you insist they do???

      2. Gordon Bickerton says:

        Exactly what I was going to say. Not have a knowledge of your subject isn’t going to win votes.

    3. Davie says:

      You are ‘thankful that we lost the referendum’. Thankful that we’re being lorded over by Tories, thankful that we have been humiliated through Smith, thankful that we’re dropping bombs on Syria?

      And all because you think SNP supporters are a bit tribal for your liking?

      Methinks your perspective is somewhat skewed.

    4. Jim McIntyre says:

      A Strachan, who are you kidding? You were never a Yes voter.

      I have voted SSP on more than one occasion and I am going to be honest about this. It is RISE that are trying to throw mud at the SNP. I am losing all respect for them. James McEnaney in particular but I have never met him so I might be being unfair.

      Let me get this straight. RISE are billing themselves as the new SYRIZA and they have spent the first two weeks finding any outlet they can to attack, not the SNP but SNP supporters on twitter. Even the Greens have now realised that strategy doesn’t work and is self-defeating. What do RISE actually expect? That everyone will come flocking to a new party without question? One that has absolutely no brand recognition beyond a few hundred people on twitter.

      It looks like all RISE will achieve is giving a few Swappies a soapbox in a few pro-indy blogs to rant in fury like any other Unionist politician. I can’t see RISE doing anything except self-destruc. As for Bella Caledonia, I cannot wait for the “Interpreting the 4th RISE Conference and what it means today” article.

      If you are RISE, focus on short, snappy, revolutionary messages and be positive. Distance yourself from these lunatics ranting and raving like Jim Murphy.

    5. Derick fae Yell says:

      If I had a penny for every deeply unconvincing ‘I used to be an SNP/Independence supporter until x.y z (insert approprIate TOSH) I would be as rich as the Weirs and could donate a few million to the SNP.


    6. Black Rab says:

      A Strachan, don’t be depressed as supporting the SNP was always primarily for independence. After that, they have nothing to offer that would radically change Scotland for the better. I wouldn’t vote for them in an independent Scotland with the policies that they have just now and the silence over TTIP and fracking is a worry. I don’t trust them. They appear to be tartan capitalists, not a socialist party as the media portrays them. Let’s get independence first.

      1. muttley79 says:

        The SNP have never claimed to be a socialist party, they are social democratic party who support independence for Scotland. I have no idea who you are referring to when you say the media claim the SNP are a socialist party either. Which media, the MSM or the alternative media? There are socialists in the SNP, both elected representatives and members, but they are not a socialist party.

        1. Matt says:

          The issue with RISE (aside from Sheridan sniffing around it) is that they are campaigning on the grounds of “lend us your list vote so we can provide effective opposition to the SNP.” This means voters would be marking vote 1 for the SNP and vote 2 to a party to provide opposition to the SNP, which as WoS has pointed out, is somewhat shaky logic.

    7. Wul says:

      “SNP is not what we want or need after winning a referendum!”

      I agree A Strachan, and I’m confident that support for the SNP would evaporate after Scotland acieved independance. They would be like Churchill after WW 2, served their purpose, no longer needed.
      I find it frustrating that after so much debate, people still conflate the SNP with Scottish independence. One is a political party, the other is the furure of a nation for all time.

  2. Terence says:

    Other pro independence parties ? Hmm yes ,the thing is the parties against independence have their differences and criticise each other they don’t trust each other but they join together to campaign for UK.
    The same applies to SNP and “other pro independence parties ” they have their differences and criticise each other but they join together for the independence campaign.Accept it,it’s normal it’s what is right.

    1. A strachan says:

      So don’t expect the other indy parties to ‘lend their vote’. Personally with what has happened since the referendum, and described here has opened my eye and sickened me in equal measure.

      I am glad now the no vote won as Scotland would pull itself apart as the egos fight out who will lead. I, like many others were all for indy, but not at any cost. The thought of an snp single party state is not for me. Very sad the online abuse and attacks on anybody who dares to speak out against snp.

      For me, they won’t see my vote again.

      1. Tina Forde says:

        You are so transparent.

      2. James Mills says:

        Well , don’t vote SNP again – that is your right . But why throw in the canard of ”an SNP one party state ” ? Who in there right mind thinks that we have or could have such a position in this country ?

      3. Tex says:

        A one party state? We’re under the control of another party from another state, we have no press or broadcast media on side. Our public broadcaster switches to state broadcaster to thwart any attempt at self determination.

        We’re being asset stripped by Westminster while Scottish Labour, Lib Dem, and Tory politicians look away, then tell us we’re to poor to survive. How can anybody who voted Yes be glad we lost? Thats a preposterous claim

        Rise have to convince Labour and Lib Dem voters to come over to them to form opposition to the SNP.

    2. DB1 says:

      I find that hard to believe.
      If we don’t have indy, then the alternative is long periods of remote Tory government from Westminster.
      Is that really what you would rather have?

      The point is correct. The unionist parties put aside their differences to campaign from a bigger platform, and they WON.
      After independence, the SNP will split up. Maybe not the party itself, but much of its support.

      The unionists are laughing at this divide and rule nonsense.

  3. Edwin Moore says:

    As a No and non-corbie Labour voter, many thanks for this.

    Scotland has been here before. Most people who supported Yes did so on a rational basis – two representative examples woud be Andy Wightman and Andrew Tickell (LPW), neither of whom have been afraid to challenge some of the views bellowing from nationalist trenches. There are voices there, alas, which are reminiscent of the dark hunt-the-heretic, burn-the-witch side of our covenanting past.

  4. Longshanker says:

    There’s a clear difference between Wings, Newsnet and Bella. The first two are monomaniacal, solipsistic and intolerant.

    Bella, at least, is diverse and believes in and practises plurality. While you slip up from time to time, the sheer diversity of contributors and alternative voices means there is usually something of interest to read.

    Invariably this leads to challenges in established thinking.

    Keep it up.


    1. ross says:

      Nah, i dont agree! I like bella, but find some of its articles to be a bit ‘right on’ and studenty…just my view of course. The best thing about wings is that people dont use big wanky stupid words when getting their point across in the comments section.

      1. Jim McIntyre says:

        Wings over Scotland and Newsnet are good websites. Why the fuck RISE would waste their time attacking them when the Tories are in power in England and pro-independence thinking is rising in Scotland is completely beyond me. There is no strategy here. RISE need to let Cat Boyd, Shafi, and Fox do the speaking. RISE need to accept this is their first election and they are in it for the long game. They need to make clear what they are for, what they will do with some representation. Attacking pro-independence blogs is probably the worst thing they could possibly do.

        1. JWill says:

          Stop trying to tell who to vote for mum

        2. RabMac says:

          Besides attacking pro-Indy blogs, all I can see from RISE is a version of Better Together strategy – SNP*2Bad, and no positive arguments for asking for your support.

  5. Ian Lowe says:

    Personally, I consider this entire situation a perfectly natural place to be, and don’t see what the fuss is…

    We are now in the comfortable position where there is a breadth of opinion arrayed on the Yes side. It’s no longer Labour + Tories + Lib Dems (who?) against the SNP, standing alone. We now have a clutch of pro-indy views.

    Naturally, these groups are fighting to show how “not SNP” they are, and saying some bruising, unpleasant stuff about people who thought of them as allies only a few months ago – and just as naturally, those of us in the SNP are nipping back at what feels like a friend stabbing us in the back.

    Give it some time, however, and this too shall pass. We will end up in a situation with a strong breadth of pro-indy views – a right wing, a left wing, a centrist group… all in favour of Scotland being governed by it’s own people.

    People carping on about dissent “not being tolerated” need to grow up. tolerated by who? the people in the other party? why is it a surprise that you can’t criticise someone without them taking the humph?

    if indyref taught us anything, it’s that nobody acts as a gatekeeper to people making their opinion know. Get a blog, get on twitter, and scream from the rooftops. it’s your right… but remember, that it’s also the right of other people to yell back at you.

    1. kimberley says:

      well said….

    2. Archie Hamilton says:

      I pretty much agree with what you’ve written here, with a couple of significant caveats as someone who mostly lurks around sites looking for decent intelligent thinking, argument and counter argument.

      If you do contribute anything please do not scream. If your train of thought has any basis then screaming shouldn’t be necessary.

      No one should have the right to yell at anyone and please don’t promote the idea that doing so should be accepted.

      We’ll make more progress bringing people round to our way of thinking or at least taking a lot of the rancour out of the debate by “listening” and dicussing calmly.

      1. Ian Lowe says:

        I disagree with your caveats Archie – and hopefully you will see my point as to why.

        We are not clones of each other, and we don’t all want or respond to the same things. You are a thinker, a debater – you want people to stop shouting, and sit down and discuss matters clearly, convincing (hopefully) the other party with the force of your arguments and the information to hand. I get that – that’s my professional life.

        But (and here’s the but…) There are a sizable group of folks that want and need a bit of team kinship – the shouting, the camaraderie, a flag to rally behind. I get that as well – having been part of a few (failed) campaigns about faith schools – where alongside the vocal loud “we need to stop this” were lots of “there are good people on the other side, we need to convince them, not alienate them” voices.

        From bitter personal experience, when the quiet voices demonise, disown and disband the loud shouty voices on their own side… they lose. we all lose. because the other side has no such problem of duality. Do you see Ruth Davidson falling over herself to condemn the Orange Walk thugs that set fires and rampaged in George Square? spotted Kezia speaking out against the National Front and their stay in the UK campaign?

        The leaders on the unionist side are themselves gentle debaters, as are most of the leaders on the Indy side… but if you can’t see that the shouty voices like Stu Campbell are every bit as important to get a part of our body of support energised and ready to get out there and campaign… then I think you are falling into the trap of wishing to have the whole world be like you, when truly, honestly… it isn’t.

    3. Mic11 says:

      Well said. A voice of reason in the midst of this mass twitter hysteria…These blogs on both sides are tiresome. Vote for who you want. Let parties campaign individually & argue with each other but stop with the manufactured bickering.

    4. Jim McIntyre says:

      I agree, but RISE need to desperately get their message out not this “Rev Stuart Campbell is a new low in Scottish politics” bollocks. Focus on the message, independence and socialism.

    5. Topher Dawson says:

      True! Post independence politics has started, embrace it.

  6. willie says:

    This article brings into sharp focus how fractious and feckless some who are described to be of the left can be.

    The vote for union prevailed but it was a close run thing. The Yes campaign was a great campaign as people across the country came together in common cause. But it was not enough.

    The outright demand for a referendum every couple of years would lead to derision and attack and it is for this reason that Nicola Sturgeon is not making that call

    The SNP created the circumstances whereby there was a referendum. They did it by being the devolved government in Scotland. They can do it again – and indeed will when the time is right. Divide and rule was and is an old British Empire trick and it still holds good today. But the wiser man stands united ready to choose the time and place of his battle.

    Let’s get another SNP parliament with a majority of the electorates votes and then together with all of our Westminster MPs we can lie in wait and prepare.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      “The SNP created the circumstances whereby there was a referendum.”

      No they didn’t. The Scottish people did this by voting for them.

  7. Bill MacLeod says:

    RISE are just jumping on the Indy bandwagon, come 2017 they will not exist.

    1. Lynsey says:

      Personally, I want as many people to get on our indy bandwagon as possible, asap, so that we can get this show on the road. All comers welcome.

  8. Andrew MacDonald says:

    The SNP in its pell mell rush to move all policies to where it percieved the most votes to be, abandoned long held principled positions on Defence, Europe and Currency to name but a few.

    This tactic may have been justified if they had won the referendum but although they came close, they failed.

    They themselves, wittingly, and deliberately quashed debate inside the party and marginalised and insulted ordinary and extraordinary members of their own party. Jim Fairlie, Jim Sillars and Margo Macdonald amongst them. By abandoning their time honoured ethos of “We are but the custodians of the peoples enshrined right of sovereignty, they will decide”, the party now has, an often foisted upon the membership, set of policies which has created the void that allows “Rise” and others to exist snd fragment the Freedom movement. I say freedom rather than independence since that word has been discredited by the SNP’s constitutionally illegal and contradictory advocacy of “Independence in Europe” A mis nomer and an untruth

    1. Peter says:

      Fat Margo campaigned for people to vote McConnell in 2007. She also voted for the tram which has bankrupted my city and could cost me my job. She is not and never was a saint.

      1. I Clark says:

        And how does describing her as ‘fat’ add to to your point?

      2. Iain Black says:

        What on earth has someone’s weight got to do with anything?

      3. Edwin Moore says:

        ‘Fat Margo’. I really think you should take that out Peter. Margo was most helpful to me on one occasion and helped many people in her life, and it is in any case a totally inappropriate comment.

      4. muttley79 says:

        Margo Macdonald made a massive contribution to Scottish politics and public life. She gave more than 40 years service to politics and public life. Margo won a tremendous victory in the Govan by election in 1973, she was very unlucky not to win a seat at the general election in 1974, she was deputy leader of the SNP for years. Margo Macdonald was one of the leading campaigners for the Yes side in the 1979 devolution referendum, and without the wrecking 40 per cent rule, there would have been an elected assembly established in Scotland then. Margo got elected numerous times as an independent after being an SNP MSP. She battled bravely for years and years against the horrible Parkinson’s disease, and campaigned for independence to practically the very end of her life. Of course Margo Macdonald was not a saint but who is anyway? Her achievements and character strengths vastly outnumbered and overshadowed her flaws and faults as a person.

      5. Karen says:

        That is a most cruel thing to say and you know it.

      6. Bibbit says:

        I searched online but found no evidence that Ms MacDonald campaigned for the careerist Yoon Blairite, Jack McConnell, now Lord McConnell of ‘Ahamsoasocialist’. Perhaps ‘Peter’ can clarify?

        Also, as the vast majority of women are the same shape & size as the late Ms MacDonald, I assume ‘Peter’ to be an unfeeling misogynist, who considers women should be ‘put down’ when they are over 25 years old and/or a size 12.

        The taliban is alive and well in ‘Peter’ who I am sure looks exactly like Brad Pitt. Don’t you, just, though, Peter.

  9. Roddy Macdonald says:

    Here’s a suggestion. RISE by all means publicise your policies, try and attract support and go to the polls with them. Good luck to you. If you support RISE, vote for RISE. If you support the SNP then vote for the SNP.

    However, you’re on a hiding to nothing trying to poach 2nd votes from SNP supporters with pap psephology in pursuit of getting a few Citizen Smiths into Holyrood on the coat tails of the SNP.

    1. kimberley says:

      Exactly – this has been the only issue prominent voices within the SNP, as well as the bulk of SNPers overall, have taken with Rise. People should vote for who they want to vote for on both the constituency and list – whoever that is – but it’s disingenuous at best and deceitful at worst to claim that the second vote is wasted for the SNP when no-one can know if this is the case, or indeed if the second vote for Rise is wasted, until after all the votes have been counted.

      1. RabMac says:

        I second that Kimberley; imo RISE targeting SNP votes is the cause of most of the arguments I see on Twitter and elsewhere.

        Had RISE come out and said “We are not standing for Constituency seats (for fairly obvious reasons,) however a vote for us on the List would mean a 2nd pro-Indy party in Holyrood which could challenge the SNP to produce more/less radical policies” then there would be none (or at least a great deal less) of the mud-slinging we’re seeing now.

  10. Michael langan says:

    While the MSM and Westminster continue to denigrate the Scots voter we are right to turn from anything that might threaten our right to self determination. Only after that is achieved should there be an avid acceptance of diversity in political cultures. Then it will be within a truly independent environment and our way forward can then be debated and decided. You might see this as paranoia. If so it has been created by the political and media stays quo. The only way to change it is to be independent first. All else will follow.

  11. Sheena Jardine says:

    Let the parties put forward their cases for winning votes and let people vote for who they want to vote for. But snp supporters ripping into RISE and RISE supporters ripping into the SNP are not actually doing anything positive whatsoever, they are just creating division. Stand up and be counted, set out your stall, and let’s turn our attentions and criticisms to the real problems being created in this country by TORY policy. They are the ones we should all be turning on, they are causing widespread misery and will love to see the independence movement divided and bicker. We need to unite against them and create a better Scotland. Remember what was great about the yes campaign – its positivity, always! We would do well to remember that and treat each other with respect regardless of which party we support. Positivity and respect will carry us a long way, and that goes to Newsnet, Bella and the rest as well. Keep the standards up, constructive criticism is always possible and always better than childish ranting.

  12. Ramstam says:

    A valid point made in this article was the quality of candidates.
    It may be early days but I am unaware of who is standing on the list for Rise/Greens in South Scotland.
    I won’t vote for an unknown ( to me ) just because of party.
    Also I hope Scots language will rate a mention in May.
    There are 1.6 million votes oot there. Daes ony pairty think this is worth haein a policy on?
    This cuid decide whaur I cast ma saicont vote.

  13. Gordie says:

    The punters will be pragmatic in their votes. We can trust the SNP to carry the torch of Scottish Independence whatever the weather, under any pressure. Rise needs to prove that they will do the same.

    Let’s hear your policies.

    We bit less arrogance and more respect and honesty if you want the punters to vote for RISE.

  14. Kenny says:

    I’m sure Wings and Scot Goes Pop will get back in line with correct thinking as soon as people stop printing clear and obvious lies about SNP list votes being wasted. Nothing will damage the independence movement more than a reduced (or even static) SNP majority.

    By all means campaign for RISE or the Greens or Solidarity if those are your bag. That’s what democracy is all about, and personally I do like the idea of having multiple pro-independence parties in Holyrood. I also quite like the idea of having some more radical thinking on offer in the mainstream of Scottish politics. But stop claiming that the SNP can’t or won’t win any list seats, nor assume that the SNP can clean on constituency seats alone. It might, but then again it might not. Mundell’s seat last year showed that a split in the pro-indy vote can let a Tory slip through. Another Neil Hay situation might arise against a Labour candidate with a strong record as a constituency MSP. There are strong hints that the Lib Dems can still hold Shetland and/or Orkney. At the other end of the scale, don’t forget that the North East region gave us an SNP MSP on the list last time around despite a clean sweep of constituency seats. It would have taken a hell of a lot of tactical voting to turn that into a Green or Socialist seat, and only a little tactical voting for one of those would have turned it into (I think) a Tory seat.

    1. Dan Huil says:

      Well said. First things first: independence.

    2. John B Dick says:

      A “Labour candidate with a strong record as a constituency MSP.” would be bad?

      Who wants a “one party state” then?

  15. Dan Huil says:

    “The SNP created the circumstances whereby there was a referendum.”

    “No they didn’t. The Scottish people did this by voting for them.”

    Which is why we should keep voting for them. SNP x 2. I’ll probably vote Green after we achieve independence.

  16. Conan the Librarian™ says:

    I’m confused. Should I vote for the People’s Front of Judea, or the Judean People’s Front?

    I think I’ll stick to the SNP thanks.

    1. Jane Kidd says:

      I was just going to bring them in, Conan. Seems people haven’t grasped the irony of all this squabbling

      1. Ian Lowe says:

        I was delighted to see the appearance of RIC and seeing the SSP, RIC etc. stand alongside the SNP and Greens in the Yes camp was a good thing… but I have to admit to a slight concern that they wouldn’t be able to stick together for the duration of the campaign without fracturing into a dozen wee groups over personal animosity.

        When RISE was announced, I couldn’t believe it – that the SSP, RIC and the rest were thinking of getting *closer* together… unless it was only a plot by the people who really canny stand Tommy Sheridan, to get all the other groups to line up as comrades against the one true threat – Tommy! oh, and after that most important matter is dealt with, turn to policies and campaigns and stuff…

        It’s a trope of the left, sadly, the other trope is the complete lack of humour about their own situation.

        1. RabMac says:

          Don’t forget lack of self-awareness; that’s what made Citizen Smith such a brilliant comedy.

  17. Richard Anderson says:

    Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and let’s stop trying to stuff our pillowcases with our own belly button fluff. We can argue and throw stones all we like. The headline is extremely offensive in my opinion. Much of this stuff arises from Twitter which is a bubble and nicely replicates the people’s front of Judaea versus the Judaean people’s front style arguments. There is only one clear way to resolve it. When I see people knocking doors up and down the country (I happen to live in helensburgh) I’ll consider what they have to say and the merits of giving them my vote. ( I’m not going to vote for any party that supports/supported the union under any circumstances.) there are 4 months to go. Let Rise, the Greens and the SNP get out and win votes of the significant majority of people who don’t live in the bubble. I’m not suggesting that you shut up for Indy. This is an election for the Scottish Parliament and about representation in Holyrood. I am suggesting that appealing for my vote because you supported Yes is a piss poor way to run a campaign. But it’s gone beyond that. It’s now about the personalisation of the issues. It’s unattractive and it’s off putting. It’s wasting time – mine and yours.

    1. Jim Bennett says:

      What a revolutionary concept – vote for what you believe in! Heavens, I wonder if it will catch on? Hope so!

  18. Auldcynic says:

    A good article. I read some of the sites, and authors noted and do get a little frustrated at the relentless carping. However, I console myself by remembering I get the same from mainstream media the other way. Reading both lets me see the chips on both shoulders and come to a more balanced view. Before the referendum seeing the other Indy side wasn’t easy. It is much easier now and, whilst some of it isn’t very nice, I’d rather see it than not.

  19. Bob Agassi says:

    It’s about so much more than politics it is about Scotland and the country we want to live and work in. It’s about securing the future of our children and grandchildren free from London misrule and being free to decide Scotland’s place in Europe and the world. The vehicle that is driving the move to independence is the SNP and until we can raise the saltire over Edinburgh Castle I will be voting for the SNP.

    Also like to say that it’s a bit disingenuous to slate Stuart Campbell and G Ponsonby for having their own thoughts and advice to their readers. You should write a positive article on the benefits of voting for who you feel would make the most difference to our goal of independence rather than moan about other contributors.

    1. ian says:

      Good point and if it had’nt been for those people we would’nt have a voice.

  20. Tina Forde says:

    Via scottish skier on ScotGoesPop

    ‘The V2 list vote is for the party you want in government. It is the PR part of the system. So, if you want a Green government, vote Green. If you want an SNP one, vote SNP. The V1 constituency is for who you want as your local MP. You might vote tactically here as its FPTP and your party might have no chance or have not even put a candidate forward; common for the smaller pro-indy parties this.

    Anyway, it’s that simple’.

  21. Andrew Morton says:


    1. Jim Bennett says:

      Andrew, you’re a pussy!

  22. fraise says:

    I find wherever you go there are differences of opinion. I supported Bella when you crowdfunded but this does not mean I support you in all you do and say. Attacking other independence sites is a recipe made in heaven for the opposotion. I think maybe the recent comments made about you Mike peeked your ire and now you seek to return the favour.
    I think you and others need to grow up and stop bickering leave that until you actually achieve something. Independencs is the goal not your collective egos

    1. I Clark says:


      Mike says above – of the writings of G A Ponsonby and others – ‘The atmosphere of paranoia and often outlandish conspiracy is rife.’ He then quotes from a commentator on Ponsonby’s Newsnet article.

      “Rise are just a distraction , and probably backed by the Tory Party , who else would want to damage the SNP , the only party capable of actually delivering Independence , as for your comments on the article ,childish dosnt come close , rise will end the way all left wing outfits do, irrelevant, unelectable , talking to themselves.”

      I was irritated with this comment when I read it. But what Mike neglected to mention was that the commentator was replying – also with some irritation presumably – to the following comment about Ponsonby’s article.

      ‘Utter dugmeat, Again more lies and smears, really disappointed newsnet lowered itself to publishing this, way below the standard it had set for itself. These are rantings from some self publicized blogger (not even an actual journo) which border on tin foil hat wearing material…’

      Context is crucial. Mike has let himself down a bit here by being so selective. There were a number of intelligent and insightful comments for and against SNPX2 below the Newsnet article.

      As Fraise says ‘Attacking other independence sites is a recipe made in heaven for the opposition’. It might not be quite that – due to the current strength of the independence movement – but there is a limit to how much dissent any movement can tolerate before it starts to fragment.

    2. tarisgal says:

      I follow Bella & I follow WoS, and other blogs, as many people do and it’s rather arrogant to suggest that because we may follow WoS we are a “… stream of enthusiastic acolytes lapping it up’ and not capable of thinking for ourselves. I read as much as I can, follow many blogs, read articles on Newsnet and Common Space etc. and I can assure you, I am not an ‘enthusiastic acolyte’ of anyone and if you think that comment justified, you must also include your own ‘followers’ to be the same!

      That comment is followed by, “We’ve moved from questioning everything to questioning nothing.” and “… demanding unquestioning fealty shouldn’t sit well with those concerned with democracy, accountability and genuine autonomy”. So what you suggest is, if a voter doesn’t follow Rise, if we have decided to Vote SNP1&2 that we are not ‘questioning’ nor ‘concerned with democracy, accountability or genuine autonomy’?? I would have expected this kind of sweeping statement from the MSM. CERTAINLY NOT Bella Caledonia! I actually felt that the comment “Rise are just a distraction and probably backed by the Tory Party” as taking things much too far. But by golly, I’m seeing a pattern here that worries me somewhat!

      I follow & supported Bella too. But this article just smacks of “I’m not playing any more and what’s more, I’m taking my ball back. Harumph!”

      1. I’m not suggesting at all that if you vote 1 and 2 you are not questioning. I’m suggesting that everything has been reduced to a party loyalty, as a certainty without tit being at all clear where that leads. Also, I wasnt suggesting that WoS readers are all acolytes but that the people that faithfully downloaded his block list were. That was one of the most depressing thing Ive seen in a decade.

        1. RevStu says:

          You should get out more.

          1. DialMforMurdo says:

            Says the man with a Tardis…

  23. C Rober says:

    Much as I am never the pimp for the SNP , and they do know why , mathematically it makes sense on paper at least – to achieve the goals wanted , in voting for the enemy , and where possible the second choice being ANY party that offers the same goal , autonomy.

    Be that full devo , to remain part of an old empire for power on the Global or European stage , or cast into the fear factory manufactured dark alone and being a small fish (in a very big pond) supper – where the chip is singular and on the shoulder.

    Over the decades I have seen the SNP become REAL politicians , bad for it maybe , good for it possibly , corrupt appearing definitely in ignoring their own policies . I did not however see the change towards , in promise at least , to being Scotland’s only real socialist party on the ballot paper. Is this the reason why recently the tweets of Dugdale have hinted at devo , to out nationalist the nationalists?

    But on the other hand also I have seen the demise of the Labour party , not just Slab , where the ideology of socialism is far from reality , now being run and filled by the middle classes , whose only work related injuries are paper cuts on manicured hands , that were happy to sell out their voters for the party mandate on independence – which cost them their cushy almost guaranteed job in Scotland with its traditional labour voting.

    As for Rise and their ilke , been there seen it , spent the night in the jails , because of but not with their like before. Champagne socialists , fresh from the student union bar , ink not yet dry on that barely passed media or arts history degree , whom have no goal other than self promotion , with a soundbite of politics.

    I do not see them though at Faslane chained to the unwashed protester , barricading themselves into the BBC to “fight the power” , or organizing mass demos in our Cities of the students seen during the Poll tax years , if they are serious then this is the way for them to go. Action speaks louder than mpeg , inaction more so.

    But for now they are Just not enough for me , but maybe for those like-minded dinner party set , the “right on” brigade that were Blairites not so long ago , sure , it may well offer that voter a little rock and roll before wine and cheese – but nowt much else.

    Maybe the PFOJ have a mandate for autonomy though that is more appealing come May , we can but wait and see thier manifesto , but i fear it will be like all the other parties , left twix or right twix.

    1. David Sangster says:

      Now THAT’S what I call a good rant! More, more…

    2. Jim Bennett says:

      A tad unfair C. Roper.

      I’ve also been on about every campaign that there’s been since the mid-1970s and seen plenty of working class socialists on those campaigns too. This includes many of the older people involved in RISE currently. I don’t see any evidence of champagne socialism or middle class dilettantism in RISE.

      I still won’t support them though:
      – their campaign is based on tactics rather than programme
      – there are at least three “socialist” groups standing that I’m aware of and that’s just silly
      – I do not trust those older people in RISE who I mentioned above (working class or not) because I know them and like Roper above have “been there and done that” including time in cells as well. Mine was the miner’s strike, what was yours?!

      By all means vote for RISE/SNP/Green or whomsoever if you agree with their programme. If like me, you support certain aspects of a party’s programme but not others, then mix your vote. The “lend me your vote” stuff is wearisome in the extreme.

  24. Murdo MacDonald says:

    Why not call the site rise bella?

  25. John Page says:

    Good stuff, Mike
    I hope you can stimulate more debate and analysis around the 2nd Vote issue. I have a real worry that SNP+SNP will land us with more Labour numpties in Holyrood via the List seats………I hope the SNP are not advocating this because they would rather be challenged by Jackie Baillie than by Andy Wightman.
    I hope we can get object analysis of the polling projections in terms of constituencies and regions… looks to me in regions other than the one chosen by Wings that the 2nd vote for the SNP would be wasted (being only worth 10%) whereas a vote for say Andy Wightman, Veronika Tudhope or Colin Fox would be so much more appropriate than seeing some low talent, time serving, unionist Labour list candidate.
    John Page

    1. willie says:

      It really is wishful thinking to believe that fragmenting the SNP vote in favour of a completely unknown entity in the name of RISE will do anything to advance independence.
      Forming the next Hollyrood government backed by the biggest proportion of votes possible gives us and the SG the best ammunition possible to delivering independence. Fragmentation into disparate groups will take us nowhere. SNP 1 and SNP 2 for me.

  26. Alastair says:

    I’m an ambivalent SNP voter, on the left – some time ago, I went to a local meeting of the Scottish Left Project, which convinced me that what became RISE was a mainly content free repository for a self-defined ‘left’ with the sole aim of getting a one or two ‘celebrity’ MSPs elected on the list.

    My main question at the meeting was that, as a new party (albeit with a significant SSP presence), what was the strategy to create social transformation apart from getting these MSPs possible elected. Answer was there none.

    Second vote for RISE? Not until it has shown itself to be a viable political position…

  27. Valerie says:

    You are aware that quite a few have complained about having their comments removed from this site, if they raise concerns about RISE?

    As for Wings Twitter block list, so what, some Twitter users think slander and bile = debate. The list was merely for convenience, for those that wished to use it. Wings has its own pet trolls, that piss me off greatly, but it’s his site, his rules, and he is pretty liberal.

    You don’t honestly believe SNP members are Nazis do you? The same line that Unionist media peddle, that we want a one party state, with no dissent??

    My personal objection is the outright crap RISE, Common space have peddled. Specifically, on the list vote, and the recent award of the water contract. The recent piece about lobbying was more mischief making, with no substance.

    WHY do they not turn their attention to the Unionist parties, why are they attacking SNP? Are there not enough attacking SNP, and is it their election strategy to side with Slab and others in this endeavour?

    No one objects to questioning the SG, but that’s not what is happening.

  28. kimberley says:

    I would just like to add something – kind of an additional point to parts of the last couple of comments; I think criticism, in order to be constructive, has to be fair; the following is a small point but an important one: actually when Wings published a block list in case some people might find it useful, there was quite a debate that ensued among Wings’ readers regarding whether sharing block lists was useful or not, with many disagreeing that it was. So far from being ‘acolytes’ Stuart Campbell’s readers revealed, as they so often have in the past, that not only are they not followers, but they have diverse opinions and views and whilst they agree with Wings on politics, they may strongly disagree on many other issues. In other words his readers are normal people. So I think the characterisation of his readers here is completely wrong.

    1. My point is that the indyref seemed to be characterised by people learning to think for themselves. This seemed to be the exact opposite, someone telling you how to think.

      1. Awizgonny says:

        If that was the intention of Wings then he would have deleted and blocked every comment disagreeing with or criticising the sharing of the block-list. Wings did not. Telling people how to think requires silencing anyone disagreeing with what they’re being told. Ergo your criticism of Wings is baseless.
        But then, as far as you’re concerned, that’s just an “acolyte” speaking, innit?

        1. Lynsey says:

          I also found the fact that WoS gave out that blocked list to be one of the most depressing things, probably since the indy ref result. Regardless of how many said they didn’t agree with it, any number following that lead and even sharing the news of the block list across social media would’ve made my heart sink. I saw many doing that.

          1. Valerie says:

            Right, so nothing Cameron has done to date has depressed you, only Wings sharing a block list of hateful Twitterer s? Have you seen some of the hate and bile on the Wings feed? Some of it is completely psychotic.

            No one was obliged to use the block list, so why is everyone getting animated?

            You don’t find alleged Indy supporters slagging off those working for Independence depressing? Because I do.

          2. John Cawley says:

            I post under my own name and am temperate, civil and open-minded. I was blocked by Wings simply for objecting to sexism in a tweet of his. Result? Blocked. Then, for having the temerity to object to a tweet, I am on a blocked list circulated amongst thousands. With regard to GA Ponsonby, it’s his way or the highway. There is a climate developing in which anything other than SNP 1 and 2 is decreed to be deviant thinking. I too voted yes, but the attempt to delegitimise or silence alternative voices is a hugely depressing development. As for Wings, there is an unhealthy whiff of the McCarthyite demagogue about his methods and his manner. Imagine the damage these voices could do in a single party independent Scotland.

          3. This is my experience – and many others

      2. RabMac says:

        I don’t see how you can paint Wings publishing his Blocked list as “telling people how to think”. In fact he makes it quite clear that it is entirely up to the individual who (if anyone) they choose to block.

        Blocking someone on Twitter isn’t necessarily trying to silence dissent; in my case it’s more a way of locking out zoomers. For instance, in the run-up to the IndyRef I was involved in a lively (but civil) discussion with a No voter when a 3rd party joined in (as you do) & the thread quickly got rather heated.

        Things then took a very sinister turn when this unknown 3rd party started naming young members of my family – too young to have Twitter accounts – in his tweets. I immediately blocked & reported him, and asked all of my followers to do the same.

        I know this is an extreme example, but the Block button is there for a reason. I was going to (and probably will) download the Wings list out of sheer nosiness. That doesn’t mean I’ll block all, or indeed any, of the users on it.

        1. John Cawley says:

          Wings exercises a huge amount of influence with neither responsibility nor accountability. He represents the worst excesses of emotional, vituperative nationalism. The fact that he published his block list and encouraged others to download it and block those he has blocked, illustrates both his power and his irresponsibility. Simply on the say so of one person, I can be excluded from contributing to a conversation in a civil fashion if I have been blocked by those parties. The fact that Wings is a vocal supporter of the OBFA speaks to his attitude to freedom of expression, but the fact he encourages others to block on his say so illustrates an unhealthy ego. I genuinely believe Wings debases the debate through his failure to adhere to any norms of public discourse, however – at the same time as he broadcasts his rugged libertarian contempt for those norms, he is as huffy and hyper sensitive as a teenager. So, I’m blocked and that’s fair enough, but the fact that he encourages others to block those whom he has blocked is undemocratic, absolutist, closed minded and represents the antithesis of the open, civic debate that led me to vote yes. He is bad news for public debate, debases political discourse, exercises power without responsibility and should not be cited by any elected Scottish politician as any kind of reputable authority as the seeds of his future destruction are evident in his small minded, McCarthyite demagoguery. On the other hand, loads of people rely upon him as an authentic, trustworthy source of information and analysis and he’s funny sometimes and therein lies the problem. He’s the Daily Mail or Paul Dacre of Scottish politics without the figleaf of regulation provided by IPSO.

  29. john young says:

    Democracy should be all inclusive,every voice heard and respected,what is worrying for me is the lack of innovators/dreamers policies that can catch the imagination and propel us to a better society for all.

  30. DialMforMurdo says:

    Hmmm, suspect the SNP might be guilty of taking a lot of their votes as a given, particularly in Glasgow, where Radical Indy Scotland did a shit load of work turning the apathetic into Yes voters and then again cajoled them into lending their votes to the SNP in May 2015.

    I get and fully understand that there’s a desire to further humiliate Labour and reduce them from their current 38 to a mere handful. I’d advise caution against accepting that as a given, particularly when over 700,000 folk put an X against their name less than a year ago. Despite the whole fervour of pro SNP dominance on social media, Labour remain a sizeable entity. Additionally, they’ve also have 24/7 hour by hour support from our establishment media.

    As much as I dislike what Labour has become. I don’t want them extinct. I want them to retain a sizeable level of support, that sees yet another change in leadership and hopefully a new leader with a bit of humility and desire to take a step in the right direction.

    As to the rise of RISE, I welcome it and would be happy to see a handful of dedicated, intelligent pragmatists that would hold a mirror up to the SNP in their governance of Scotland. Rather than, lets face it, some of the rather bland, but well meaning SNP MSPs who are terribly nice, but are woefully lacking in a bit of the fucking grit, that Scottish politics demands. Same for the Greens, despite his lacklustre telly appearances, I’d enjoy seeing someone like Andy Whiteman firing land ownership debates into Holyrood. You know, like err democracy, a parliament of many voices…

  31. DB1 says:

    I am curious.
    Last time the SNP achieved 45% at Holyrood, and just managed to scrape together a small majority.

    If SNP support slips during the election campaign, and starts approaching 45% on the constituency vote, (and RISE is still insignificant in the polls), will all the RISE supporters go back to advocating an SNP/SNP vote to try and ensure a pro-indy majority?

    1. Valerie says:

      Up to a RISE spokesperson to answer your direct query.

      However, I’m sure everyone knows, that if SNP lose their majority in Holyrood, it’s game over for Independence, for decades at least.

      SNP haven’t got where they are by a magic trick, OR by hypnosis of their members, as suggested by plenty, including this piece. They have arrived by good old fashioned, decades of slog. They know how to play Westminster, how to secure the best deal financially, and so on.

      It’s a gift to the Unionists that anyone jumps on their SNP bad wagon.

  32. Dave Robb says:

    With Independence, everything is possible – without it, nothing is.

    If we have to wait until the fractured Left sort out all the fine detail of their perfect plan for a radical Scottish Republic AND THEN try to win a majority for ONLY that vision, the Sun will have gone nova.

    The Russians refer to the “October Revolution” for a reason. First they overthrew the Tsar – ending the old regime – then the Bolsheviks overthrew Kerensky’s provisional Government.

    Where I live one major – if silly- fear of Independence is the domination of an Independent Scotland by a bunch of beardy republican lefties on social security from West Central Scotland. It appears that some contributors here are somewhat paranoid about an Independent Scotland dominated by middle-class property owners with Masonic connections.

    I’m drawing caricatures – so don’t get aereated.

    A democratic Independent Scotland will require the consent of absolute majority or a majority coalition once established to see its vision into reality. This vision will require period democratic review and alteration. No “perfect” vision set in stone in advance will stand the rigour of time.

    In the South of Scotland RISE have no realistic chance. By all means give them your second vote – it is your right. Give them your first if it gives you a warm feeling of a clear conscience rather than voting for the dreaded SNP. In this area this will aid the Unionists.

    In Glasgow I reckon RISE do stand a chance on the list vote – your conscience and Independence can both benefit – if you’re lucky, and the Greens do little.

    While the Greens and Rise are in a mutual suicide pact the only beneficiaries are the unionists. I understand completely that both want to achieve a weak SNP government that would depend on them, so they could exercise maximum influence on the direction both of devolved Scotland, and any future referendum. That is their right.

    It also makes a lot of assumptions about votes that have not been cast in an election that has not happened in a poisonous atmosphere created by a corrupt media with only ONE focus – the destruction of the SNP – because they do not fear RISE or the Greens or any other “independence party”. Kill the SNP – the dream dies.

    By all means outline your vision, but get Independence first and then argue for your vision to be the new reality.

    1. james gourlay says:

      Independence first. YES!

  33. Graeme says:

    It’s a good article. People have every right to back SNP because they support Scottish independence, but the SNP is in government and quite rightfully should be held accountable if others think they aren’t doing a good enough job in health, education or justice etc.

    Regardless of the second vote argument, it’s not a compelling reason to vote RISE. They need to be talking about why people should vote for them, rather than constantly focusing on how they can.

    1. Fiona Sinclair says:

      Spot on, Graeme. Mike has himself said that he thinks that it is wrong for RISE to campaign for the list vote on the basis of SNP voters lending their vote. I agree with that. They should outline their own policies, but I think you’ll find that these have been put together by the leadership, not by a democratic vote. It mirrors the way politics is now done in the SNP. So, not a great development. What is disappointing is that the Greens are being ignored, when their policies are so desperately needed and the poll, quoted by Mike, shows that the Greens are the major beneficiaries in terms of increase in seats for Holyrood 2016.

      RISE may well turn out to be the types described by others. I attended one of their conferences out of curiosity, and was distinctly underwhelmed. They have one or two genuine people, but otherwise reek of the kind of opportunism exemplified by the likes of Alistair Darling, former member of the hard left and now gainfully employed in the financial sector (the name of the company escapes me). There was a chap at RISE with a double-barrelled name, an accent redolent of the private school sector, who reminded me of Darling. It’s a bag of egos waiting to burst.

  34. Mantra Fortune says:

    There has been, over the past year, a developing feeling of Collins against de Valera, of Republicans against Free Staters. Instead of seeing 45% as a springboard for nation building, an opportunity to address the issues our people expressed fears about; the currency, pensions, defence posture and jobs, many ardent Yessers heads have gone down, blame and shouty negativism have become pervasive. There is a danger that people begin to associate independence only with the SNP as a party rather than the broader Yes movement.

    Even if we had won the referendum in September 2014, we would still be going through this ten year period of nation-building, nothing has changed because of the result. 45% was a victory. Time, and some unity and calm and thoughtful positivity are all we need to achieve our goals in the near future.

  35. Garrion says:

    Another missive from inside the Bellajar?

    Do the SNP attack RISE?

    Just because most people agree with and support the SNP, and have decided that they best represent their interests, does not mean that they are unthinking.

    That, ironically, is where you are doing exactly what you are condemning. You are somehow also, it seems, blaming the electorate. I remember the last party to do that. Didn’t go well.

    And finally, You are, frighteningly, inferring and invoking the deliberately manufactured and broadcast trope of our ” one party state”.

    National Independence and Socialist paradises are not the same thing. You should know that.

  36. Tits Mcghie says:

    Rise members just get fair mad at their irrelevance and their failure to engage beyond their tiny wee circles.
    I gave them a fair chance, their policies are good but their aggressive online activists are so off putting.
    Even those standing for list seats call folk numpties and constantly talk doon to folk, patronise them ( Mr Chenye)
    The infighting between the Ssp and the new rise personalities are shameful tae. So many Ssp are beelin with how things are transpiring.

    Rise is going to fall apart, too many egos creating too many cracks.

    Vote snp/ greens- unless yer in the south or Highlands /Islands, then best voting snp twice.

    Don’t throw yer vote away oan the shambles that will fail Lift never mind Rise.

    1. Derick fae Yell says:

      Wait….RISE have policies? Who knew!

  37. tartanfever says:

    So what have RISE done to make me consider voting for them ?

    Released a paper on Scottish Water privatisation that was so out of touch it took all of a couple of days for it to be totally demolished by Kimbereley Cadden. RISE and Green stalwart, Stephen Paton, who also claimed Scottish water was being privatised in response dismissed Cadden’s report on Twitter saying that it lacked information and he would respond to that article in the following days.

    It’s now been three months and we’re still waiting.

    Since then RISE went a bit quiet and then came out guns blazing for the SNP and sounding like all the unionist parties put together. Little logic, little understanding – lots of bile.

    They’re like the Hibs of Scottish politics.

  38. Redgauntlet says:

    Excellent piece Mike Small…

    …who the hell are the SNP and their supporters to arrogate for themselves the cause of an independent Scotland? This was always meant to be a MOVEMENT, not a political party, which is what it has ossified into.

    The SNP are in ascendancy just now, but history turns and look what just happened to Artur Mas in Catalonia who has just been dethroned by the indie Left there…and quite rightly so.

    It is essential we have a plurality of indie voices, and the indie Left in Scotland have to believe they can actually get 20% of the vote in May.

    Or do all those SNP voices who shout “Scotland is Catalonia” or visa-versa, stop short at actually acknowledging the plurality of parties in favour of Catalan independence? Because there are three over: Esquerda Republicana, Artur Mas and his crestfallen light nats and the CUP.

    Ponsonby and Co, if you can´t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen…put up or shut up…

  39. Lochside says:

    Why oh Why is Bella creating articles such as this? Remember the British State has always worked on divide and conquer. Breaking up the YES vote into factions on the point of all out electoral slaughter of the hated Unionist hegemony is the dumbest and most doubtful tactic ever!

    Slagging off GA Ponsonby who minuted the disgraceful BBC Propaganda campaign against Scottish Sovereignty in his articles and book is petty and the inclusion of Stuart Campbell points to plain jealousy.

    an SNP member since the REF. I am also a supporter of RIC. If we were independent, I would probably not vote SNP and seek out a more left wing party, if it existed. At the moment we are not independent, therefore I will continue to support and vote 2 x SNP , which represents the united Scottish resistance to the Union.

    But I will not support either the Greens or RISE in any shape or form while they continue to undermine and attempt to split the Scottish resistance posed by the SNP. Anyone who can’t see the threat to our struggle by these groups in standing against the SNP in the impending election is being both foolish and selfish.

    I want a lot of things to change in Scotland that the SNP would be at best lukewarm towards e.g. full land reform, exit from NATO, real living wage and a ceiling on upper earnings etc. but it can all wait until we extinguish perfidious Albion’s vice like grip on our collective necks.

    This article is wrongheaded and if it had to be written at all, would only be appropriate after Independence.

    1. CMac says:

      Unless there is an out EU vote independence is at least 7 years away. It is not unreasonable to expect that some progress could be made in the meantime, and if you don’t think the SNP are going to work for that on their own then it is perfectly sensible to vote for alternative voices in what we all know will be a dominant SNP parliament whatever happens.

      1. james gourlay says:

        Why seven years?
        Some progress could be made towards what?
        Why would you think that the SNP are not going to work towards independence?

        We should leave our voting for alternative voices until after independence when we can then look at the parties with policies relevant to the people of Scotland.

        1. CMac says:

          @James Gourlay “progress made towards what?”

          That you can’t understand my comments only proves the underlying issue at hand. In any normal country while an election approaches to talk of making progress would naturally be in the context of improving the lives and life chances of the population at large. You however assume I meant independence, highlighting that this is the sole prism within which your thoughts and efforts lie.

          At least 7 years until independence because we just lost a referendum and the SNP are not daft enough to have a re-run so soon (especially in light of the oil price collapse which makes Project Fear II an inevitable foe) unless of material change (EU out vote).

          Therefore we as a country have a duty to make any progress that we can do in the meantime (towards the betterment of peoples lives, just to be clear) and therefore it is perfectly legitimate, and indeed appropriate to approach this election on the basis of what parliament you would like rather than how best to strengthen the SNPs hand. The context of course being that the SNP will be returned in large numbers regardless.

          It is also perfectly fine to believe that the SNP are the best party to deliver progress (peoples lives) in which case you should vote for them. My objection is to the argument that people should vote SNP because it’s best for independence, not least because demonstration of an effective devolved parliament is a far better route to independence and functional opposition voices are key to any effective government.

    2. Graeme says:

      “This article is wrongheaded and if it had to be written at all, would only be appropriate after Independence.”

      You may disagree with the article (you clearly do) but that isn’t to say it shouldn’t have been written or that Bella shouldn’t have published it. The piece raised valid points and criticisms that any movement should be able to accommodate and discuss in a comradely fashion.

      1. Lochside says:

        If you choose to read the rest of my contribution, rather than just my conclusion, you would understand my belief that this article is wrongly timed and damaging to our struggle. I am certainly not advocating that we don’t debate in ‘a comradely fashion’….but simply pointing out that at the moment of finishing off the Great British bully, we start debating who will finish it off!

  40. Jon Buchanan says:

    Thanks for this Mike; got into it a bit with GAP on Newsnet too and to be fair to the site the editor did intervene and say a rebuttal would be published soon, I did also point out they had used MSM tactics in their headline and prominence of what was a partisan opinion piece. A few of the other comments BTL on it mirrored some here which said they were concerned most about campaigns for the ‘SNP list’ votes, my concern is/was that this is a vehement, entitled campaign in itself which is trying to game the d’Hondt system in the same way as those other articles have tried to say it is impossible to do, a ‘tactical’ voting ploy; the blind insistence on SNPx2 (how many posters on how many sites add it after their comments and are never questioned; go to the same sites, post an innocuous comment and end it with SNPx1, Another pro Indy party of your choice X1 and watch the clamour!) means many will not listen to the policies or campaigns of the smaller Indy parties, saying we should all just wait for independence before we listen to a thing; it was a meme long before the SNP campaign manifesto was aired but no one was saying in these articles or comments, ‘wait until you hear what the SNP have to say before you decide’, whether you have reservations about any areas of ongoing policy and its formation or not, just trust blindly.

    This seems to me to be a symptom of the double headed position the SNP are in, yes they are fighting ‘for us all’ at Westminster, but in Holyrood they are the sitting government and have been long enough to be considered the ‘establishment’ there by many, and demanding unquestioning fealty to them shouldn’t sit well with those concerned with democracy, accountability and genuine autonomy, surely, before policy issues are even considered. Likewise, the attempts by some areas of the new media in Scotland to force home this point, of holding the line until after independence, is just the same as the MSM forming opinion and manufacturing consent, just within the movement, becoming a ‘sociology of scale’. This is using the self same tactics used by the establishment in Westminster and its commentariat bubble, something which in large part informs most pro-Indy parties disgruntlement with the tactics used against the movement. It attempts to close down mature debate before it has begun; How many times are posts accompanied with ‘splitters’ ‘judean people’s front/people’s front of judea’ ‘the left always eats itself’ type comments too? There are similarly disparaging epithets always attached to MSM comments about the SNP too, what do we call that again? Yet air any concerns about the SNP supporters tactics in a comment and there are a whole frontline of true believers ready to shoot it down, is it time for #anyotherproindybad? As the article here so rightly points out, remember when we could listen to everyone and let it inform the vibrancy of the movement? Are we acting ‘as if we live in the early days of a better nation’?

    1. Jim McIntyre says:

      Pitching for list votes can be done but through policies not tactical voting arguments. That is critical. Anyone in RISE writing on any platform need to start any article they write with “We need RISE MSPs because…” not this Unionist Tunnocker pish of proving your internationalism by buying shitty teacakes.

      1. Jon Buchanan says:

        I could certainly agree to that Jim but if there were to be such a diktat there would need to be an equally weighted caveat that any SNP member writing on any platform acknowledge that SNPx2 is also a tactical voting ploy and is not the only way to independence or a pro-Indy majority in Holyrood, it’s not likely to happen!

  41. James Coleman says:

    Very poor piece.

    1. yesindyref2 says:

      In fairness James it’s good in places, where it discusses having different viewpoints, I totally agree with that 110% to use the vernacular.

      It fails by the “persist” line, when anyone with half a grey brain cell suffering from a hangover, can see for themselves that a list vote for the SNP is NOT wasted, and while RISE “persists” with this falsehood, they lose all support from non-RISE people like me.

  42. yesindyref2 says:

    “Stuart Campbell, writing on his Wings Over Scotland blog, has also challenged the claim that a second vote for the SNP is wasted. But RISE and its supporters persist.”

    Imagine persisting?”

    Well, yes, you put your finger on the problem. A second vote for the SNP is NOT wasted, I’ve done the maths – so has scotlandvotes. It’s not hard to do, the d’Hondt / AMS method is quite easy, just tedious. And splitting over the 8 regions according to uniform swing as a rough guide, is just straight maths.

    It’s a shame the scotlandvotes page doesn’t split the total seats into constituency + list, but it’s not rocket science to do so. It shows that the SNP don’t get an overall majority without the list seats on current polling, and many of us believe, whether “acolytes” or totally independent thinkers, that Indy Ref 2 will NOT be “granted” by Cameron to a pro-indy Coalition, will not be “granted” without an overall SNP majority, such as they enjoy during 2011-2016.

    And that’s the ball game for those not too fussed about party politics.

    1. John Page says:

      Agreed……if your region looks like all constituency seats for SNP, if all second Yesser votes go to SNP then the list seats go to Labour………people need to think if they want second division Jackie Baillies or do they want to see Green or RISE SMPs holding an SNP government to account on fracking, land reform, emissions control and the attainment gap.
      John Page

      1. yesindyref2 says:

        No they don’t John, even if the SNP do win all constituency seats, they still get list seats in most regions. What you’re saying is exactly the reason so many people are getting hacked off with RISE – people are persisting with this falsehood, even though it’s complete and utter garbage.

        1. John Page says:

          Don’t think it is reasonable to describe what I am saying as complete and utter garbage…….I can follow a spreadsheet and have reasonable numeracy skills, so could you rationally outline your assertion. Personally I would like to see a pro Indy majority in Holyrood but it would be good to have this made up of SNP, Greens and RISE MSPs. I will look at the list candidates for my region and look for the best pro Indy candidates……..
          I am however open to persuasion to vote SNP+SNP but don’t take kindly to anyone suggesting that my views are complete and utter garbage
          Thank you
          John Page

          1. yesindyref2 says:

            Yes sure, SNP, Lab, Con, Lib, Green, Other – pair of % vote and number of seats.

            2011 overall list 44.0 16, 26.3 22, 12.4 12, 5.2 3, 4.4 2, 1.0 1
            TNS poll 54.0 7, 20.0 25, 12.0 13, 4.0 1, 9.0 9, 1.0 1

            (note: I don’t know what to do for Lothian Margo’s seat, which is the 1 other)

            e.g. list seats

            NE Scotland SNP 2, Lab 2, Con 2, Grn 1

          2. yesindyref2 says:

            Sorry, that calculation to make it easy was on the basis of the SNP getting all constituency seats. Whereas the scotlandvotes showed them with all bar 2 constituency seats.

          3. yesindyref2 says:

            Forgot the NE Scotland %ages
            2011 NE Scotland 52.7 1, 16.4 3, 14.1 2, 6.8 1, 3.9 0, 1.7 0
            TNS NE Scotland 59.7 2, 11.5 2, 12.6 2, 4.8 0, 7.4 1, 1.6 0

      2. Susan Macdiarmid says:

        re Fracking; Are you aware that the SNP moratorium is the very best possible defence against fracking at the moment? Unlike a ban via Planning, it cannot be appealed or challenged. With the increasing flow of information on the devastating effects of fracking in other countries ( earthquakes, methane leaks, water pollution, damage to health,etc, etc.) every week of delay makes it less likely that it will happen here. With extended investigations and consultations that could take years we will be safe ….as long as we have a Scottish government with the savvy and the will to protect this country.

  43. James Coleman says:

    Now I’ve seen it all. Bella has censored a longer piece I’ve written because it criticises the above article’s premise.

  44. James Coleman says:

    No matter Bella. I’ll publish it on Twitter.

  45. Cmk says:

    Agree with the article. This siege mentality that is emanation from a hardcore SNP or nothing group is troublesome. People should be free to vote in the Scottish elections for the party they think best represents them. This SNP or nothing mentality for independence makes no sense really. The yes movement only became a movement because it is a coming together of different ideas towards one common goal. We wouldn’t have reached where we got to if it was an SNP or nothing movement. Have been pretty scunnered by the lack of rational debate, or rather the need to quickly close it down with irrational argument. We are lucky to have such a strong yes block and for me there is a clear need to influence the SNP from the left, from green or rise, if we are all serious about pursuing the changes we want to see happen in Scotland and indeed what we claim the yes movement is about.

    1. Bob Agassi says:

      The yes movement only became a movement because the SNP scraped the 2007 election and showed competent governance in office that led to the landslide of 2011 and subsequent indyref. Do you think for one unbelievable minute that anyone else could have brought us to this position of seeing independence as a viable option. Let us get independence for that is more important. There would have been no yes movement if not for the national party of Scotland.

      1. cmk says:

        The SNP started it yes, it then snowballed into something encompassing many different and similar views. Independence isn’t on the table right now. ‘what kind of Scotland do you want to see’ is still on the table, although not quite how we’d like it. I’ll be voting on those terms, and as I said, the SNP need challenge from the left to help us get where we can.

  46. Jenny L. says:

    ‘Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.’ Kafka.

    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

    It’s always once the revolution is over, then we will include, then we will have pluralism, then we will have reform…then our establishment will give way to those who helped us, said the Jacobins as Robispierre was led to the guillotine and the revolution consumed itself.

    1. Fiona Sinclair says:

      It’s something of a dialogue of the deaf, here, but your points are well made. There’s a persistence on the part of some SNP supporters in attacking the whole idea of voting plurality, simply because RISE have been stupid enough to punt this line about a list vote for the SNP being a wasted vote. I for one don’t want another 5 years of follow my leader politics from the SNP, or any other political party. If there’s one thing guaranteed to undermine the case for independence, it’s giving the SNP leadership carte blanche to whip their MSPs through every vote, without listening to alternative policies.

  47. Hoomach says:

    Me thinks this “handbags at dawn” bickering is really for a post-independent Scotland.

    Or am I missing the point?

    An election is about voting in the sound knowledge of who or what you are voting for then taking responsibility for the consequences of that vote.

    Are you listening No voters?

    1. yesindyref2 says:

      If RISE targetted Labour voters and managed to attract one-third of them they could have a list MSP in most regions, perhaps 6 to 9 in total.

      If RISE had any cop-on they wouldn’t antagonise SNP canvassers, they’d ask them, up to 116,000 of them, for help targetting those Labour voters who hate the SNP.

  48. Ally McLean says:

    Why risk your future on a bunch of band wagon jumpers when we are nearly over the line?

    1. Are we nearly over the line? How’s that?

      1. Who is a band wagon jumper? Cat Boyd? Jean Urquhart? Colin Fox?

        1. Fiona Sinclair says:

          Mike – it is alarming that some of those who comment on here in `support` of the SNP have not even considered that some of those who are now in positions of power in the SNP have jumped on a much larger, much more powerful and better remunerated bandwagon than RISE can ever hope to be!

          1. Frank says:

            That’s actually a very good point.

      2. Bob Agassi says:

        Scotland has 56 out of 59 MP’s supporting independence. We hope that in May Scotland will have a majority govt supporting independence. And possibly more importantly in 2017 in the council elections we really need 32 councils controlled by parties supporting Independence. We are heading towards the line Bella…

        1. All very good – but there isnt some Magic Klaxon that sounds. We still need to win a referendum. No?

          1. Bob Agassi says:

            I don’t know Bella if Scotland has a majority of MP’s, MSP’s and local Councillors in favour of independence then I think the line will be crossed. I don’t know where we go from there but surely we would have a case to argue for independence.

        2. Valerie says:

          Of course we are, and the evidence that Scotland is closer than ever is the desperate tactics of WM.

          Determined to neuter SNP MPs, and asset strip this country as fast as they can. That comment is very disingenuous of the Bella Editor!

        3. Alf Baird says:

          “Scotland has 56 out of 59 MP’s supporting independence.”

          What good is ‘supporting independence’ at Westminister? The 56 ‘roaring lions’ should have walked out of Westminster long before now. As Craig Murray rightly said, instead of settling up they settled in, just like other career politicians, all waffling through pointless ‘maiden’ speeches. I’m sure many Scots would have settled instead for a constitutional crisis. We have one of sorts anyway with EVEL, and Mundell calling the shots, but where is the response from the SNP? All they do is jump up and down and continue taking the unionist paycheques. A walkout of Scots MP’s would have upped the ante. Might even have been combined with the resignation of the Scottish Government in response to ongoing Westminister budget cuts and poor faith over Smith/The Vow, combining that with demands for a new election seeking a democratic mandate to negotiate independence. Instead of that we now have COSLA and the msm fighting against ‘Holyrood’ cuts. Independence does not need to be so complex and drawn out, it could have been ‘induced’ much more rapidly by Scotland’s elected representatives; they are only there to fight for us after all. The SNP’s job should have been to make Scotland ungovernable within the union, instead they have become the willing and ‘responsible’ servants of Westminster, ‘competently’ managing the north British territory. The SNP don’t have the bottle for independence.

          1. Valerie says:

            Oh good strategy, Alf! Then they send in the troops to Glasgow – again! Then they move to dissolve the Scottish Parliament.

            A government that calls the Saudis their friends, goes to war on a pretext, call junior doctors terrorists, fracks under parks, changes TU law, wants to remove Human Rights etc. is just going to quake in their boots at MPs walking out, eh?

            Of course they will roll over if we spit the dummy out, wtf are the SG thinking??????!!!

          2. willie says:

            And so Alfred, your strategy for the SNP is to make Scotland ungovernable. That’s a real smart move eh me old mucker. Not content with not winning a majority of votes in the referendum this is your answer – anarchy. Troops on the streets time is it. And in whose name do you call this insurrection – RISE. Well I think most voters know better and that strategies such as yours are a recipe for disaster. But maybe you are an agent provocateur when you come out with guff like this.

  49. Alf Baird says:

    Whether we stay devo, or go indy, the unionist elite currently running Scotland will still be running Scotland. Until this is attended to, Scotland will forever remain little more than a unionist elite managed, controlled, and led feifdom. The Establishment rule Scotland and will continue to do so, not Holyrood’s haverin heids, far less us lowly (yet voiciferous) plebs. Somebody in the wordsguddle above mentioned ‘freedom’; he is right, and freedom is a lot mair than simply an independent parliament; freedom is about removing the oppressors within. I don’t see any political party leader in Scotland who is up for that task, with perhaps one exception, and nobody mentions him for some reason.

  50. Punklin says:

    An active snp campaigner, I still want greens and rise to flourish. BUT Holyrood elections loom and we must maximise chances of pro-independence seats. However we might wish things to be, electoral arithmetic means that voting other than snp x2 is in all but one or two cases most likely to increase unionist strength/number of seats. We have to avoid that at all costs, not for the snp but to defeat unionism.

    Vote for whatever you believe in but don’t lose sight of the main goal.

    1. John Page says:

      Could you please back up this assertion with actual numbers?
      I would have thought electoral arithmetic would ensure SNP+SNP simply ensures SNP List Candidates start with one tenth of the list votes cast for them ensuring Labour and Tory List candidates get in.

      1. yesindyref2 says:

        Yes, but if Labour have 18% and Conservative 12%, then after 1 list seat each their effective %age is 9% and 6%, after 2 seats each it’s 6% and 4%. If it was a 3 horse race, Lab get the 5th, SNP the 6th and SNP get the 7th by a whisker (Lab 18/4 =4.5%, SNP 50/11 = 4.55%).

  51. Clootie says:

    A great shame that Bella has been taken over by those who either support a soft approach to the union OR feel guilty about upsetting the unionists.

    The site has spent a great deal of time recently trying to divide the Independence vote with stupid articles on list voting theories.

    I for one have had enough – goodbye!

  52. Chitterinlicht says:

    Strangely pointless article.

    The only party that can take us to independence is the SNP.

    I used to vote green second vote but to many “heid the baws” in that party to risk my precious votes on them. Rise are largely navel gazers from what i have seen.

    SNP votes 1 and 2.

  53. Wul says:

    It must be annoying. All those thick, tribal Jock plebs sticking to one party, just because it brought them closer to independence than they have ever been.

  54. Sweep says:

    Didn’t you recently have to have a clear out of the Bella Facebook admins, Mike? Wasn’t it because they were jumping into, rather than monitoring, discussions – pushing their own views, being argumentative and insulting and erasing any posts which dared to disagree with them? Shhhhhhhh… indeed.

  55. Wul says:

    Maybe giving us two votes was a clever Establishment tactic; “…give the f**kers two votes…they’ll tear themselves to bits arguing over it”.

    1. willie says:

      Yes, divide and rule is a very valid Brittania tactic. I’m not against the left per se, indeed I’m pro left. But I do despair at some of the left’s propensity to bicker and fragment. RISE are a distraction in that time honoured tradition. That’s why the majority of voters will be sticking to SNP 1 & 2.

  56. Mark Crawford says:

    It was Mao, with the Second United Front, who argued that communists and nationalists should work together. I guess this is why – as I’ve mentioned on this site before – I’ve come across Maoists (some self-declared, and others who wouldn’t self-apply the name but hold more or less Maoist views on strategy) who joined the SNP after the referendum.

    This is why the calls to “shsh for indy” directed towards Rise supporters is ineffective. Rise are not Maoists. I’m not a member and I don’t intend to vote for Rise, but I did attend the Rise launch and got the distinct impression that these people are closer to Trotskyism than Maoism.

  57. John Page says:

    Has anyone done the maths to determine this second vote issue objectively?
    John Page

    1. carthannas says:

      If I dare say it, have a look at Wings just now: Stu Campbell has done a region by region projection based on real figures. He also references his own very detailed information on the subject, which he did months ago as it happens. As usual Stu does actually produce facts which you can check if you can be bothered. There’s a few posting on here that may wish to consider taking a leaf out of his book instead of rehearsing their predudices.

      1. John Page says:

        Thank you for this, I will check out as you suggest
        John Page

        1. John Page says:

          I have looked at Wings and will rework his numbers. Immediately I would comment that he stresses how much of a mountain the Greens have to climb to get a list seat…….what I will check in detail tomorrow is how many SNP+Green votes are needed to substitute Green for Labour. I wonder if Campbell makes the assumption that every SNP constituency voter will also vote SNP in the Region…..leaving Green to pick up second votes from The unionist parties. But that ignores the fact that many Yessers who were sympathetic to the Greens or SSP have/will voted SNP since the Referendum will want to use their second votes appropriately.
          I will have a really good look at Wings’ analysis tomorrow
          As I have said before, I want to see the likes of Andy Wightman, Veronika Tudhope and Colin Fox at Holyrood rather than some Labour unionist second rater.
          John Page

  58. ross says:

    Cant we all just get along?

  59. Heather says:

    I’m an SNP member & will vote SNP & Green because I want a diversity of pro-independence parties in Holyrood and I would like a decent opposition to the SNP which we don’t currently have. The Greens deserve to do well and I hope they make gains. We know the SNP will win a majority but we need other non-unionist political voices as well.

    1. John Page says:

      Good for you, Heather, quite right.
      Apart from increasingly strident demands to vote SNP+SNP I have as yet seen no objective analysis that voting that way given the likely outcome re constituencies will do other than deliver more Labour list MSPs.
      John Page

    2. Derick fae Yell says:

      Trouble is -the Greens aren’t a non-unionist political voice. That matters, because they will get MSPs.

      RISE/Solidarity don’t matter because there is a vanishingly low chance they will get elected – they don’t even register in the polls. If Tommy Ball is anything to go by half the SSP won’t campaign for them.

    3. carthannas says:

      It is absolutely ludicrous for you to say that we know the SNP will win. Nothing is guaranteed – remember the guaranteed hung parliament at the last general election? That worked well, didn’t it?

      The SNP have every newspaper bar two (arguably), the BBC, ITV, Sky, the Tories, the Labour Party, the Greens, what remains of the Libdems and God knows how many commentators continually speaking against them and you say they don’t have any opposition. What planet are you on?

      By all means vote Green if that is your choice but don’t dress it up as a necessity to oppose the SNP. It’s a pity that a lot of those intending not to vote SNP with both votes can’t justify their second vote in positive terms for their chosen second party.

    4. Iain says:

      It is a fallacy that the Green members, supporters and candidates, as a body, support independence: Patrick Harvie has acknowledged that his party accommodates differences of opinion on particular issues, and apparently independence is one such issue. Thus, the former Green MSP Robin Harper was an active member of Better Together, and Martin Ford – second on the Greens’ list for North-East Scotland – is also a unionist. Harvie has also acknowledged that for many members there were more important political priorities.

      Short of the annihilation of the SNP, nothing would please the unionist parties and media more than to see the SNP’s power curtailed by the loss of its majority at Holyrood. It would not matter to the unionists that there might still be a majority in favour of independence: that would be ignored. The important thing would be that the enemy – the only one that threatens the UK Establishment – had been weakened, and they would rejoice in the splintering – however minimal – of the independence cause. They’d be boosted, and the independence cause would be set back some more years. Only the SNP can keep up the momentum, keep the Establishment worried, destabilise the UK and, with independence, bring about the circumstances in which social change can be effected. It’s got to be SNP 1 & 2.

  60. Clive Scott says:

    All pro indy splinter groups – get over yourselves – SNP x 2 is the only vote that counts. Regardless of constituency or list seats won or lost by SNP the number of votes cast for SNP is the headline. One vote less for SNP than last time = “hammer blow for Surgeon”. SNP x 2.

  61. Brian Powell says:

    Without a clearly strong SNP as the SG the other parties will be wiped out. They will still go on but the Unionist establishment will marginalise them into irrelevance.
    It won’t matter how many meetings they have they will not have the political power to do more than talk.

  62. JWil says:

    Disintegration and fragmentation are the worst things that can happen to the independence cause. It’s exactly what the Unionists want. Some people need to start behaving themselves rather than trying to boost their egos.

    1. Darby O'Gill says:

      The ‘worst’ thing that can happen to the independence cause would be the election of more than the minimum number of unionist msps. To ensure that total is reduced to the minimum number, Greens and RISE supporters need only vote SNP for the constituency and SNP members vote Green/RISE for the regional list. I believe RISE will be the only party which has included a second referendum ‘in the lifetime of the next Scottish Parliament’ in its manifesto, which would make it the most pro-independence of all parties. Quite the opposite of disintegration and fragmentation.

      1. JWil says:

        ” the most pro-independence of all parties.”

        It might well be but what is the use of that if it has no clout! The degree of wishing for independence has no currency. It’s either independence or it’s not. No in-betweens. I will be taking the puritanical position. Vote SNP/SNP.

        Rise is just another form of infiltration. A mere distraction.

  63. duncan says:

    Remember the poor Greeks who elected an anti austerity party, actually elected them – won, and then became a pro Merkel austerity party overnight. I hear there’ s no bacon and egg doublers in Brussels these days but the voulevants are so irresistable Tsipras blew his entire belief system oot thi windae for them. don’t expect too much from political cardsharps. And Clootie, dinnae greet, son- I’ll pass the baw ti yi, wee man, when I get it masel.

  64. ian says:

    What a pointless article from a obvious “proud scot but”.The SNP is the most obvious vehicle to independence the fact that they are competent in governing our country with one hand tied behind their back is a bonus.Rise ect are a distraction at the moment and have their apprenticship to do its taken the SNP deades to get to where they are but they want to take shortcuts.

    1. John Page says:

      Are you seriously suggesting that Mike Small is a “proud Scot but”?
      On reflection, I am sure you will regard that as a unworthy comment.
      John Page

  65. Ted says:

    A lot of people may be concerned at the inaction of the SNP about Scottish independence. At one point having a majority of SNP MPs in Westminster was regarded as a democratic mandate for independence. Now, with 56 SNP member of parliament, independence is left to “the will of the Scottish people”. If the SNP is the only hope for Scottish independence, then we are in for a very long wait. Other parties have the same horror at the lack of action and boldness the SNP have shown. These voices deserve the chance for a place at Holyrood,

  66. John Page says:

    Three things:
    1 Good for you for putting out this article and risking the pelters you got for your trouble.
    2 I reviewed Wings’ workings on the 2nd vote issue……I am unimpressed…….his essential flaw is that he bases his analysis on the 2011 result adjusting only for the massive swing to SNP from Labour. There is no awareness of Green\Left voters disgusted with Labour who are lending their first votes to the SNP but who are dismayed by the prospect of a SNP Holyrood majority opposed by an increased number of Labour list members.
    3 Do you know of anyone who is modelling the May election with whom I can collaborate. I think many people would like some more “what if” scenarios rather than the strident SNP/SNP demands seen above which, at least in my case, are counterproductive.
    John Page

    1. John Page says:

      In essence what I would wish to create is a model that
      Assumes turnout as per 2011
      Assumes latest poll figures (model can be updated as more poll results are available)
      Allows you to take SNP regions polling result in numbers and split that in %s for SNP, GREEN and RISE
      The model would allow you to see on a region by region basis how many MSPs each party gets.

      1. yesindyref2 says:

        John, go for it. But you may well find you have to do the spreadheet yourself. There’s a lot of heat on this, very little illumination.

        I’d give you my spreadsheet but it needs work to give to anyone – I can use it but then I know the rules. One thing I would say is that it will require manual input, and I don’t think the 7 seat allocation within each region can esaily be done with logic – the formuale would be too complicated for a spreadsheet, I could program it in perl, but it would take far too long. So the solution I think is to arrive at a spreadsheet where, region by region for all 8 regions, you decide who takes list seat 1, then the rest recalculate effective percentages. Same then for seat 2, same for 3 right up to seat 7. The totals for each region can be added up automatically into a summary (mine do).

        If I find time I might do this but very busey for 2 or 3 weeks unfortunately. Well fotunately actually, I need the money!

        1. John Page says:

          Thank you for this kind response. I have the time as I am retired so will make a start on this for West Scotland: I know it might be a slog. I do however think this is important.
          I want to see a strong SNP government in 2016 but I also want to see Holyrood enriched by knowledgeable and talented figures who will challenge re fracking etc. SNP+SNP risks delivering extra seats to second rate Labour candidates.
          I hope those above who are advocating 2nd Vote SNP can try and put their case more positively and be more open minded. Remember it is only the 2nd Vote we are talking about and the reason I want to do the modelling mentioned above is that more careful consideration will have to be given to those second vote choices in regions where the SNP is not likely to take all the constituency seats.
          John Page

          1. yesindyref2 says:

            Thanks John.

            For me the ideal would be 72+ SNP MPs, 9+ Green MSPs and 6+ RISE MSPs.

            I actually think it’s achievable.

    2. John Page says:

      That would be a good result!

      1. kimberley says:

        I think you’re dreaming if you think we can get that result – Rise are unlikely to even get one MSP

        1. Duncan MacNairn says:

          A vote for rise is a vote for unionism!

          1. John Page says:

            I hope you’re joking……..
            At the SNP Conference in Aberdeen last year NS urged every member to use every conversation to convince as many of the 55 to support Independence………are you doing your bit to piss off some of the 45?
            Get a grip. We are trying to have an objective debate about how in some regions we use the 2nd vote to maximise the the number of pro Indy MSPs while hopefully providing a modest measure of stimulation in Holyrood on devolved issues.

            John Page

        2. John Page says:

          I thought it was good to dream……

  67. Ken Waldron says:

    “…the movement is distilled in one party and one party alone. Any deviance is not to be tolerated…”

    When Bella starts echoing cheap mainstream media memes as above: the following proposition “…Don’t we want a vibrant political culture?… ” sounds like an oxymoron.

  68. yesindyref2 says:

    It occurs to me that there’s an election campaign on. Well, duh.

    But it also occurs to me that most of us aren’t really party political, what we are is pro-Indy. We are the Grassroots, and I think for the moment at least, and until after the Holyrood elections in May, it’s us are the guardians of the YES movement, not our previous “leaders” or inspirers, or even partisan blog-writers.

    Many of them are engaged in what are mostly, pure political party manoeuvers, get them or their (our) chosen ones elected, get their seat at Holyrood. Well of course, there’s no point in standing if they don’t want to get elected to make their voices heard.

    But meanwhile it’s up to us to keep YES together, not them. We should allow them to do this party political thing, rattle their sabres, shake their fists, shout abuse, while we keep it together for the next Indy Ref.

  69. pipe dreamer says:

    What should be remembered is that when it comes to punters in the street, Nobody cares about Rise….nobody knows what the heck they are about and if second list voters want opposition, Lib dem, labour and tories are right there to vote for.

    A vote for rise will maybe help the Lib dems, or tories keep a seat from the SNP, but so would voting for UKiP.

    …just like how voting Labour down south of london gave the tory majority over the lib dems

  70. Duncan MacNairn says:

    How about we wait 300 years for the opportunity to arise for us to gain our independence?

    And then on the cusp of that event:

    We throw it all away on a bunch of band wagon opportunists, manipulated by labour who have no idea on how to govern a kids party let alone a country.

    Does it not strike those advocating rise that this is the typical downward spiral followed by others aspiring to a great cause, you get so far that instead of remains with there tired and trusted you gamble and loose everything!

    Don’t gamble, don’t give divide and rule the foundations to ruin Scotland.

  71. Brian McGowan says:

    You and Ponsonby and anyone else you feel deserves your criticism should get together and settle your differences off the page. Condemning each other’s views on the page does absolutely no good to your site or theirs. (or to the independence ambition)

  72. Redgauntlet says:

    The SNP will never win indie for Scotland – and look, I respect SNP folk. But it will be neo-liberal austerity which radiclizes Scots to go indie, or it will never happen…which is to say, it will come from the Left or it won´t come at all…

    …take inspiration from Spain…it´s happening, man…

    “El Pueblo unido /
    Jamás será vencido/

    The People united /
    Will never be defeated

    1. pipe dreamer says:

      The mainstream opposition to independence came from the soft right, the extreme right and the soft left. The modern extreme left just took the opposite view to all their enemies at different levels.

      Scots do not have to be radicalized to achieve independence, nor does it come from the left. It is a full spectrum and party neutral. There is a bigger difference across age than party outside of the SNP, which is perhaps the biggest point.

      But at the end of the day, I don’t know what rise stand for and I cant take them seriously. So why vote for something which is so unclear of its intentions and it could just end up a benefit to a unionisty party indirectly?

      1. Redgauntlet says:

        Pipe dreamer, I can´t really comment on RISE in any detail, I don´t know enough about them, though there are plenty of names there whom I respect, so I am inclined to trust them…

        …I hold the SNP in esteem, more or less – certainly Nicola – but you see, my belief is that people will not take the risk which indie supposes without a crisis or a shock to the political system – Thatcher imposing the poll tax on us is a good example of what I mean by a shock. And the Left is always best in these situations at mobilizing people…much of the energy of the wider YES campaign came from the Left….so I think that the best chance for indie comes from a strong Left, in alliance with the SNP…

        …is RISE that? I don´t know. Certainly, in Spain, Podemos have given us our dignity back, you suddenly feel that somebody is, after all, representing you…there must be 25% of people in Scotland who feel that way, the poor, the disenfranchised…if RISE can tap into that, then there is no reason why they can´t transform Scottish politics….

        …when Pablo Iglesias and the Podemos candidates were sworn in the other day as MPs in the Spanish Parliament, at the press conference outside, they had a wee greet…we all did…

        ..they have travelled so far, they have transformed the political landscape….and it all comes from activisim, not party politics…as Ada Colau said when she won Barcelona for the Left…”David just beat Goliath…”

        Can RISE do that in Scotland? Not of they stick to the same old bluster as always, the same tired doctrine, the same class politics…we need a mouthpiece for the 90% against the 10%…as I say, I don´t know enough about RISE…

  73. Redgauntlet says:

    The “golden moment” of Pablo Iglesias in the general election debate, the TV debate in which each candidate was given one minute to make their case. A rough and ready translation…

    “I only want to ask you two things
    First of all, don´t forget
    Don´t forget “the black credit cards” ( a corruption scandal involving former IMf chief Rodrigo Rato)
    Don´t forget the forced evictions
    Don´t forget “Punica” don´t forget “Gurtel” (two PP corruption scandals)
    Don´t forget “Luis be strong” (the SMS message Rajoy sent to his jailed former party treasurer, the centre of “Gurtel”)
    Don´t forget the scandal of the Bankia share issue (quite like the RBS scandal: almost the same)
    Don´t forget hospital waiting lists
    Don´t forget the cuts in education
    Don´t forget the (brutal) reform to labour rights
    And the second thing I want to ask you is to smile
    Smile for the 15-M
    Smile for the squares of Spain
    Smile for those who stopped forced evictions
    Smile for Ada Colau
    Smile for the self-employed and the small businessman
    Smile for those who get up at 6 in the morning to go to work
    And smile for those who do the same with no job to go to
    Smile for the mothers with 15 hour working days
    Smile for the grandfathers who break their backs to make their pensions last
    Smile, smile, smile
    Because Yes We Can / Si se puede….

  74. Redgauntlet says:

    I mean, are the people in RISE reading Gramsci and reading LeClau and reading THEORY?

    Because Podemos are presented by the media – Paul Mason included – as a kind of spontaneous outbreak of populism, a brainless creature with lots of energy but no direction…they are described as “the radical Left”, but they are not especially radical in my view.

    Of course, without the popular outbreak which was the 15-M – oh bliss was it to be alive that day – then Podemos probably wouldn´t exist. But the fact is that Pablo Iglesias and others like him are very well versed in theory and are very shrewd political operators, they knew how to tap into that and transform it into 20% of the vote. They know exactly what they are doing.

    Example? When Pablo Iglesias – whose grandfather was shot by the fascists during the Civil War – was invited to the Royal Palace to see the King, he weighed it up. As he says, the Old Left would have said “Wé´re Republicans, we´re no going…”…but instead of doing that, Pablo went…and took a DVD of “Game of Thrones” as a present for the King, as if to say, “Well, you´re in power, but things can always change…”….a wink, an ironical gesture…

    …there is a huge savvy there. Do RISE have it? I don´t know.

    1. I don’t know all or many of them, but certainly I’m sure Shafi and Boyd have read Gramsci closely and are in touch with Podemos. I dont know LeClau.

      1. Frank says:

        I tried to read the prison notebooks once but quickly lost the will to live.

      2. Redgauntlet says:

        Thanks Bella…well I haven´t read LeClau either properly, I only have heard of him because of Podemos. Remember, Pablitos was a political science lecturer at the Madrid Complutense University…so you know, that´s not an insignificant point…..

        ..and they looked to Latin America for their answers, and LaClau, as far as I understand it, an Argentinian, gave them the template….and the template is “transversal” or cross-cutting politics….you will never hear Pablo Iglesias say the words “working class”,because we are no longer in the epoch of the working class as the agency of history…the working class got humped…so we need a new discourse….

        …anyway, I spelt his name wrong…but here is the Wiki entry…

  75. Lawrie says:

    This is a lot of talk, but action? After the indyref I was hoping for some progress in building a new Scotland ready for Indy. There were ideas on harnessing the energy (and positivity) of the indy ref through eg, reformed local government. But energy is now being wasted on endless blah blah. Local democracy is devolved, why don’t we have experiments in local democracy (pilot projects) to see what can be done on a local level to build the economy, balance the local books (which will give us a truer idea on how we really are doing nationally), innovative and fair taxation, land use and land reform? There seems a lack of action to me from the SNP, that is why I think we need some other voices in the parliament (why indeed there is the need for different experiences, fresh ideas, fresh thinking). I don’t think you win over the 55ish until you show some confidence in the Scottish people to run their own lives locally and pull people from all sides into the democratic process. I would advocate experimentation in local democracy, devolving max taxation to local level, allow democratically elected local representatives to tax large estates/landowners so as to free up land for more productive use (local manufacturing, tourism, housing). Innovation and experimentation and freedom from centralized control and quangos.

  76. Tony Rozga says:

    Rev Stu’s list could actually promote better debate. At the same time Bella are just asking us to keep an open mind. Wings for me is total focus on independence, complete concentration, don’t waste time, so the blocking list makes sense.

  77. Gordon Benton says:

    Apologies to all replies: too many to read. I am sure it has been covered, but whilst arrogance from politicians is not new, I agree that my party SNP must keep focussed on the dual task of governing Scotland and preparing the ground for our Independence. It never was going to be made easy for us, and with Project Fear II already underway, surely all like-minded voters must concentrate on winning this May election, and then be in a confident position to move onto the next objective. TTIP is an abhorrence and I believe we should make a stand on this now. There has been surely enough time now to check out fracking; let’s have the findings.

  78. Frank says:

    If groups like Rise or Solidarity were genuinely interested in independence they would be trying to engage with the 55% who voted no. Instead they will fish only in the 45% pond to further sectional interests which does nothing for the cause of independence at all. In fact, many Scots didn’t vote yes because they are small C conservatives and increasing the electoral representation of the far left will do nothing to tilt the balance in favour of independence. Maybe it’s time to accept, as I’m sure the SNP leadership do, that independence is parked for the time being.

    1. Darby O'Gill says:

      Frank how could it be otherwise. The SNP Government did not consult the YES movement before they produced their White Paper, and have not reconvened the Yes movement to discuss the failure of the referendum. Yet the Greens and SSP paid a substantial proportion of the costs of the YES campaign and RIC was the organisation who encouraged people to register to vote which saw a significant increase in the YES vote in the last few months of the campaign. The SNP wont win a referendum on its own.
      Indeed there wont be another referendum approved by Westminster unless the Unionist vote is so diminished that the SG can hold one by declaring some kind of UDI.
      Voting SNP1/SNP2 is likely to increase the number of Unionists MSPs. Voting SNP1/ Green/RISE2 decreases the number.

    2. willie says:

      Quite a descriptive way to put it Frank when you say that RISE only want to fish in the 45%. Narrow sectionalism and division is sadly what RISE bring to the cause. Thankfully, the vast majority of the electorate see them for the distraction that they are.

  79. Redgauntlet says:

    My feeling – and it´s a pure feeling – is that the Left in Scotland are very able at coming up with policy documents, but have no idea at all how to win power. And nobody votes for policy documents, let´s face facts…and we need to win power…for once….

    Well, how do you win power? I mean, the Left in Scotland – RISE – should be aiming for 20% of the vote…how do you win power? That is where the Podemos lesson lies…it sounds easy but it is not at all….first of all you have to hold your nose and accept that we are a “TV nation”…Pablo Iglesias has played his guitar on Spanish chat shows…personally, I find it hard to take…Podemos in a certain sense started as a TV show…Pablo used to host a TV chat show…

    …in any case, there is a very deliberate and thought out strategy behind Podemos….this idea that even people like Paul Mason perpetuate – a kind of spontaneous happening – well, this is just nonsense…

    ..I mean, these people are calculating every single move, every item of clothing they wear before the cameras…they are extremely able people….extremely shrewd…

  80. Redgauntlet says:

    Also, they are pragmatists…Podemos I mean…so, of course they are for the Republic and against Spanish participation in NATO, but they know full well that to make that a big deal is a vote loser…so why bother…they are ruthless…TO CHANGE THINGS YOU MUST WIN POWER…

    ..well, maybe if RISE said that, instead of being against Trident, they would call a referendum on the matter…maybe then….basically, the Left has to reinvent itself..and we all admire and respect guys like Colin Fox – how can you no admire Colin; an absolute gem of a man – but he will never win us power.

    Sometimes when I read Cat Boyd in The National, I flashback to the 1970´s…the working class this and that…I mean, nobody is interested in class politics these days…that is the heart of the matter.

    And the Left in Scotland don´t even believe their own discourse… I was at the first Radical Indie Conference in Glasgow, and it was an exercise in preaching to the converted…nobody in the Queen Mariot even mentioned winning power…and that, surely, is what we ought to be focussing on…

  81. Chic McGregor says:

    Mr Small.

    Might I suggest there are a couple of things you should give serious consideration to.

    First, the possibility that the SNP may have become the movement (rather than just a party).

    Second, a cursory glance at the constitutional position of those who have supported your article might be informative.

    1. willie says:

      The SBP most certainly have become a movement Chic. You don’t have over a 130,000 members and over 50% of the populations vote and not be a movement. The SNP are a movement for change, for good government, for fairer policies – and that is why so many now stand behind them.

    2. Mr McGregor.

      Might I suggest that there are a couple of things you should give serious consideration to.

      The possibility that a movement ‘becoming’ a party is not a good idea.

      Second, how do you ‘support’ an article?

  82. sq8l says:

    There’ll be no shortage of conflicting opinions in an independent Scotland.
    That’s the time to air them.
    Encouraging these now in the name of diversity is a huge tactical error, leading only to division and thereby prolonging the Union.

    As for fears of a “one party state” – there’s no chance of the SNP holding together at anywhere near its present levels in an independent Scotland.

    If anything is “depressing” it’s not the WOS blocklist, but articles like the above doing Wesminster’s job through short sightedness.

    1. Alistair Livingston says:

      A newly independent Scotland is going to have enough practical problems to face without adding to them by suddenly releasing the pent-up pressure of suppressed arguments about economic and social policies. If we are still taking the prospect of independence seriously, the time to be having such arguments is now.

      By doing so, by having different pro-independence groups and parties debating and discussing the form independence will take before Day Zero, areas of agreement/ consensus can be established. Having such a reasonably stable starting point will make the initial transition easier to achieve.

      But if this does not happen, if tensions and conflicts, disagreements and debates are swept under the carpet, by the time independence day arrives, the head of steam built up between now and then will result in a much more messy political situation.

      If anything, the pressure to stay quiet will be even greater after independence and the demand will be that no-one ‘rocks the boat’ until independence is securely bedded-in.

      1. sq8l says:

        Alistair – as many others have pointed out, views like yours might seem even handed and admirable. But we’re not in the usual political paradigm. There’s surely one very clear objective, and arguing and sniping ends up weakening it. Unionists likely can’t believe their luck when it descends into this “People’s Front of Judea” type scenario.

        All broad political movements have to keep their focus on the main objective, otherwise any detailed wish-list for the future is just hot air.

  83. robert graham says:

    After reading some of the supportive posts on this piece ,it’s good to see most of the nutjobs and idiots are being corralled in one place , don’t you people realise you are being used to attack the SNP the only party who are trying to oppose this Tory hate mob , who benefits from this attack ? is it just a coincidence that Fluffys propaganda unit has been increased , and this daily deluge of smears as far as i see a lot of this is being supported by this site , what is the end game ? who is pushing this agenda , the tories don’t need to do much as a lot of people here are doing a great job to assist them , waken up you are being used .

    1. John Page says:

      This is intemperate and unfair. You should consider your language.
      I joined the SNP in Sept 2014 but feel strongly that it should now be more ambitious in terms of environmental and redistributive policies. I wish to objectively consider voting Green in my second vote in May as I would rather see Veronika Tudhope as a list candidate before some Labour unionist time server, given that we will have 4 more years of devolved issues at the very least before another referendum.
      I would suggest that your contribution to this Bella debate is unhelpful.
      John Page

    2. Darby O'Gill says:

      I don’t suppose you’ll ever be convinced.

      Its generally believed that tactical voting in Dumfries and the Lothians in the 2015 Westminster elections was responsible for the election of our one Tory and one Labour MP’s. If neither had been elected we would have had a constitutional crisis. No Sec of State from the governing party and no Shadow S of S from the opposition. Although it would only be a crisis for the Unionist parties, imagine if Kezia Dugdale, Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie were beaten to the No 1 position on the list by a Green/RISE (pro-independence) candidate. It simply cannot happen with a SNP1/SNP2 because of the voting system.

      I don’t suppose you’ll ever be convinced but surely its worth some discussion.

      1. John Page says:

        Can you please show me a spreadsheet based on the current poll of polls and turnout figures from 2011 with what ifs re 2nd votes……
        I am of the view that SNP 1 and 2 will deliver lots of Labour list members
        If/when I complete my workings I will happily share
        The Wings analysis makes no allowance for Left/Green sympathisers who voted Yes and are currently lending their support to the SNP
        Happy to be convinced by objective analysis one way or another
        John Page

      2. John Page says:

        Why couldn’t Dugdale and Davidson get dumped if sufficient 2nd SNP votes went Green?
        I am working on a model for this…..I am open to a clear exposition. But Wings’ effort was circular and just propaganda

  84. DB1 says:

    Does anyone have any recent statements on the Greens independence position ?

    Going by the polls they are better placed to pick up a few regional seats than RISE – which from the current numbers looks like a wasted vote to be honest.

    I have heard lots of conflicting positions.

    – No to a second referendum in the next term.
    – Yes, but only with conditions of a separate currency.
    – Individual candidates for and against independence.

    Is there an official line?

  85. pipe dreamer says:

    “The calibre of many of the Green and RISE candidates is so far above the old unionist parties, they’d frankly be an asset to any parliament.”

    OOOOPZ…….that sets the bar pretty low!

    and even then….Some of them would be better than some of the unionists.

    but are they better than the SNP candidates? Do they have the experience of the SNP candidates?

    the best candidate they have beyond Patrick Harvie is an Ex-SNP candidate.

  86. Go for it says:

    A bit of compassion and understanding for the fears and aspirations of others wouldn’t go amiss (on both sides) and that is where the movement will meet in the middle. Keep your eyes on the prize folks and keep it together.

  87. Ramstam says:

    Strange to me that we are lumping the long established Greens with a party almost no-one will have heard of (Rise).
    Greens are on 9%.
    Do rise get even 1%? In polls?
    There are 2 Green candidates of quality I know are standing, but not in my area.
    SNP here gets both my votes.

    1. Darby O'Gill says:

      You’re quite right, RISE is a new party formed by the SSP and activists from the Radical Independence Campaign. It does however have some worthy candidates. Colin Fox, who is standing as a list candidate for Lothians drafted the Bill for Free Prescriptions which was put forward by the six pro-independence SSP MSPS in 2006. Rejected by the Lab/Lib government, it was adopted by the SNP government in 2007. During his tenure he voluntarily restricted his salary to the national average wage.
      Jean Urquhart who is standing for RISE in the Highlands only resigned the SNP whip because she is opposed to their support for membership of NATO. Both are avowedly pro-independence. Surely they would be an asset to a Scottish Parliament.

  88. MBC says:

    I don’t tweet myself but if I did I would not block somebody just because Stuart Campbell said so. I read Wings regularly but I don’t believe everything he writes. Some of it is good, very good, but others of his output is petty, invasive, and snipey. I don’t agree with any of the indy bloggers 100%. Am I so rare, a person who thinks for themselves, respects all, but reads with discernment? Even our staunchest opponents might be truthful from time to time.

    As for James Kelly, I understood his argument to be technical, and he has impressed me with his grasp of how the d’Hondt system works. I think his criticisms of others advocating voting for Rise are therefore valid as they don’t seem to understand that unless Rise can gain a certain percentage of the vote share on the second regional ballot then in effect these votes will simply divide the pro-indy vote and could enable one of the unionist parties to be elected even though there was a pro-indy majority on the list. In that sense those who want a pluralism of pro-indy voices – and I am one of them – are in a bit of a Catch22 situation. This is because of the system, not because of the SNP or its supporters.

    As several posts have indicated, the answer to this dilemma is quite simple. Rise needs to get out there, chapping on doors and raising its profile. It needs footsoldiers willing to do the hard slog that other minority parties like the Greens have had to do. If it is able to do this hard work between now and May and generate sufficient interest to gain at least 10% of the list vote, then I’m sure many SNP supporters would vote for it.

    I don’t agree with Stuart Campbell that it is illogical to vote for Rise or another indy party on your second vote if your first vote was SNP, in order to provide ‘opposition’ to the SNP. It is only ‘opposition’ within a certain context – in the context of the support for indy. This is ‘loyal opposition’. One of the best democratic traditions.

    We should stop fighting amongst ourselves and acknowledge that the source of these divisions is the limitations of the d’Hondt system. But if a nascent party such as Rise is serious about gaining a foothold it needs to appreciate that there is no magic wand. It will just take years of graft.

  89. Mark Crawford says:

    In their recent book Inventing the Future, Srnicek and Williams complain that today’s contemporary left suffers from a “folk politics” approach. Folk politics privileges things like inter-personal immediacy, direct action, calls to “think global, act local” etc… In that sense, Rise is quite correct to reject the complaint that, as a new organisation, it doesn’t have the right to challenge the SNP’s current monopoly on questions of indy strategy. If Rise were to be more modest and start locally fighting council elections and other smaller struggles as a prelude to national success (“serving their time” as some people suggest), this would be the same disastrous “folk politics” approach that the left needs to get away from.

    I sense this is at the root of the anger some SNP supporters are directing towards Rise – they simply cannot accept that there may be alternative ideas about indy strategy. And this makes absolute sense from their perspective, because so much of the SNP’s strategy currently depends upon a hyperstitional belief (i.e. a self-fulfilling political fiction) that the future belongs to them and that independence is now inevitable. Any alternative ideas floating around out there undermine the hyperstitional content of the SNP’s strategy and must, from their perspective, be erased.

    That said, I think Rise has failed (with the exception, perhaps, of a few places in the central belt) to effectively draw together those radical left elements which played such an important role during the referendum. And this is a problem – for a national campaign which only really stands a chance of getting elected in a couple of regions certainly does risk collapsing back into the trap of folk politics, as reformist concerns which speak most to those locales are strategically prioritised, limiting the universalism that should be at the heart of any radical left project.

    I really wanted Rise to work, but I’m not going to let the fact of having enthusiastically promoted the Scottish Left Project throughout most of last year blind me to the fact that it seems to have failed to galvanise forces on the Scottish left.

    1. C Rober says:

      But the local opinion is what creates wider opinion , not global as such but wider area of effect.

      They have to do local , door knocking , supplying local reps , kissing the baby , supplying candidates for council , Hollyrood , and Westminster elections – if only to grow the brand.

      Vblogs make little difference to the majority of voters , specifically those life long voters sans web. Direct action though does , even if that means mobilizing the very student army set they belong to en masse , to a flood and filling sandbags for a pensioner – or in defiance of poll tax like those before them.

      Showing their community sense matters , where there is at least an attempt at action. The SNP pimp that like a hoor on payday at every opportunity possible , especially so in the local rags , and when challenged simply blame Labour or Tory for their failure , win – win.

      If RISE is to be taken seriously as a party it needs to do council , whether that is to learn the trade though and its benefits you are right though , it matters not , but they have to do it regardless , SSP for example havent grown to the power once thought they would be , the SNP however ?

      If the SNP , and of course the Tories and Labour are serious about local empowerment , then RISE will have to provide local council fodder to those elections , even in hopeless cases , especially so as councils are filling with budding (and established life long) SNP politicians – keen to cut their teeth on local govt politics , and importantly have the personal wealth to do it by relocation.

      Sure some of these are , like Sturgeon herself and many more of the SNP now elected , simply buying into an area to be political candidates , rather than in home areas they have grew up , worked and remained in , and where failure to be elected is the norm – they are simply moved on to another area to try to secure a seat there instead.

      The electorate is getting savvy about nomadic politicians , with no link to their ward.

      Rise will have to find local reps , not just for putting leaflets through doors on streets they have never walked before , but known locals as candidates , ones that appeal more than that offered by their opposition .

      Simply wanting 2nd choice votes in a large election is not enough , earn it.

      1. Mark Crawford says:

        C Rober, you say that RISE should build “the brand”… Alas, one of my other criticisms of them is that they have spent too much time doing exactly that!

        Folk politics is just one model of political organising, but the point is that it is not the only model, and there is a question mark over how appropriate it is as a model for the radical left. Folk politics may work brilliantly for a social democratic party like the SNP, but the point would remain that it has never worked for the radical left. Ever.

  90. Peter Clive says:

    We need a vehicle or mechanism to enable diversity of opinion and unity of purpose to be co-exist in the absence of an actual referendum campaign … see below

  91. Graham Ennis says:

    I do get the general sentiment expressed here. But:
    The SNP is the only warship afloat politically, that can mount a real challenge to the Unionist Parties, with the Greens trailing second. On lots of issues, like land reform, it is clear that the SNP is right of centre, and shows distinct signs of “Settling in” to the political system and becoming the mainstream “Norm”. All this is of course, how you win elections, get control of the Scottish government, and make a start down a very long road.
    But: Those things that made the poor of Glasgow stream out to vote YES in the referendum, are the core of why they support independence. The SNP, ultimately, is either a radical party of the Scottish people, or it is nothing. The SLAB are now totally “New Labour”, and beyond redemption, and are now in full self destruct mode. This leave a large radical, leftist vacuum, that should be occupied by the SNP, which could do so with ease, but is steadily drifting right wards on some issues. It is the reason that leftist dissent with the SNP has sprouted RISE, and attempts to revive the SSP, but at this most critical of times, with the EU vote months away, (which may leave the SNP Government stranded in a serious situation, the most important thing is solidarity, cohesion, and joint action. In the circumstances, we must take great care not to decide forces, and hang together. This is not to say that RISE should not exist, not at all, or the SSP. They are needed, in the future, to offer a radical left alternative, but right now, we are entering a year of serious crisis, with the EU vote, that might end with BREXIT, and the Scots being dragged out of the EU, even though they voted to stay. At that point, some very hard decisions are going to have to be made. One mistake, and the whole thing collapses into disaster. My personal choice is therefore not to take dangerous risks, but try and at least negotiate understandings between the left groupings, the SNP, etc. In a year, Scotland might be facing the stark choice of declaring UDI, after BREXIT, and being in the same situation as Ireland was, in 1918. We all know the history of what happened next. This is not scare-mongering, it is a strong possibility. So what then? comments please.

    1. Thanks Graham, I understand your position. I suppose I believe its worth respecting those that are part of the Yes movement and have a different interpretation as we try and think through?

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