Eat Your Cereal

scotlandbadgeThere’s something really weird going on, and its been going on for too long. The movement that was about challenging power and questioning everything – in the name of transforming Scotland and seizing independence – has been transfixed into a turgid quietism.

Paul Kavanagh and Derek Bateman are two of the sharpest of the new writers on Scottish politics. I normally find myself cheering their every word, and I have to agree with Kavanagh who writes:

“The most radical act that Scotland can take will be for all powers and responsibilities to fall to a Scottish parliament that is accountable to the people of Scotland and beholden to them alone.”

So true.

I also had to recognise the endlessly parochial Unionist media as described by Derek Bateman who suggests the sequence in which “Kenny would commission Alex who would commend David who’d be flattered by Stephen”.

But there’s a real problem here. Are we really to agree that the independence movement is best served by adopting an unthinking unquestioning approach to our governments policies and actions? This is beyond bizarre.

What needs to be established is that BEING CRITICAL is the process towards independence not its impediment.

You’d have thought it be so mind-fuckingly obvious as I needn’t write this, Apparently not.

Derek’s argument couldn’t be clearer:

“….don’t dismiss the wider political point that, while it may make you squirm, the unbending middle class Unionists we need to win over to independence are still there. Raising taxes would confirm every prejudice they have imagined about the SNP’s real intentions – to take away their pensions and hard-earned cash. They regard the tax move as sensible and pragmatic economic management – the very characteristics most likely to convert them eventually to the cause. The cause that remains the goal of all nationalists.”

You got that? Don’t frighten the horses. Another Scotland isn’t possible. Sounds to me like UK:OK has been replaced by Scotland: OK.

That worked well before didn’t it?

I don’t believe this is either credible of even helpful.

I don’t believe that building a new media that is about parroting government truths is useful.

I do believe you can simultaneously be massively pro independent and be critical of the SNP.

I know people within the SNP who agree with this. It’s moronically obvious.

Does nobody else get the irony?

I await the deluge of denouncing denialism as I write this.

The latest bout of Eat Your Cereal probably stemmed from Loki’s Dear Nicola piece.

I find the contradictions crushing, hilarious and depressing:

“Get back into your shortbread tin, Scotland. Don’t dare to imagine that you can define your own future or the kind of society you want to live in.”

Our new media needs to be braver bolder and better than just being a tribal apologist for the SNP. Another media is possible. If you want it?

I don’t believe that we benefit our movement by quietism. It’s absurd.

 

 

Comments (261)

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  1. John Ross says:

    You miss the point that these two writer’s make, it’s not one of blind faith in the SNP and believing that every policy is correct but the SNP remains the best and only vehicle to gain independence. To do that you need to be a broad church and appeal to as many as possible. Once we have that we can then go as far left as the membership dictate and there will be plenty of scope for other political party views.

    1. Alan Price says:

      I was about to post something similar John, but you’ve saved me the trouble.

      Thanks…

    2. Mic11 says:

      That’s it in a nutshell. Thanks.

    3. Soar Alba says:

      Accurately and succinctly put John.
      My view as well.

      Saorsa

    4. Onwards says:

      Well said John.
      It beats me how anyone on the pro-indy side can attack a negative reaction to that Loki piece. He is promoting NoVotesSNP, when the SNP is the ONLY realistic vehicle to independence at this time – at least on the constituency vote. It is simply idiotic, unless as Bateman says, he is now indeed a unionist.
      You would think the fact that his biggest cheerleaders are unionist journos would make him wonder.

      1. John McGinn says:

        Recipe for ‘Rabbit Stew’.

        First, CATCH A RABBIT! Otherwise, get a takeaway.

    5. Alf Baird says:

      I’ve voted for independence for 40 years. I am not especially happy that the SNP have effectively removed the possibility for me to vote for independence now. The only party offering a Ref2 by 2018 is Solidarity. It seems to me the SNP are the ‘New Unionists’.

      1. Onwards says:

        @Alf, Solidarity is only standing on the list. Tommy Sheridan has urged an SNP vote for the first vote. That is the only logical thing to do for indy supporters.
        The alternative is taking the chance with letting a unionist party in. There will no doubt be tactical voting against the SNP on the day. The recent Tory by-election win showed there can be no complacency.

    6. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes John, that’s about it.

      I joined the SNP after the Ref, the first political party I’d ever been in. In spite of that I’m still relatively non-aligned, and definitely don’t fit in a political party. The SNP is far from perfect.

      So why did I join, and why will I vote SNP and SNP, and hope they get an overall majority, in spite of my belief that Holyrood itself functions better with a minority government and some level therefore of “concensus”?

      Because I believe in Independence, Independence, Independence for Scotland.

      Nothing else matters. The rest is all bickering about how the hamstrung, limited, pigeon-holed, and heavily disadvantaged, Scottish Government works with such limited powers we can’t even balance the needs of taxation to meet different needs. Let alone building whatever economy and whatever society we might all differently want.

      What’s more important, Independence which enables all politics, or party politics which could disable even the chance of getting Independence?

    7. Iain MacLeod says:

      John Ross sums it up nicely, people are not paying blind obedience to the SNP, they are supporting the SNP as only the SNP can deliver independence for Scotland!

      If you rock the SNP boat from within as this blog advocates, the boat will sink, independence will be lost, not just for a generation but forever.

      If you want an example of division, hopelessness and bitterness, look at labour in Scotland, don’t dive us down that road!

      1. Alf Baird says:

        Iain, independence needs to be gained (i.e. taken) before it can “be lost”. If the SNP really want independence they must explicitly offer that option at every national election. Otherwise they are simply offering more ‘unionism’.

      2. Ian Kirkwood says:

        The SNP can only continue to dominate if it does not allow its followers to drift away in disillusionment. Which is what (New) Labour did on purpose. It’s a careful exercise in brinksmanship and the potential squandering of one of history’s great democratic mandates. Who are their strategic advisors? Not Gordon Brown’s I would hope…

    8. Jeanette McCrimmon says:

      My view too. The mainstream media give the SNP all the criticism, usually unwarranted, without you giving your tuppence worth. You miss the point of these other two bloggers.

  2. Punklin says:

    Fair enough Mike but why are you so dismissive in tone of other pro Indy viewpoints?Am I naive to expect a more positive debate? Hope not.

    1. I am all for a positive debate Punklin – just astonished with what I am reading.

      1. Ian Lowe says:

        I have voiced concern at the gradualism approach of the SNP. I want my party to be bolder, to pick fights with the establishment, and to be more radical.

        I also have to concede that I am hot headed, and that the gradualists led by Salmond and Sturgeon have achieved much, much more than the hot heads of people like Jim Sillars. We had a referendum, and we almost won. Those on the left are doing what those on the left *always* do – tear themselves apart by focusing on those people who are ‘not quite left enough’ rather than channelling their anger against the right.

        I was blocked by @bellacaledonia on twitter (quite why, I am unsure – I haven’t even interacted directly with the account). I was a contributor to the fundraisers during the indyref period, and wanted to see more radical voices. I still do.

        I just hope that this massive chip on the shoulder about the SNP is not the dominant voice from the left in the coming weeks… because that truly WILL put a better Scotland out of reach.

        1. Elizabeth Thomson says:

          Ian,
          I admire your self-awareness 🙂 Your last paragraph hits the nail on the head for me.

      2. Heidstaethefire says:

        We need to focus on the big picture, I.e. that we MUST win the next referendum, or we’re finished. Anything that gets in the way or gives encouragement to the naysayers is to be avoided. Infighting and self indulgence falls into that category.

  3. c Rober says:

    I am one of those pro indy , ffa types that perhaps you speak of , holding the SNP in high regard , well considering the other options of Slab lies , Tory Blue ties and Liberals for minerals , yet do find fault in them and highlight it , after all – can we really let the party both set legislation and simultaneously ignore it to suit… no , housing and land reform is where I have found them to be wanting or corrupt.

    Anyone notice the omissions of late on the SNP and Hollyrood declarations of interest pages , I did , seems some are not so keen to declare property empires , perhaps there has been a shift to offshore ownership or to children/partners recently. Or more likely that voters are getting clued up via social media on the wealth of politicians in general.

    Next on my agenda is highlighting not just the SNP but all parties focused on the list vote , a do over if you will should they fail in their wards , shoving out those coming up with actual links to their wards , to protect their career politics asses .Quite a few other contributors have already noticed it , Baillie , Hassan et all trying to secure a place and a TOP position in the party at any cost… The jokes are already rolling , halfheartedly , that they might be having to resort to , cough , going councillor.

    Maybe i should put my grand national winnings on who will be labour leader in June , and just like the rest create some personal wealth through politics.

  4. Diane McWade says:

    My view, is that we are currently propping up three governments. The sooner we rid ourselves of two, incompetent, wasteful and too big entities the better. I want one. An independent Scottish one that can be more easily held to account. The current political focus on paying more tax here is ludicrous and shortsighted,we are already being taxed to death to service three administrations without any tangible, quantified or transparent return on investment. I am not in favour of any more tax until we get independence, the economic model would naturally radically change. Right now the SNP seem the best bet to get there, all else seems futile. Just an opinion and the fear of being isolated by brexit and out of the U.K. would be in reality a challenge not an obstacle to prosper, hard work but so worth having the aspiration and courage.

    1. c Rober says:

      I always find it weird that a biased British union is good for England , but a European one bad for England.

      The arguments about the leaving of the Eu , is tantamount to being exactly the same as the reason for leaving the British one , ie they let in immigrants , will destroy our pensions , and of course they will remove the nhs. Every nailhead of yer typical yoon reader.

      Unfortunately for the Brexit crew this came on the back of the same spin during indy , that seen the nhs being used for project fear , and of course the civil service jobs that were removed anyway , this despite better together saying only the British Union could keep them.

      Roll on Eu ref , Scotland to stay , creating more wealth for the UK as a special EU zone within the UK for trade and the new offshore , yet onshore , haven with it for exports.

  5. Gordie says:

    This idea that there is a body of opinion out there that says the SG must not be criticised isn’t accurate. The overwhelming majority of punters are nothing more than pig sick of media bias. I cannae agree wi’ that kind of generalising.

    Bella and Commonweal (I give money to both)are now partisan and both support RISE to a greater or lesser extent and it is obvious they see an opportunity to take votes from people who might otherwise have voted SNP. Although I would prefer both to be independent ofparty politics that’s fine and I hope RISE does well.

    It is going to have the effect of changing your readers judgements on the stuff you put out. You’re now promoting a party in competition with the other parties for votes and that means you will be seen as partisan (rather than a cracking (pro Indy) source of info and entertainment that you once were).

    The question in my mind is, If the SG don’t get a fair press from here where do they get it?

    I would guess there’s a big majority in favour of seeing credit and criticism where it is due so painting people as blinkered and partisan when you have joined that game yourself doesnae convince. It comes out more like ‘surely some of you stubborn cunts must be voting for RISE in May!?’

    1. Bella supports all pro-indy parties – but is also critical of all parties. Getting a ‘fair press’ doesn’t mean tribal sycophancy.

      1. Saor Alba says:

        Bella is quite clearly supporting RISE.

      2. James Coleman says:

        “tribal sycophancy”??? What a stupid remark. The SNP is a party of Government and people supporting it do so for many reasons of which “sycophancy” is not one. In fact the “RISE/BELLA/ COMMONSPACE factions seem more like tribes to me.

    2. Flower of Scotland says:

      Agree. I would like to ask the Green/rise/solidarity supporters what they are going to say to the Scottish People when at the May elections the SNP votes/seats diminish, because they have split the vote.
      The Unionist media will have a field day. They, of course will say, that support for Independence is waning. They will say support for the only plausible Independence Party is waning.
      Do you think Scotland will thank you for that? I won’t. I’ve been pounding the streets with other SNP supporters trying to get our message out.
      Vote for the only party that can secure Scotland Independence and that is BothvotesSNP!

      1. Noel Darlow says:

        I’d say the SNP cannot be all things to all people and the current impressively high level of support cannot continue indefinitely. When people start to move away where do you want them to go to: home-grown, Scottish parties which support independence or to the old unionist parties? With no strong, Scottish alternatives there is a real risk of the resurgence of one or more of the UK parties.

        Imagine if we could create a whole new ecosystem of Scottish parties and a vibrant political culture unique to Scotland. Nothing would make a stronger argument for independence. A broader coalition would attract a broader range of support. A second referendum would almost become a formality if we had been pursuing our own separate politics for several years with levels of grassroots support and enthusiasm the UK parties can only dream of.

        The new Scottish political must be as supportive as it is critical. We have to work together effectively to make a success of an independent Scotland. We must not descend into the knee-jerk tribalism and petty point-scoring which so tediously dominates the political “debate” with labour & the conservatives etc. I think an electorate starved of meaningful debate would love to see real discussion where real information is being processed rather than the kind of dumb, irritating bun fights which leave us no better informed than when we started. If Scotland shows it can do politics smarter, fairer and just better that would create a very serious challenge to the status quo.

        A single party can’t do this all on its own.

        1. Well said – a whole new ecosystem is what’s needed. A pluralism of parties and ideas with a common goal of independence

          1. muttley79 says:

            This is power politics and the survival/preservation of a very powerful nation state we are talking about, not a psychedelic hippy dream fest FFS!

          2. 1314 says:

            Wait till after 5th May – then you can have 5 years to encourage all the ecosystems you like.

            As it is, if the SNP go down, we will be steam-rollered into our very own tar MacAdam. Eco no more.

          3. Alex Birnie says:

            Very few people would disagree with the idea of new alliances and groupings in Scotland……but NOT YET! We are fighting a monster, and we need to match the monster in political will. New alliances and groupings would be grist to the Westminster machine’s mill. The other assumption that quite frankly amuses me is that the SNP in their present form are going to exist after independence. 90000 people joined the SNP after the referendum. Where do you think these people came from? – the Tories? After independence, the “raison d’être” of the SNP will be gone, and the party will almost certainly split into factions, because there are too many disparate viewpoints within the party, and once the glue of the common goal of independence is gone, it’s over, kaput. THEN will be the time for the “new” politics. For myself and countless other people, Paul Kavanagh’s blog on Friday articulated EXACTLY how we feel about the upcoming election.

        2. muttley79 says:

          The British state would almost certainly not recognise a plurality of pro-independence parties at Holyrood as a mandate for a second independence referendum, even if these parties had a majority of seats. They would love this to happen. Imagine the scenario at the 2021 Holyrood elections, the SNP get 30 per cent, the Scottish Greens get 10 per cent, and RISE get 10 per cent. In this kind of a circumstance the age old divide and rule tactic of the British state would kick in. Anyone who is an independence supporter needs to understand that the British establishment would probably not accept this as a mandate for another independence referendum. They would in all likelihood say that the Greens are divided on independence, and therefore there is not a mandate for a referendum. They would point to a former leader of the Greens supporting the No campaign in 2014. In other words use divide and rule among the pro-independence parties.

          Voters in Scotland should not be given this false picture of three pro-independence parties linking arms and walking to independence in a beautiful, fairy tale way. It is not going to happen because Westminster is only really concerned about what the SNP does, and the size of its vote. The major goal of the SNP is independence, the major goal of the Scottish Greens is to protecting the environment, and the major goal of RISE is socialism. It does not take a genius to work out that this is the ideal scenario for divide and rule. Like it or not, without a very strong SNP vote there is not going to be another independence referendum.

        3. Debra Pickering says:

          Well put Noel. I want to see a Scottish Government that represents the diversity of Scotland. I don’t want to wait I want it now.

    3. Alf Baird says:

      Come on, Wings and Newsnet are so blatantly sycophantic and adulating of SNP its as if they are funded by the party. Folk irnie daft onymair aboot yon meeja, piper calls the tune an aw that.

      1. c Rober says:

        Can wholeheartedly say I have been edited , prevented , or redacted on all of those sites in my posts about SNP on housing , but at least with bella I got a reply that it was due to a couple of expletives in my post… not the content itself which was posted later with my own self edit.

        BC is in a rock and a hard place , in the promotion of pro indy groups with a head for multimedia , all it takes to redress is that the supporters of the SNP with same home grown media mindsets do the same…. as they will not do any from the cuff themselves being an established and in power party it would reek of the sort of propoganda , that your typical cybernat already accuses , rightly so , the proper media of doing.

      2. Gashty McGonnard says:

        Alf, that’s unfair on Wings and NN. I view them both daily, and I don’t recall any pro-SNP sycophancy from either. Wings is basically a media analyst these days… there’s a lot of partisan SNPBAD in the media that Wings debunks – but that doesn’t make it pro-SNP to the detriment of other Indy voices. Newsnet interviews Green, RISE etc members as much as SNP ones in my experience.

        BTL comments on both sites tend to be SNP positive, admittedly … but the same goes for Bella

      3. James Coleman says:

        Wings and Newsnet sycophantic? You clearly haven’t a clue what the word means.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Sycophant: a ‘servile flatterer’

          1. James Coleman says:

            Exactly. So it’s now clear you can’t read either.

            And would you FFS stop jumping in on every post about SNP not giving us a 2nd Indy ref. You’re like a wee terrier yapping every time there’s a knock on the door.

          2. Alf Baird says:

            James, I have difficulty seeing the logic of so many of you folks repeating that the only option to secure independence is to vote for a party that is only offering more ‘devolved’ unionism.

  6. Broadbield says:

    This post doesn’t do your reputation any favours. You have misrepresented Bateman and others who argue, quite reasonably, that Indy is the most important thing, and they believe the SNP are going about it strategically. Without that there will be no Scotland of any kind, just another northern part of England.

    1. Broadbield says:

      There’s also a rather Holier-than-thou tone to some of your pieces. Not attractive.

    2. I don’t share your faith politics ‘Broadbield’ but can yu tell me how I have misrepresented anyone?

      1. James_Mac says:

        ‘Faith-based’? Are you serious? Whatever next? Maybe a comment on how Ruth Davidson is such an exceptional leader? How Dugdale and McDougall are champions of the poor? Maybe throw in ‘Tartan Tory’ for good measure?

        1. Yes, I and Bella are reknowned for our support for the Conservatives…

          1. James_Mac says:

            “I don’t share your faith politics ‘Broadbield’ but can yu tell me how I have misrepresented anyone?”

            Should I now say, “I don’t share your conservatism ‘Bella Caledonia Editor’, can you please tell me where I have called you a Tory?”

      2. Saor Alba says:

        He has already told you in the piece you have relied to.

    3. Alf Baird says:

      If as you say “Indy is the most important thing”, then why are the SNP no longer arguing and campaigning and fighting for independence? Why have the SNP taken away our right to vote for independence at each and every election? If this is simply to appease unionists then to hell with the SNP.

      1. James_Mac says:

        Because if we go for one two years after the first one with no reason, we’ll get hammered. If there’s a change in circumstances, the SNP is still the only vehicle that could conceivably get us there in the next parliament. If there was ONE party of the left, with a realistic chance of getting some MSPs taking a strong pro-independence/devo-max/etc position I’d vote for them, no question. As it stands we have three parties, whose position is (at least partly) the SNP are a cult because they think ‘that Loki chap’ is a enormous fanny.

        Not even the Greens have gone as far as the SNP in this regard.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          James, how do you know “we’ll get hammered” if we don’t even offer independence in the manifesto at national elections? It should be no.1 priority, the party raison detre.

      2. Heidstaethefire says:

        Because we need to win the second one. To do that, we need to know the people are ready. In the meantime we have to demonstrate the power to govern competently and build on what has already been achieved. The consequences of a second loss don’t bear thinking about.

  7. Clive Scott says:

    Yet another absurd posting on Bella suggesting anything can be achieved by being pro Indy and anti SNP. How thick can you be? The only credible route to Indy is through the SNP. So SNP X 2 in May is the only credible vote as a stepping stone to indyref2. After independence is won you can vote for whatever tosspot party on the hard left or right and when they get a tiny percentage of the vote moan about how stupid everyone else is in your purity of belief without the messy business of engaging in real grown up politics that has practical impact on the lives we live.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      Keep it up Clive. You are losing the SNP list votes every time you express these intolerant views. There is a plurality of political perspectives among supporters of independence and these need to be reflected in our Parliament and democratic discourse. That’s healthy.

      1. Mike says:

        And they will always be supporters of Independence if that plurality is expressed in favour of the pro union block of parties by division of support within the pro Indy group.

        The time to fine tune the Indy division is ONLY when we have Independence. Its absolutely pointless trying to do it before hand. If the goal is to achieve Independence what is the point of having 3 or 4 separate pro Indy groups in Parliament squabbling with each other over the direction of Independence when that squabbling will ensure its never realised?

        I get it. The SNP is not fulfilling everybodies dream of what they want Scotland to be. But if you want RISE or the Scottish Greens to mean anything at all it can only happen post Independence and there wont be a post Independence if you stupidly split the pro Indy vote the way the pro union vote is split.

        Why is that so difficult to grasp?

        1. Graeme Purves says:

          I am not persuaded by your arbitrary rules of engagement, Mike. The Catalan and Basque parliaments both have more than one pro-independence party represented.

          One thing is certain, caution and pandering to social conservatism will not deliver independence.

          1. Mic11 says:

            And neither Basque or Catalonia are independent. So not sure that could be described as a success.

          2. muttley79 says:

            So how are we are going to deal with the socially conservative in Scotland then Graeme? Scotland is a small conservative nation. They did not respond to those who were putting forward either a moderate or a radical case for independence in September 2014. What makes you think they are going to respond to a radical case in the future?

          3. Actually, they did. As the recent report outlined in some detail. If it wasnt for RIC, WfI, NC and other groups Yes wouldn’t have made it so close

      2. Alan Price says:

        Drivel Graeme, just drivel.

        At the start of the independence campaign the Yes vote was around 20%.

        After the SNP campaign the vote increased to 45%!

        So much for a ‘boring’ SNP campaign!

        1. Kevin Williamson says:

          “After the SNP campaign”

          Really? The strength of the YES campaign was that it WASNT an SNP campaign.

          If anything it was the SNP’s White Paper – with its dogmatic and singular insistence in keeping HM’s currency – that held the campaign back.

          1. muttley79 says:

            So now you are blaming the SNP for the referendum defeat. Have you heard of divide and rule Kevin? It has been used very effectively by the British state in the past. The SNP campaigned for decades upon decades, building themselves up from scratch as a political party. Many people sacrificed their careers to get to where we are now. Nobody is saying do not criticise the SNP. I am a supporter and voter, and I recognise they are cautious, sometimes overly so. However, what some of us are saying is blaming the SNP for the referendum defeat is counterproductive, and only plays into the hands of those who do not want independence, in fact those who hate the very idea.

            The SNP are the major element of the independence movement, they are the ones who have to negotiate with London. The MSM/British state would like nothing better than for the SNP to fail to win a majority next month. The headlines would quickly be dusted off, SNP losing momentum, independence becoming more distant. That is the reality of the situation.

        2. Bob says:

          That was the SNP and solely the SNP campaign, nobody else involved just the SNP.

      3. Saor Alba says:

        Clive is being pragmatic, not intolerant.

    2. We’re not anti-SNP we are just critical of all and every party and questioning of those in power. That’s what a free media is for. It’s a beautifully simple concept that shouldn’t be hard to grasp.

      1. Ian Caldwell says:

        What is hard to grasp is why you don’t think that challenging the SNP before independence is achieved will simply be seized upon by pro-unionists.

    3. Saor Alba says:

      I couldn’t have put it better Clive. Well done.

    4. Alf Baird says:

      Clive, if as you say “The only credible route to Indy is through the SNP”, how come the SNP have effectively removed our right to vote for independence at each and every national election?

      1. Onwards says:

        They haven’t.
        The SNP have effectively left it to the people to demonstrate sufficient support for independence, before they can call for a second referendum. That’s the only realistic position at this time.

        It’s all about tactical thinking. Not a single person in the SNP that I am aware of has given up on independence. It is all about the best strategy and timing for a second referendum, and the very first step is a pro-indy majority in the first place.
        Not necessarily an SNP majority, but SNP is the only practical choice on the constituency vote.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          “It’s all about tactical thinking.” ?

          Independence simply requires a majority of MSP’s to either pass an Independence (Scotland) Act or bring forward Ref2.

    5. Don McKillop says:

      Totally agree. Bella is now becoming a mouth piece for the minority, and will only harm the independence movement. All these matters regarding socialism is old hat now. I remember being one of those arguing strongly that socialism had not failed the working classes, it was the leadership whom had failed. When I look back at this, I have to laugh at my own self importance of those times. Marching to the Holy Loch with my Ban the Bomb banner, and here we are more than 50 years later still being ruled by a British elite, and the bombs are still within Scotland. No, rhetoric and innuendo is not the way to create an independent Scotland. It is by the power of strong political party with the nuance and nerve to beat Westminster at its own game that will prevail, and the only party able to do that is the SNP.

  8. thomaspotter2014 says:

    If the SNP don’t get a majority in May because of wasted 2nd votes then the game’s a bogey.
    It won’t really matter what all the apron hangers(Rise and Greens) promise ,they don’t have to deliver.
    Sound familiar.
    And from Scot goes Pop’s reckoning and other pollsters Rise aren’t gonna get even 1 Msp in May,ffs,even though I’d be happy to see 100 elected in a true run election in a Free Scotland.

    Rise’s utopian nirvana would be wonderful to deliver but just a tad wishful and unrealistic at this moment in time and as for Loki I reckon he’s just playing the ‘I’m a wannabe celebrity get me in there’system and good luck with that,the Johnny Rotten of the Indy structure, Loki Rotten.
    Let’s not kid ourselves he’s pushing anything apart from Loki plc.
    Entertaining and thought provoking though his ramblings may be,his underlying self promotion agenda is just a bit obvious.
    Will we eventually see the real Loki?
    Not so sure.

    All the other mouth pieces are demanding Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP change the world when we know from the Smith fiasco Scotland Bill that all she can change are the fucking road signs.
    I’m not an unquestioning cult SNP fanatic,I just want an Independent Scotland and if Rise became the first elected government in a Free Scotland election I would accept the democratic will of the people.
    SCOTLAND MUST BE INDEPENDENT FIRST AND FOREMOST.
    However,and I don’t know how you cannot fathom this, without getting to that starting point we’re almost back where we began in 2007.
    Anyways Mike Happy Easter.
    😀

    1. Flower of Scotland says:

      I agree with you, thomaspotter2014.

      I am a socialist, and I’ve always voted SNP. Scotland needs Independence first and foremost.

      Rise, solidarity and greens can promise all they like in the Holyrood Elections but they will never be in a strong enough position to implement them. Those voting for these parties are splitting the vote.

      I will personally never forgive these parties, if they affect our road to Independence.

      1. Saor Alba says:

        @ Flower of Scotland. Me neither!

        Saorsa

    2. Alf Baird says:

      The SNP are no longer advocating or offering independence at this or any other national election. The only party as far as I can see offering a Ref2 by 2018 is Solidarity.

      1. Bruce Stuart says:

        I think the point that is being missed here is that like them or otherwise, the SNP are the only party large enough to potentially deliver independance. The others, well meaning as they undoubtedly are, can not deliver the ultimate goal of independence as they will not attract enough votes. Unfortunately as a by product they may split the vote & allow unionist parties to start making inroads & that is surely not what any of us want.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Bruce, the SNP are no longer offering independence, even if they again win a majority of seats, as they are forecast to do. Their raison detre has changed to providing ‘competent’ devolved government within the UK.

          1. Alex Birnie says:

            Alf Baird, it doesn’t matter how many times you beat your little drum, about the SNP being satisfied with devolution, nobody is listening, because you don’t have a scrap of evidence to back up that ridiculous statement. Everything the SNP does or says is passed through the prism “will this bring independence nearer?”. If the answer is “yes”, then they say it or do it. Will raising taxes bring independence nearer? The answer when passed through that prism is “no”, so “no” it is. Is raising taxes the moral thing to do? Ah! – dIfferent, irrelevant question! Post Indy, this type of question will be weighed completely differently, but for now……it’s the independence, stupid! As a lifelong socialist, I am 100% behind the SNP’s approach, because the only way for Scots to get out from under the Tories, is independence.

      2. Albamac says:

        Gie it a rest, Alf. You’re like a one-trick pony tethered to a grindstone.

  9. Graeme Purves says:

    People seem to have short memories. The boring, technocratic, nothing-much-will-change Yes campaign devised by SNP spin-doctors left voters largely unmoved during the independence referendum. It was the creative and socially aspirational grass-roots campaign that delivered the 45%.

    1. Mike says:

      It was the SNP supporting foot soldiers who populated the majority of the grass roots activists. The door to door conversations the leafleting the stalls the marches.

      It is the support for the SNP which got us an Indy ref to begin with and it will be support for the SNP which gets us another crack at an Indyref.

      If we don’t get it under Nicola Sturgeon who else has the character and charisma to be the face of pro Independence in Scotland? Sillars? Harvey? Fox? Webster? seriously?

      Christ if you cant see that then you have no vision at all.

      1. I didn’t realise ‘charisma’ was the key to winning independence? Thanks for that. Who’s Webster?

        1. Mike says:

          If charisma counts for nothing then Labour would put Kezia Dugdale for FM on the ballot paper. Do you honestly think Labour can win a majority with Dugdale? Do you no think having Murphy in charge was a major factor in Labours defeat? Do you think Labour can improve their chances by putting Jackie Baillie in charge?
          Do you no think Labour lost the GE because of Miliband?
          The majority in the UK cant stand Cameron yet he won because even less people wanted Miliband as PM.

          I like RISE I like the greens I like the National collective Scotland is lucky to have them but now is not their time! They cannot achieve Independence. Only the SNP has the capacity to get us over the line and until we get over that line we need to stay fully focused on keeping the Indy movement cohesive and not divisive.

          1. “I like RISE I like the greens I like the National collective Scotland is lucky to have them but now is not their time!”

            National Collective ended some time ago.

      2. Graeme Purves says:

        All credit to the the SNP activists, who proved more creative than their special advisers and spin-doctors, but the grass-roots campaign animated a large number of people who hadn’t previously been active.

        I am arguing for recognising political pluralism as a strength, not the replacement of Nicola Sturgeon! But I see more prospect of positive change being delivered by active citizenship than the cult of leadership. That’s probably where our visions differ!

        1. Saor Alba says:

          The positive change you are advocating is good, but it can only be brought about when we have OUR OWN Independent Country and Government who have all the necessary tools to bring about that change. Then pluralism will shape our country, but we need to be Independent first.

          All the Scottish Government can do at the moment is the best in can do whilst in a straightjacket – and it is doing well. Let’s get out of the straightjacket.

          Saorsa

        2. Anagach says:

          “I am arguing for recognising political pluralism as a strength” and it is socially – but it does not work well in our electoral system, not even with the Scottish Government proportional voting system. A lot of diverse political groups end up with NO representation in the system, thus being even further marginalised. Its the larger ones that prosper, so if you want to shift the balance in our elected bodies towards your beliefs it becomes a compromise of who is closest to your beliefs – and has a chance of getting a representative.

          Being critcal is not a “process towards Independence”, its being critical. And while being critical is good and often leads to improvements, public attacks with no constructive element on your own side – are really not.

  10. JohnEdgar says:

    We need to break the Westminster curse on Scotland first and foremost. Holyrood had shown, and I mean Holyrood since its inception, that we Scots can create a separate body politic, even if in the early days three parties were still timid in their approach by not deviating too far from their branch office status.
    There have been more Scotland focussed policies from the SNP than from any other party at Holyrood. Yet, let us not forget, the new local government franchise act from Labour and the LibDems when in office was a decisive step. (It seems they have forgotten that as they have become detached from themselves lately). Even the Tories, the original minor entity after 1997, have had representation at Holyrood and in local government according to the votes cast. They were agin everything anent Scotland, Holyrood and sound voting systems. Ironic! And even more ironic js how the three unionist parties ha e been hammered at the general election in Scotland in 2015 by the fptp the system Labour and the Tories opted for in the referendum on a changed system for the UK.
    The SNP strategy towards independence is the right one; we wait and see that the country is gaining in confidence and that the attitudes that mesmerised us in the past to forelock tugging and thirled us to the ancien UK are vanishing. There are generations now in young adulthood here who do not know only Westminster! Those who ate interested in Scottish politics can see that there are pathways north of the Tweed. After all, the unionists are a good example of how not to be. One MP each from Scotland! Pretty duff lot!
    The future is Scottish. Even the current leaders of Slab and LibDem here have stated that members can vote for independence at next referendum. There is confidence there in their unionism!! That has Ruth Davidson screeching in her election leaflets of ” betrayal” by her erstwhile better together cronies. When one keeks over the Tweed, there is not much to attract in Cameron, Corbyn and the LibDem leader whose name one has forgotten already. The pro independence parties and groups need to work and build together.

    1. Anne says:

      Excellent analysis John! Also I wonder why Rise et al are not increasing their vote from ‘dyed in the wool’ Slabors as this should b their natural territory? If not now when?

  11. Shane says:

    The SNP is the Only party we have that can bring independence, no other party will. Winning fights can be ugly and savage but morally correct ! Pull your socks up, tie your shoe laces, stand up straight and stop fucking winging .. Vote SNP x2 INDEPENDENCE ( Ding – Ding, last and final round .. Fight. )

    1. Alf Baird says:

      If as you say “The SNP is the Only party we have that can bring independence”, why have the SNP removed our right to vote for independence at national elections?

      1. Alex Birnie says:

        No they haven’t. That’s a complete distortion of the truth. If I were less polite, I’d call it a downright lie. Leading up to the GE, less than 8 months after the referendum defeat, Nicola Sturgeon, for good, strategic reasons declared that a vote for the SNP was NOT a vote for a 2nd referendum. This tactical approach kinda worked, could even be called “a success”. Having succeeded beyond most of our wildest dreams, she decided to act like a responsible politician, and to not renege on her statement, again – probably for sound tactical reasons. We are now poised to achieve what would have been unthinkable even 10 years ago – back to back majorities in Holyrood. If she decides not to put a specific promise of a referendum in the manifesto, you know what? – I DON’T CARE!. Because the SNP tactics appear to be “moderately” successful, I’m prepared to believe that excluding a definite promise of a 2nd referendum is the correct tactical thing to do. On the other hand, if a promise of a referendum is included, the I’ll be even happier, and I’ll still be convinced that it is the CORRECT TACTICAL THING TO DO! I trust the SNP! At least a hundred thousand Scots trust the SNP. I suspect that the number of folk who trust the SNP is much, much larger than the SNP membership. We’ll sweep the council elections next year, and sometime in the near future, the SNP will judge the time right, and we’ll hold a 2nd referendum. Naive? Maybe! – but I’d rather be that, than be swayed by naysayers like you, whose motives I absolutely don’t trust!

  12. Elaine says:

    Wrong. Derek’s paragraph is exactly exactly right.

  13. Chris Hanlon says:

    ‘a deluge of denouncing denialism’ is an ad hominem attack on the opinions of those that disagree with you.

    The idea that you would write a piece complaining that you are being told that you should not criticise the SNP whilst simultaneously denigrating anyone who might disagree with you is beyond parody.

    I’m happy to criticise the SNP leadership if they are in the wrong, and did so, loudly and publicly, at conference.

    Nobody is telling you that you should not criticise the SNP. Bash on. If the SNP are doing something wrong let us know.

    What you don’t get to do is claim that you are special snowflake new media types and therefore your opinion is above analysis and criticism. Now you are the ones that are starting to go all Animal Farm and the idea that the rest of us that cut our teeth during indyref on Wings aren’t going to tear you to shreds just like the corporate media you are morphing into is laughable.

    My goals here are entirely utilitarian. The greatest good for the greatest number. Any idealogical position that proves to run counter to that goal will go under the bus without the slightest hesitation on my part. Even independence itself.

    The only thing that really matters is the Truth. Whatever the evidence shows is the best course of action.

    Our vibrant new media is disproportionately dominated by fringe-indy voices that appear to be trying to manipulate the narrative to benefit themselves rather than our entire society. If you think 90,000 pro-indy voices that now represent the majority of the membership of the SNP are going to shut up and eat our cereal if you continue down this path you are sadly mistaken.

    If independence is your goal ask yourself ‘how did we get here?’ and ‘who deserves the credit for achieving that?’

    It was an SNP majority that got us indyref and it will almost certainly be an SNP majority that brings us indyref2. Will a pro-indy majority achieved by gaming AMS endear us to the 55%? Or will it give the pro-unionist parties all the ammunition they need to bury the sovereign will of the people of Scotland for another three centuries?

    If you want to see a more diverse pro-indy parliament in Holyrood earn it fair and square by convincing unionist voters that are never going to vote SNP that they can vote for a different pro-indy party. There are plenty of disaffected Libdems or Labour that might well vote Green or Rise.

    Put all that energy into putting Willie Rennie out of a job instead of fueling this sort of pointless internecine squabbling.

    1. James Coleman says:

      Hear! Hear!

  14. John Page says:

    As usual, Mike you sum things up so well. I don’t know about the youngsters who were engaged with politics for the first time during the IndyRef (having previously been turned off all political parties) but I am bored rigid with this election campaign. For every middle class voter made more comfortable with the SNP, are there two youngsters concluding that it is all irrelevant and that all politicians are the same?
    For me, Mike, the most memorable quote in the last two years was your phrase in your speech in Kirkcaldy…..”this is not about Bannockburn, it is about Raploch”. If we have another 5 years of managerial politics without radical challenge to the attainment gap, substantial steps to a localised and sustainable economy and redistributive and land value based tax policies then we will lose the next Referendum because the voters who are currently being courted will still vote with their wallets and the young and marginalised will look with an indifferent eye on the New Labouresque spin doctor dominated and corporate lobbyist cultivated SNP.
    Thank you
    John Page

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      Spot on, John!

    2. Thanks John. I’m glad that phrase landed with someone! I agree entirely – we build for independence by inspiring people it will make a real difference. We actually have a model for an indy prospectus built on social conservatism – it just lost!

      1. Anne says:

        This is a serious question, why are Rise not gaining support from SLabor in central Scotland? Why don’t they focus on Randers, OO, Britnats in South Ayrshire? This is where making the case for Indi is needed, where the low paid and majority are. SNP can’t break into these areas with any significance (because they are still perceived as Tartain Tories which of course they are not) and I’d bet these areas are where Daily Record sales are highest. It make no sense to attack SNP when Slabours are the people to convince about Indi! SLabour might be down but it’s not out in these areas. Cleaver media is needed to enlighten Scotland’s most depressed and bitter people and give them hope!

        1. Darby O'Gill says:

          Unfortunately Anne unlike other parties, RISE don’t have millionaires as supporters, nor do they have income from the subscriptions of over 100, 000 members. Simply raising the money required to have candidates stand in this election requires a great deal of personal sacrifice from its limited membership, never mind the additional costs of printing literature. But they feel that someone has to represent the interests of the the poor, the unemployed, the low-waged, the users of foodbanks and the 1in 4 children in Scotland living in poverty because no-one else seems willing to do it. It is a condition of their candidacy that that no RISE MSP can accept any more than the average national wage. Nor can they own shares or purchase property for rent. Working MSP’s for working people.

          1. Albamac says:

            “Unfortunately Anne unlike other parties, RISE don’t have millionaires as supporters, nor do they have income from the subscriptions of over 100, 000 members”

            How much support did the SNP have in 1934, Darby? What do you think they’ve been doing for 82 years? Building cat-flaps for slinky opportunists?

            My message to Rise and the rest is – work for it!

      2. muttley79 says:

        So how are you going to persuade the voters who voted No in 2014 to support independence?

    3. Alf Baird says:

      “New Labouresque spin doctor dominated and corporate lobbyist cultivated SNP.”

      Well said John, totally agree with that.

  15. Lindsay says:

    Why not leave Derek Bateman, Paul Kavanagh, Loki, Common Weal etc to do their thing while Bella can do it’s own thing – surely there’s room for lots of differing pro-Indy opinions? If you think ‘our new media can do better’ why not concentrate on making Bella better and the media of choice, rather than writing articles complaining about the others? There are lots of different types of Indy supporters and new media should reflect that – do what you do, and leave others to do their thing too because you’re all equally as valuable as each other.

    1. We are concentrating on making Bella . I have huge respect for Paul and Derek and I’m pretty sure they can cope with a bit of debate!

      1. Albamac says:

        There’s a big difference between debate and snide remarks from supercilious smart-arses.

        Get a grip, Bella!

  16. Gary Winter says:

    You all miss the point. There is nothing fundamentally radical about independence. I voted yes, but recognized even as I did so that the Yes campaign was built on a delusion. Independence will replace UK:OK with Scotland:OK- it was always going to. The energy and passion wasted on gaining an Independent Scotland will simply not be there to shape that Scotland. There are no radical Nationalisms. What radicals have done here is trigger a reactionary Nationalism and badged it radical. Indeed they truly believe that theirs is a radical movement. It can only end in tears, and a reformation of an establishment in Scotland mirroring that of Westminster. The honest vehicle for a radical Nationalism is through Green or Socialist parties who see independence as a vehicle rather than an end. In tying itself to the conservative and reactionary force of Nationalism per se through the SNP, radical Scotland effectively neutralises itself.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      “Independence will replace UK:OK with Scotland:OK”

      Good point Gary. Even after indy Scotland would still be left with the same civil service and institutional leaderships which are primarily elitist, centre-right, and unionist. Changing that mindset of ‘institutional Scotland’ will require ‘major surgery’ at the top, so to speak, otherwise radical policy changes will be blocked. As will changing the fact that much of the Scottish economy is today offshore owned and controlled, everything from airports/ports, energy, aggregates, whisky, land estates, property etc., which makes our economy uncompetitive and weak. The SNP has done very little to change any of the prevailing institutional structures in almost a decade in office. And its only policy differences from other establishment parties have amounted to less than 5% spend of the overall holyrood budget (free buses, prescriptions, student fees etc). In reality it has failed to fundamentally change much in Scotland.

      1. James_Mac says:

        Christ alive. We don’t have a government of our choice. Everything we have is defined in statute. Even if RISE were elected, they could maybe do one or two things. They might be able to create a constitutional crisis, get absolutely thrashed by ruthless Tories, and we’d be back at square one.

        Here’s a prediction: We’ll be left with Mike Small complaining that the ‘indyref legacy’ was not nourished by the SNP, maybe even get an invite from the BBC to push that line. It’s a load of bollocks. No-one votes for RISE or Green (in large numbers) because they haven’t done nothing to deserve our vote. Sheridan was arrested several times for stopping court bailiffs. If they had such a massive and influential role in the Yes campaign, it was because they caught people’s imagination and not by lambasting NewsNet Scotland for telling people the perfectly obvious: if you want independence then vote SNP.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          “thrashed by ruthless Tories”

          Not something to fear I would have thought. The Scottish people created a “constitutional crisis” and achieved de facto independence by giving the SNP a majority in 2011 and in 2015 but the SNP did not push that advantage as they might have, prefering to rely only on the dubious referendum option.

  17. Craig says:

    The fact is the SNP is a popular government with a mandate and a very popular leader. The media should reflect this while holding them to account when necessary.

    All I read everyday on both sides of the border is attacks on the SNP and Sturgeon. Many seem to be appearing within the Independence movement.

    Sturgeon can be the lady that gets us over the line. Thats why she has my backing even though I don’t agree with the SNP’s cautious approach to many things.

    I want an Independent Scotland. We haven’t won the fight yet…

    1. Alf Baird says:

      “I want an Independent Scotland”

      So do many other folk Craig, me included. But the SNP no longer offer or campaign for independence at national elections.

      1. muttley79 says:

        Alf, if you genuinely think and are arguing that the SNP do not want independence then your are being seriously misguided and completely wrong, and that is being polite in the extreme.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          I can only go by what is in the party manifesto, and from what I have heard so far the SNP no longer campaigns for independence at national elections, Holyrood or UK. This to my mind changes the party’s raison detre from independence to that of offering ‘competent’ devolved government within the UK. This effectively makes the SNP a unionist party.

  18. FatCandy says:

    I’ve always held Bella in high regard. This diatribe is bizarre as the points both WGD and Bateman make are quite clear.

    To take them out of context for your own partisan political ends does nobody any good.

    It’ll be interesting to see your next crowd funder given your partisanship.

  19. Duncan says:

    When I go to the ballot box I look for a party that can get us to independence. I am not looking for a party that can give us “political plurailty” or any other buzz words or phrase dreamed up by the serial snipers. That party right now is the SNP, not RISE or Greens or any of the others. Over the past decades the SNP have risen to where they are now in the face of the most vitruperative anti Scottish racist bile seen in these islands, since American Independence, and the campaign against them. Winnie Ewing when she first went to the HOC describes how she was spat at and abused by Unionist MPs in the lobbies, until Harold Wilson intervened. The SNP have earned their success the hard way. Those who seek to climb on their shoulders are simply chancers. And we know how Scots treat chancers. If those people have independence for Scotland in their heart they need to have a good look at themselves. Once we get iScotland that is then the time to lobby for all that their heart desires. We can shape our own destiny not have it shaped for us. iScotland is now inevitable, but only if we stick to the task and not get diverted with this navel gazing pettiness.
    There are forces working very hard to divide and conquer amongst us, who have been activated for this very moment in time. It is a tactic as old as time itself and one which the UK is very adept at utilising. You only have to look at N. Ireland to see it at work. How they would love to clone it in Scotland.

    1. Saor Alba says:

      Well said Duncan.
      I have said this elsewhere on WGD (our best site in my opinion) and on Wings, but the SNP have most certainly walked the walk, despite a negative media and vitriolic hatred from the Unionist parties. It is easy for those not in Government to talk the talk – they will not have to back it up. I cannot believe the anti-SNP bile now coming from some so-called radicals.

    2. Alf Baird says:

      “When I go to the ballot box I look for a party that can get us to independence”

      The SNP have since 2015 stopped campaigning for independence at national elections. The only party campaigning for a REF2 by 2018 at this election appears to be Solidarity.

      1. Darby O'Gill says:

        Not so Alf. The RISE manifesto calls for a second referendum ‘in the lifetime of the next Scottish Parliament, and at a time of their choosing’.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Thanks for that clarification Darby.

  20. Gordon Bain says:

    Is Bella at all familiar with the old tactic of divide & conquor? It would appear not because you seem to be all-out supporting the “useful idiots” of RISE et al. Why can’t Bella & Mike see the big picture? That independence is the enabler. That nothing meaningful will be achieved without it.

    The referendum result nearly crushed my Father, as well as myself. He passed away exactly one week before the SNP achieved it’s historic result last May. The future looked very bright indeed. And just when we might be getting to the tipping point of inevitable independence people like Mike Small and the whole RISE movement start doing Westminster’s work for them.

    I’ll tell you this, if the SNP do not command a majority in Holyrood after May’s election I will hold every one of you people responsible. It’s time to wake up & smell the coffee.

  21. Bill McLean says:

    There’s a much bigger game in play here and the aim is the resumption of our national independence. Like them or not the SNP is the ONLY party capable of taking us there. Then vote for who the hell you want. We are falling into the same old trap of in-fighting. The unionists will be loving this and probably promoting these ideas!

  22. tartanfever says:

    One thing to possibly consider for the future.

    The next Indyref will not see the ‘Yes’ grassroots movement dominate the public sphere so emphatically. The ‘No’ campaign realise that they can no longer rely on the press to relay their message. Don’t think that the Yes will have a monopoly on alternative campaigning methods, the last referendum was too close for ‘No’ to now sit back and repeat the same mistakes.

    With that in mind, I think Mike is quite right to bring up the broader subject of how we progress from here and I think it has to start now.

    A couple of suggestions.

    I’ve always thought the SNP need to ‘pick a fight with the BBC’ and frankly that needs to happen soon, like after this election. That’s up to them and many will disagree with my comment, but after years of watching BBC news items, the standard plan of attack is more than apparent and the SNP could be more effective in the 10 second soundbite allocated to them for each news story. They don’t have to co-operate so willingly.

    More importantly, how about looking at how economic news is reported ?

    Just now we hear the same old division of Scotland and the rest of the UK which coincides with how GERS are calculated, how unemployment is calculated, business development etc.

    However, the UK doesn’t work like that.

    The UK picture should be divided as London and then the regions with Wales, Scotland and NI being treated as such. When Scotland is compared fairly to the other regions, our economy, business figures, unemployment, investment and so on come out as very good.

    London is the outlier that bears no resemblance to anywhere else in the UK. London receives by far a huge advantage in capital infrastructure. more than it’s status as capital should allow. Thousands of pounds per head of population is spent when other regions receive mere hundreds.

    London is built on dodgy tax haven profiteering and a collapsed banking system. We have been led to believe that Scotland relies solely on oil and our economy is shot when prices drop. The reality is that the financial collapse in London was far worse than anything falling oil prices have done and it is London that is basket case, subsidy junkie that we always find ourselves accused of.

    So when our media report that ‘Scotland is worse than the UK’ as they so often do, why don’t we (the broad Yes movement) take another approach and look at things from a different angle. Use the figures available and break things down broadly as London and the regions. It gives a completely different outcome to what we are used to hearing.

    It seems that our problem is not taking part in the game, it’s that we let the media and the UK government write the rules of the game. Well, why not change some of the rules.

    We need to write our own story.

    1. Sandra Hunter says:

      “The most radical act that Scotland can take will be for all powers and responsibilities to fall to a Scottish parliament that is accountable to the people of Scotland and beholden to them alone.”

      So true.”

      Mike, your commitment is admirable – but Scotland is not an isolated country unaffected by the taint of globalism and global strategies which are overwhelming and dangerously tipping the remnants of democracy worldwide. The level of control is obscene. You musn’t forget what a target Scotland is for ‘intervention’ on may levels and the only thing capable of holding it at bay in any respect is this SNP government. Do not forget the influences which were called into play by Cameron and all of Westminster and its outriders, corporate, global media conglomerates, foreign states and the neo-liberal movers and shakers during the 2014 Referendum. Through this onslaught the SNP were the global target and this was big power. You say the SNP are not ‘radical’ enough for you – but the SNP were the only target then as they were the perceived the legitimate danger to the establishment. What happened? The SNP did not waver – they took it all, the humiliations, the global media put-downs, the threats from overseas states and the UK government – and the power behind it all is not to be forgotten and is being reinforced again now. Rothchilds, Coca Cola, Saudi, Qatar, Westminster, Murdoch, the energy corporates and go-betweens of the military/industrial organisations will not be spending millions fighting RISE – they still want to ‘kill the SNP stone dead’ – because the SNP remain the target and are the only body with their backs to the wall against this onslaught. You musn’t lose sight of the reality of the big picture. The SNP WERE radical – they did not back down one iota when pretty much the global machine fired on them. Not a single government or political party in the UK has EVER had to face that – and they didn’t kow tow UK stylie to that onslaught. Don’t forget or dismiss how serious that was and still is.

      The SNP have to do the ‘day’ job every day – and whilst it may seem ‘boring’ or not ‘radical’ enough for you – they are taking the responsibility of keeping the country on its feet – enough to allow those who don’t have those responsibilities to have the freedom and time (it seems) to assess, scrutinise the current situation, look at what happened in 2014 and look at what has to be done, in practicality, to shape Scotland for the future. We had the storming in 2014, there is a period of ‘norming’ where consolidation of the reality, the practicalities and the plans for the future have to be sit within what are the current limitations – and when that is solid and Scotland truly stands as ‘Scotland’ – and not a 55% and 45% division which is effectively still the strategy of those extremely strong forces outwith – then is the time to look at the framework which is being set and move swiftly forward.

      Everyone in the Yes movement made their contribution hugely – but that movement has to be inclusive and strong enough to carry all of Scotland with it unquestioningly and has to want it and what is best for Scotland. I think that is independence. So do you? But this is perhaps what you perceive as a ‘boring’ time and not a ‘radical’ time. Things are not moving fast enough for you. The SNP have to spend as much time on the day to day administration and have to be patient with the areas where as a government they cannot afford to make ‘radical’ decisions when George Osborne’s next moves are always an unknown and the Europe question dangles like the sword of Damocles because we will be tied by England’s voting decisions. There is much more to come with this which we cannot foresee at the moment and the SNP is forced to hold a steady economical ship with limited power because the next few months will see changes out of our control.

      Division and ‘radical’ – is all very well when the playing field is secure. This is the most tricky time for the ScotGov. The SNP have been fortunate with a majority in Holyrood. Curtice’s predictions have in the past been spot on. Do not underestimate what the other Westminster parties have coming up the line in the next few weeks. The SNP cannot afford to be weakened in any way at this specific time and it cannot afford to lose seats. This is the one chance, after our Referendum, to hold fast in Holyrood this time around and make the playing field stronger in order to effect the conditions which can open ScotGov up to more diversity as soon as is possible. An element of patience is vital to set those conditions more conducive to opening the gates of possibility.

      If the SNP do not gain at this Holyrood election – the whole independence movement will be weakened for all of us. We cannot afford to lose an inch in legitimacy within government.

      All best wishes.

      1. FatCandy says:

        Very well said.

      2. Alf Baird says:

        Sandra, I hear the sad violin music playing in the background, but independence is not for the faint hearted. The SNP need to put the foot back down firmly on the independence pedal and stop pussyfooting around just making their party organisation bigger with ever more party feeders at the public trough. I expect to see at least a commitment to another referendum in the SNP manifesto, although I would ideally like to see the promise of an ‘Independence (Scotland) Act’. This is a national election after all so lets treat it like one, and not a regional council election where all we talk about is raising another 1% of the budget in tax and bloody ‘competence’.

      3. JohnEdgar says:

        Excellent! Well said and argued.

    2. Alf Baird says:

      “London is built on dodgy tax haven profiteering”, however much of Scotland’s economy is also owned via offsore tax havens. But has any Scottish politician noticed, never mind have they any actual policies to deal with the problem, which is at the root of wealth inequality and lack of competitiveness.

  23. Alistair Davidson says:

    (FELLOW COMMENTERS: Bella has a diverse editorial board from all parties and none. The site doesn’t have a single viewpoint, but publishes various viewpoints. I’m on the editorial board and here is my defense of the SNP)

    The SNP manifesto isn’t out yet but as with previous manifestos, it seems likely to be a list of steady centre-left reforms, which is good going given the difficulties of operating under devolution.

    I have not seen one commentator say give up on ending poverty. I have seen several say that holding that course of leftward reform is a sensible path.

    The only examples I have seen given of what the SNP should be doing but is not are raising taxes. Of course we all know, going back to Alan Bissett’s excellent speech in 2014, that the most visible taxes have been devolved, as a trap.

    A fair hearing for the SNP might criticise them for timidity, especially over local taxation, but also acknowledge the many excellent reforms underway, including *universal free child care*. Have we really come to a point where we can shrug off all the reforms of the last parliament and all those promised for the next one?

    Loki’s piece was a powerful description of poverty sat next to a single policy (raise the 45p rate of tax) that would have no impact at all on poverty, interspersed with photos of Nicola Sturgeon by Stephen Daisley. An an exhortation to vote for RISE, who are the least-tactical of all voting options, and who themselves would be incapable of ending poverty if they ever came near power.

    The first policy on their website, “RISE MSPs would propose a No Cuts budget,” is the same policy that led to every worker in Liverpool being sent a P45 by their ‘socialist’ council, leaving the far left in Britain discredited for decades after.

    The Greens are actually putting forward quite a sensible set of Socialist policies, with their land taxes and interest in community ownership.

    All the manifestos will be out soon, and then we can start to compare the parties proposals point-by-point. Much of what has passed for debate has just been tribalism, on all sides.

    1. James_Mac says:

      The debates so far have been boring, but they have been just as boring as they have been in previous years. The point is that the Scottish Parliament does not have enough power, so we just have a bunch of parties trying to blame the Scottish Government for problems of Westminster’s making.

      In light of this, the way in which the press are trying to smear the SNP is the most remarkable thing of this election. Our press is pretty much a full-on joke right now, the PFI scandal was dropped pretty quickly because it was a legacy of the old Labour system. I don’t even think Bella has covered that. Considering it was predictable to anyone around at the time, it is just that young activists don’t remember time before the SNP or why the SNP are in power.

  24. James_Mac says:

    This type of absurd nonsense is turning me off politics. The fact of the matter is we cannot do anything without independence. Pretending that the 50p income tax rate is important or this ‘Chinese deal’ is significant (in the same week 18 cabinet ministers – and countless Labour MPS too – have been implicated in tax evasion) is absolutely ridiculous.

    Maybe a few of the 20-something ‘commentators’ like Loki and (to a lesser extent) Mike Small don’t know this, but no-one will listen to bland, predictable ramblings about Scotland if it weren’t for the SNP.

    That’s not to say we should be quiet about the SNP, but to claim the Scottish Parliament have any real power or form any kind of elite is complete and utter bollocks. If you think that Labour (who will be the chief beneficiaries of any fall in the SNP vote) will usher in an era that we all hoped would come from the referendum, you’re an idiot. They will, like they did before, implement Westminster policy quietly and obediently and no-one will care what you think. A few of the maddest right-wingers will cling onto a newspaper gig, but otherwise Scottish politics will be a place to for no-marks to argue about Council Tax, much like it is becoming.

    We should be agitating for more devolution. Instead we are getting a bunch of ‘social media gurus’ who want nothing more than a spot on Question Time or a column in the Times. Hence we get a Loki lying about his social background, as if that makes his point, if he actually has one, any more valid.

    Independence and constitutional affairs is what needs to change, and we should not forget that. That is why the SNP are attacked mercisslessly in the press and not Kezia Dugdale and her Westminster Austerity Tax. We should be discussing how we get more powers and what powers they should be, not this “SNP won’t implement a policy to pay for Tory austerity” or even more bizarrely “We don’t agree with council tax but you shouldn’t freeze it”.

    1. James_Mac says:

      If Loki is RISE, that makes him less annoying but he’s getting these gigs from ITV’s far-right political editor Stephen Daisley. It’s due to his anti-SNP positions.

    2. Alf Baird says:

      If as you say “we cannot do anything without independence”, why are the SNP not campaigning for independence at the forthcoming national election? Why have they stopped campaigning for independence? If a party is no longer offering independence it can hardly deliver independence.

      1. James_Mac says:

        If you can convince people you are truly the people that will bring independence (and not the SNP), people will vote for you. You won’t convince anyone of that by attacking the SNP though, you need to big up yourselves.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Its the SNP who need to “big up” themselves, by offering independence as no.1 priority at every national election, as they always used to do prior to 2015, as their very raison detre, until comfort and complacency set it. They actually now appear to be embarrased to campaign for independence.

  25. Grant Buttars says:

    Why is it that anything critical of the SNP for not going far enough is reduced to be described as ‘anti-SNP’? Indyref was about plurality and such reductionist nonsense now does nothing to sustain our movement. There will be a cost in terms of turnout at the election and I’m beginning to hear, ever more frequently of people thinking of abstaining on their first vote – not because they are anti-SNP but because they feel they are being taken for granted. This movement has to be sustained and narrow, binary perspectives will not do it. It will not be sustained by complacency and it will not be sustained by keeping our mouths shut and waiting. It will be sustained by active engagement, by rigorous debate and by acknowledging and embracing the diversity that got us to 45%. That is our foundation and on that we need to build.

    1. Grant Buttars says:

      On and the other cost is allowing Scottish Labour to pose as the anti-austerity party, despite its abysmal record.

    2. James_Mac says:

      There is a difference between Mike Small arguing that a vote for the Greens could enhance indy cause. However, there is an anti-SNP rhetoric that bothers me.

      Here’s an example…

      I agree Council Tax should be abolished. Not least, if done successfully it could greatly enhance the argument for independence. A Land-Value tax would be the best thing to do, but have that discussion.

      The problem I have is that there is not much else to discuss in Scottish politics since we have a mid-way house parliament, where we cannot stop austerity. Even there the SNP position is often confused. The SNP have committed not to decrease taxes further in line with Osbourne’s budget. It’s difficult to go beyond that. The more I see the Greens going down this path, i.e. Loki and (sometimes) Mike Small, lambasting voters for voting for the SNP, the more I fear the Greens will simply be a rhetorical party who are merely there to do the Unionist job for them: arguing the SNP can do an awful lot with limited powers, when they clearly can’t.

    3. Alf Baird says:

      Well said Grant. This is no time for complacency. The SNP should always campaign for independence, after all its the party’s raison d’être. They are polling around 55% on the constituency vote without even campaigning for or offering independence.They should up the ante and return to their roots and raison d’être and offer REF2 by 2018, or even better an Independence (Scotland) Act. That is what national elections are for, not for tweaking the budget 1% by raising a wee bit tax and another five years as Westminster’s ‘competent’ and obedient poodle.

  26. John Page says:

    There is a model on the Weber Shandwick Scotland Votes web site.
    Please try the following
    Put in the latest poll numbers from Scot Goes Pop and see what the model predicts.
    Then do it again switching all the SNP second votes to Green
    ……go on, just try it.
    Thanks
    John Page

    1. Saor Alba says:

      The problem is reality. Can you guarantee that all these votes would go to Greens?

      1. Saor Alba says:

        Also – you want us to rely on a poll and a model to get near to the truth?
        Unbelievable!

      2. John Page says:

        Did you do the exercise?

    2. Gashty McGonnard says:

      Hi John Page. I’m too lazy to do all of that. How does it turn out?

      1. John Page says:

        An SNP overall majority, over 100 pro Indy MSPs, no UKIP and precious view SLab or Tories………please actually do the exercise……..less effort than typing your last post.
        Thank you
        John Page

        1. yesindyref2 says:

          An overall SNP majority based on current polling, not the ballot box, with the SNP getting 67 MSPs with one seat close, and 2 in North lanark where anthing could happen because of recent events, leaving 64 – which is no overall majority.

          The SNP need to get list seats, or there is no overall SNP majority, and no Indy Ref 2.

          And if the SNP get less seats in total than in 2011, that’s 69, or even the same, 69, the media will be full of “SNP support declinging, no appetite in Scotland for Independence”.

          Bye bye Indy.

    3. James Kelly says:

      Good thinking, John. How’s the prototype for that mind control ray coming along? Getting a million or so non-Greens to vote Green should be pretty darn easy.

      1. Alf Baird says:

        I think, James, that John makes a valid point concerning list votes, e.g.:

        1m Yes votes for SNP: = 2-4 list seats (and 20+ unionist seats)

        1m Yes votes for other Indy parties: = 20-30 list seats (and c.20 less unionist seats)

        Conclusion: an SNP list vote is simply a shoe in for more unionist MSPs and prevents more indy MSP’s being elected. SNP1+2 is for mugs.

        Recommendation: Vote SNP1 plus any from Greens/Rise/Solidarity2

        1. James Kelly says:

          Alf : You’re simply reiterating John’s original point without explaining why my objection is ill-founded. Is there a way of getting one million non-Greens to vote Green? The obvious answer would appear to be “don’t be daft, it’s completely and utterly impossible”, but if you’ve made progress on the mind control ray, by all means share the good news.

          John : Yes, I write Scot Goes Pop. I’m afraid I think sarcasm is fully justified when someone is casually saying “oh, let’s get one million people to change their vote to suit ourselves”, as if that’s the easiest thing in the world.

          1. Alf Baird says:

            James, yes appreciate the problem and 1m list votes to Green is unrealistic. However a sizeable Yes list vote could still shift to Green/RISE/Solidarity, perhaps even 500k.

          2. John Page says:

            You keep up the sarcasm James, hopefully the casual reader will absorb and pass on as authoritative the obfuscation from you and Wings to justify an unthinking approach to the 2nd Vote.
            If you were responsible for the detailed example quoted below about 95% List votes for SNP, I am sure that on reflection you will feel thoroughly ashamed of yourself.
            Just for the record I am not suggesting that there will be a million List Green votes…….I am just asking people to try out the numbers for themselves. Your trite response makes it clear that you don’t want people to do their own thinking so that you can continue to obfuscate.
            As a committed Yes campaigner I am disgusted by your response to my post
            John Page

      2. John Page says:

        James
        I am not sure how to respond to your comment……..I am trying to be polite and constructive………I assume you are being sarcastic.
        Just do the exercise.
        Here is my thinking:
        I want Independence
        I will vote SNP in my constituency
        I loathe SLAB
        I have spent a considerable time looking at the 2nd vote system
        I think the Greens have some very good policies especially around te Land Value Tax as well as the obvious environmental issues
        The top 4 Green list candidates for my Region all were active Yes campaigners
        On my figures on current polling for my region the SNP get all the constituency seats and no list seats with SLAB getting 3 and two more for other unionists
        Why would I waste my second vote on the SNP.
        Please do the exercise I suggested and drop the sarcasm.
        Thank you
        John Page

        1. John Page says:

          …..sorry 3 more for other unionists

      3. John Page says:

        James Kelly
        Are you involved with Scot Goes Pop? If so can I have your comment on this and also on the stuff below about 95% SNP list votes?
        Thank you

        John Page

  27. Brian Sherry says:

    The priority must be the removal of the Invisible forces of Westminster’s control of Scotland,whether that be Hand,Foot or Handshake (and the not so invisible ones).

    The SNP are the only show in town that can do this…..duh !

    Bloggers like young Loki ‘it’s all about me’,simply don’t cut it,anyone going onto the MSM/BBC/STV and making an erse of themselves is not a problem for most of us I suspect,just don’t bleat about later when we don’t all rush to hail the new messiah,dust youself off,do better next time #lessonlearned.

    Very simply,if you don’t vote for Independance via SNP….your just howling at the moon,if you do and we get an Independant Scotland,then fill yer boots.

    #don’tbeadaftie

  28. Gordon McShean says:

    It is difficult to express dissatisfaction with the people who administer the organization that most closely epitomizes our own political ideals! I wanted to jump to the defence of the SNP when I read the accusation of turgid quietism. That description seemed to condemn the organization more than indicate any individuals’ failure. It raised the question: can (or should) an organization be culpable if its major fault or part in a crime came from having issued a directive “Haud yer wheesht”?

    I was one of the young fellows – in the 1950s – who was inspired to in take part in activist events by Robert Curran, the SNP National Party Secretary (and a good friend of mine). From his office was in Glasgow he routinely advised me of the ongoing problems Scotland had to face, and suggested various actions that we might take to help get us “good press for the cause.” I was an immediate recruit.

    He honoured me by nominated me to assist in “an important event” – but without divulging details! When I set out with other young radicals on that evening the idea that I’d soon be acting as the look-out for a raid on the Army Cadet armoury in Johnstone was far from my mind – even though we’d previously discussed – theoretically – the ethics and practical difficulties involved in destroying “dangerous loot,” if we wanted to avoid being identified as terrorists.

    Those who have read my memoir RETIRED TERRORIST (Trafford, 2011) will know what happened next. We did get the guns; my colleague Bill Brown was arrested and imprisoned; and Robert and I received urgent advice to go abroad.

    Quietism has been the order of the day ever since. Robert returned to the SNP after a couple of years exile in New York and was seldom heard from again. My escape was more thorough; I spent a couple of years in US-occupied Germany before committing my life to careers in the US and NZ. During these two lifetimes I did try to discover if I could return home without risk of arrest, and I maintained my commitment to the cause. A brief, secretive visit to Edinburgh allowed me to visit SNP Headquarters (Robert was no longer around), where I found no representative of the party free to even say Hello! Subsequently I discovered that no Scottish publisher was interested in my memoir, RETIRED TERRORIST, despite earlier publishing successes with three other books; I had to have it published in the US. But what hurt the most was the evening I attended a Scottish Evening in Palmerston North, New Zealand and got a warning at the door “We know all about you and your book – SIT IN THE CORNER AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!”

    1. c Rober says:

      You would have thought that some of the pro union media would have been glad to roll you out , and that with it would come a big pay check for doing so…. along with a promise not to gie ye the pokey.

      This is why I often ask myself then why did Scotland not have its “freedom Fighter” moment , unlike that of say Ireland in its journey to independence.

      It also shows me how after Irish Indy was on the cards how those that sought it fractioned off , selling out their brothers , and of course entering politics proper…. and with that then fight among themselves which lost the north in the process.Perhaps a warning to those that want to diminish the SNP as a full force towards indy albeit slowly , ie rise etc , that the overall picture would be best served by them being pro indy , then only afterwards enter politics….not instead continue the divide and conquer of colonial England.

      Take for example me , I am somewhat of a believer in Sturgeon , but not of nearly half of the party. They are getting far too comfortable in losing the indy debate , which only serves to have them richer for it. ITs a win win , they got into the job on promise of indy , and ironically increased their number on its failure to supply , one cant simply always blame the media fear factory

      The failure in 2014 , the matter of currency still needs to be sorted , hopefully brexit will come to that rescue with Scotland becoming a crown dependency.

      However do we see any thinking from the SNP at Westminster on removing the pound from the crown dependencies around the world in precedent set legal retaliation , no. This is where they fail time and again , but of course where the SNP fail , there can always be blame others for it.

      However I do know that Sturgeons closest inner circle of Nat politico arent even that nationalist , merely selfist postcode shuffled middle class landlords , with no real link to their wards…. other than the house they bought , but only after being elected.

      During indy I was one of their footsoldiers , not unlike yourself , but without official title like so many that may be involved in Rise etc today , those whom were enacting a war on the media cutting their teeth , one that the SNP have yet to fire a single salvo at themselves.

  29. muttley79 says:

    The SNP are not a radical party. The SNP have a radical goal and aim, independence. They also want to get rid of Trident from Faslane. These are essentially the radical elements and limits of the SNP. It is like criticising the Conservative Party for not being left wing. Everyone knows what you get with the Conservatives.

    1. James_Mac says:

      Aye, the Telegraph and the assortment of pretty much every single pro-Tory pundit would prefer Labour (and would even prefer for you to vote Green and RISE) than the SNP because the SNP are not radical enough.

      1. muttley79 says:

        The likes of David Torrance usually go on and on about the SNP not being radical enough, but these types tend to be diehard, right wing unionists/British nationalists. Their real problem is not that the SNP is not radical enough, it is that they are too popular and threaten the Union.

  30. Michael Cavanagh says:

    when will people realize that we don’t yet have the power and there is such a thing as having a strategy aimed at achieving independence rather than just being in favour of it, but being passive, irrelevant or just divisive

  31. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Mike. I can sense your frustration. However, I think you’re jumping the gun.

    We have an election next month. If the SNP are not re-elected with an overall majority then Independence if off the agenda for years to come. Hence the MSM’s desperate articles to demonise the SNP at every turn. Even more than usual.

    The time to begin your discussion will be in the summer after the EU referendum. whatever the result.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Ronald, it appears that “Independence is off the agenda” now as far as the SNP manifesto will be concerned. I hope otherwise but a hae ma doots.

      1. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

        Let’s wait and see what it says Alf.

        Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly said it’s a matter for the people of Scotland to decide. She has also said they will make another push in the summer.

        Having said that they are going to have to promote an alternative economic strategy to the UK’s tried and failed model. We have recently debated that with some unionist supporting chap-can’t remember his name.

        If the SNP fail to do that then I will agree with your sentiments.

  32. chris says:

    no party will get my vote .

    1. Gordon Bain says:

      Excellent. Jog on!

      1. chris says:

        jog on , if people didn’t give these parasites votes then they may understand that people wont be taken for mugs anymore . There isn’t an honest one among them . so , mr bain , kindly alter my way of thinking or no one will get my vote , thankyou .

  33. Mitchie says:

    Vote RISE or Green! SNP are not a party committed to independence or socialism. Indyref 2 now!!!

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Mitchie, aside from RISE, the only party that I can see “committed to independence” is Solidarity who want REF2 by 2018.

  34. Astragael says:

    In the so-called 36 Chinese stratagems of war can be found this:

    “Watch the fires burning across the river” (隔岸觀火/隔岸观火, Gé àn guān huǒ) which signifies
    delaying entry to the field of battle until all the other players have become exhausted fighting amongst themselves before going in at full strength to pick up the pieces.

    Sounds sensible to me.

    1. Saor Alba says:

      Me too Astragael.

    2. Robert Graham says:

      Excellent reminder to the misguided here who attack the only party that can deliver a second referendum vote , Waken up you are being used by your biggest cheerleaders the Unionist Parties.

      1. Alf Baird says:

        Robert, by campaigning not for independence but only to run a devolved Scottish Government within the UK, this effectively makes the SNP a unionist party. Its raison detre used to be to campaign for independence at every national election, but this is no longer the case. This marks a very recent change in the party’s primary objective.

  35. Dan Huil says:

    SNP x 2. Anything else is betraying Scotland. Unionists love RISE and Scottish Greens.

    1. John Page says:

      Please try and have an open mind on this second vote issue…….please do the sums for your region……..see my post above.
      You are being a bit unhelpful by saying that people who have thought carefully about both the issues and the numbers and have decided to vote SNP+Green are betraying Scotland.
      Please accept that your unreasonable comments won’t change minds………certainly not mine.
      I am genuinely concerned that a million 2nd SNP could could be wasted allowing many unionist Lab/Tory/LD and indeed UKIP list MSPs into Holyrood in May. And I want to see a solid Green challenge to a future SNP government.
      I really don’t think that is betraying Scotland.
      Thank you
      John Page

      1. yesindyref2 says:

        Based on the last Survation poll, if the SNP got 1 million votes on the List, the turnout in 2011 was 1,991,051, call it 2 million, so SNP 50% instead of 44% on the Survation, call it 4% Green instead of 10%, and the SNP get 8 list MSPs with a 9th too close to call. Greens 2.

        Or if the SNP got 52% and the Greens 2%, the SNP would get 10 list seats (Greens 0).

        I’m not advocating this, but it shows that the million SNP votes are NOT wasted at all.

        1. John Page says:

          Hi

          Did you run the model based on the latest Survation figures but changing the SNP and Green List % s as follows:

          Scenario 1. SNP NIL. Green 54

          Scenario 2. SNP 52 Green 2

          Both give overall SNP majority Government. But I know fine which one would bury SLAB for all time and which would also boost our Indy chances.

          I plan to vote SNP+Green. I would invite people to put numbers per the developing opinion polls into this Scotland Votes model and see what happens. It is not difficult. Ffs we have all seen thru the MSM so why should we blindly follow Wings or whoever. Do the numbers yourself and make your own mind up.

          I will keep a close eye on the polls and also study the Green and SNP manifestos very closely. I might switch to SNP+SNP but only on the basis of reasoned consideration……..certainly not on any of the arguments I have seen on is site today most of which have been weak and a number of which have been disgraceful.
          Thank you
          John Page

          1. yesindyref2 says:

            I answered your question above – and below John.

            But as for SLAB I really don’t care about them, as long as they don’t get in the way of an overall majority SNP Government and getting Indy Ref 2. SLAB are of no interest to me, I neither love nor hate them, I don’t obsess on them, they’re a minority party. This is surely not all about SLAB, it’s about Independence.

            As for the pro-indy party of Government, it has to be one single party. One, not shared, not a multiplicity of pro-Indy parties hand in hand pleading with Westminster, it’s one single party demanding our right.

            I don’t care if that’s SNP, Green, RISE or Solidarity as long as it’s one single party that can demand Indy Ref 2 from Westminster.

            Realistically that’s the SNP. And it’s why it’s SNP + SNP for me.

  36. Saor Alba says:

    I’m going with that, Dan.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      I’m certainly not (wasting my list vote).

      1. Robert Graham says:

        who cares

  37. Gashty McGonnard says:

    Thanks Mike, for alerting me to those excellent pieces from Paul and Derek. I particularly liked this from Paul:

    “The reason the Unionist media bemoan the SNP’s lack of progressiveness and radicalness is because they hope to distract us from the reality that independence is the most progressive and radical step of all. Independence is what really scares them…”

    Independence is the sine qua non of progressive and/or radical improvement to the lives of people in Scotland. Or isn’t it, Mike? How much energy should we spend on improving prison conditions, when there’s a Get Out of Jail Free card to be played? Can you name a single radical step that a Scottish Government could take under devolution, that Whitehall couldn’t cancel out by budgetary reductions? Can you name a single redistributive policy that wouldn’t be fodder for project fear?

    If left-wing commentators or groupings have a feasible plan for getting us out of the clutches of the BritNat military-financial complex, other than via SNP electoral success, they should state it clearly.

    If they don’t have such a plan, they can only be the unwitting fifth column of Unionist Reaction.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Independence is only the essential start. “getting us out of the clutches of the BritNat military-financial complex” would require subsequent attention to the fact the (‘Home’) civil service and Scotland’s hundreds of public institutions would still be run by a centre-right unionist elite, as is much of corporate Scotland, a great deal of the latter being owned via offshore tax havens.

      1. yesindyref2 says:

        Totally agree Alf, Independence is only the start, and in fact I’ve posted the same myself over the last 4 years, Guardian and Herald. Independence is not the end, it’s the beginning.

        But nothing happens without that start, we have to get to the start first.

        Independence firts, the rest can follow, because without Indy, there is no future.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          I agree, “without Indy, there is no future”. All the more reason for the SNP to place REF2 at the top of the manifesto agenda at each and every national election and take the consequences, good or bad. Personally I have no interest in voting for more devolved nonsense, ‘competent’ or otherwise.

          1. yesindyref2 says:

            I get you Alf. Others feel the same, and it’s a dilemma the SNP have. Too much banging on about Indy Ref 2 and they scare off the NO voters who like the way the SNP have governed but either don’t want Indy, a second referendum yet, or both. If they do scare off those NOs they don’t get to be overall majority Government in Holyrood, and perhaps not even the Government at all.

            The SNP are taking two paths at the same time. One is the long route via more powers, then more powers, then more powers, until we’re virtually Independent anyway and it’s a small step to complete.

            The other is always there and it’s the shortcut of Indy Ref 2 “when the public asks for it”. Or if circumstances justify it.

            It’s a hard sell for the impatient, and we’re all desperate to get Indy as soon as possible.

  38. john young says:

    Watch the final being played at Hampden and it will give you an idea of how far we have to go to get indy,Rule Brittania well to the fore,even after recent relevations,there is a solid 40% that will never ever change their minds no matter what,you cannot enter into dialogue they just blank you.

  39. noisyewan says:

    Eat your cereal and read about my latest Nordic Noir holiday while I have a go at other Yes journalists whilst I cannae be arsed commenting on biggest financial scandal the Scots have had the misfortune to have bestowed on them.

    1. Brian Sherry says:

      Agreed Noisy
      But Iv’e seen the Ikea political furniture catalogue,loads of lovely soft furnishings and wallpaper.
      Here’s a reality check,flick through the pages,look at a the bonny pictures if you must,just remember it’s no your house.
      Westminster owns you and your hoose, dinnae forget it.

      SNP x 2

      #baldmenargueovercomb

  40. Frank says:

    What this debate highlights is that the yes movement has fragmented from top to bottom, left to right, with two misguided analyses informing the debate; the centralised party model which no longer advocates independence, or the diverse social movements model, which fails to recognise that the material conditions required to produce it’s success do not exist in Scotland.

    In regards to Loki, he is political, but he also has a desire to be famous. Nothing wrong with that, however bereft of any serious talent the only product he has to sell is himself (rap music doesn’t reach a big enough market for his ambitions) and he sells his product by stirring up controversy and debate; from this perspective ‘brand Loki’, measured in term of re-tweets, Facebook likes, and TV appearances is relatively successful; he reflects a generation of young radicals obsessed with social media celebritisation, who turn ‘the revolution’ into a brand and the ‘struggle’ into lifestyle politics. The irony is that their collective mentalities (the desire for recognition and celebrity) are very much a product of neoliberalism, the very thing they supposedly oppose.

    1. Rap music doesnt reach a big audience?

      1. James_Mac says:

        I’d be genuinely surprised if more than a dozen people have heard of Loki’s rap music.

        Just wondering how long before Loki realizes that just declaring your a working-class Scottish Tory would more likely give him a regular gig in the Daily Mail.

      2. Frank says:

        I meant Loki’s rap music rather than rap in general and that’s not intended as a criticism of his art.

    2. Gashty McGonnard says:

      I don’t know Loki, but he did cross my path very briefly (about 12 years ago, I think) when he was associated with the SSP. My impression was of a bright, talented and sincere man, whose huge personal pain and anger would make him a prize catch for cynical political manipulators of any shade. I just read his stv piece that Mike linked, and my impression hasn’t changed.

      Loki, on the off-chance you read this – I get where you’re coming from. I grew up in Pollok in the ’80s, and yes, it was living hell. And yes, trans-generational poverty brings trauma and violence, and trauma brings addiction, and addiction brings despair and madness. And yes, it all goes under the radar of polite society and centre-left politics. And yes, if you’ve lived those things, national independence can seem like a luxury objective, when there’s misery to eradicate. And yes, sometimes it feels that all you can do is scream or lash out, so at least the pain is known and seen.

      But cmontae! Writing an article that says, ‘I won’t vote SNP again because they have haven’t solved all the world’s problems in the last two years’, without saying what you’d do instead? Really! What’s the strategy? Whose agenda could that possibly serve, apart from right-wing Unionism’s?

      The Scottish Left imploded. Not because of Tommy’s supposed sex life. Not because of ideological differences. Not because of attacks from outside. It was because too many had lived lives that taught us how to fight and fall out, but not how to co-operate and build carefully. If we really want to create a better society, maybe it’s time to practice a bit of patience when we feel urgency – and practice a bit of pragmatism when we feel like throwing the toys out of the pram?

      1. James_mac says:

        Maybe I was being harsh on Loki. I agree 100% Gashty.

        The Scottish Left are at their best when they propose and argue for radical options. I think we have to remember how much Unionists want the indy movement to fail. I genuinely do think there is a need to bring together the Yes movement again, and really continue the push for independence. It just seems that a lot of the Radical Indy folk don’t believe the core message of the indy movement: Another Scotland Is Possible. That, really, if we want a new Scotland we need independence.

        That does not mean we just mump and moan in the meantime, but we need do need to be clear. The status quo is not good enough, Smith was a fudge. Agree on some main powers we want now, and push for them. I particularly liked the Greens proposal for a Central Scottish Bank of some kind, for example. I really hope they have this in their manifesto. Devolving energy policy and broadcasting would be another possible arena that could be big campaigning platforms.

  41. JohnEdgar says:

    All the pro and counter arguments, points and comments are valid. Regarding aspects of radical left-leaning policies or not or whether the emphasis is on slow and steady or what.
    But, Westminster is the problem. Until Scotland has full macro powers, control over the commanding heights of the country and Westminster, Commons and even more Lords are consigned to the past like the Bourbon’s ancien regime, then we can only tinker at problems. So good so far. There is a Gaelic expression: Bi glic! Be wise!
    All those on the left who think the future is Corbyn, think again!
    He is the traditional English leftie who sees socialism as London-Unionist Centrism. He does not see the need for any more powers for Holyrood. If he did, he would be shouting it from the rooftops to get his minor entity party north of the Tweed with one MP noticed!
    All the radical left in Scotland must remember that the ILP of Keir Hardy was finished the moment it merged with UK aka English Labour. Bi glic! London nationalisation was the death knell of all things Scottish, apart from being “lobby fodder”. We became a branch existence 50 years before Johann Lamont voiced that memorable complaint against Labour.
    Better Together means Tory Governments! EVEL is the start of Scots at Westminster being sidelined. If Johann Lamont savaged Labour from within for making Slabbers a “branch” when they had 41 MPs from Scotland, with one they must be a “twig”. If Slab sees itself as the inheritor of the ILP of Hardy, then it needs to ditch its “brothers” dahn sahth! At present, Slab has become detached from itself. You are not even bag carriers for Labour any more. You are a mere one MP from Scotland like your erstwhile better together cronies! Slab is reduced to one MP now as the Tories have been in Scotland since 1997! If that does not send signals to Slab, if Slab are in denial about this, then they are finished. The granting of devolution to Scotland was only going to come about initially through Labour at Westminster. They did that to silence the SNP. That has not happened. The first chink in the Westminster hegemony has been undertaken. Read the runes, Slab! You are no longer needed as your bosses at Westminster are no longer interested in granting more powers to Holyrood. Remember, that includes Slab too, not just the SNP! Since you only have one Labour MP from Scorland, you ate pretty useless to Corbyn and Co, in fact you are a nonentity to them! The fact that Slab collapsed less than a year after the 2014 referendum has resonated with your ” brothers” south of the border. Draw the obvious conclusion, the only way up or back is to go for independence.

  42. Dan Huil says:

    By James Kelly ScotGoesPop:

    I’ve just been speaking to a Solidarity supporter called Angela Kerrigan on Twitter, and I was very struck that she made almost exactly the same claim as Green supporter Morag Hannah did the other day – that the SNP can’t win all of the list seats even if they win all of the list votes. I pointed out to her that the opposite is true, and that if the SNP win 100% of the list votes they’ll take 100% of the list seats. But she stuck to her guns and insisted I was wrong. Her explanation was that the d’Hondt method “deducts” list seats from parties that have done well in the constituencies.

    That, of course, is gibberish on a par with the stuff about candidates being “eliminated twice” under AV. But given the way that the tactical voting lobby have misrepresented the d’Hondt calculation, you can kind of see how people might wrongly think there is some sort of rule about “deducting list seats”.

    Let’s clear this up once and for all by going through the arithmetic in full. The reality is that even on 95% of the list vote, the SNP would be absolutely guaranteed to win 100% of the list seats in any region. To demonstrate the point, let’s take a region with ten constituency seats (that’s the maximum) and assume that the SNP win them all. The SNP take 95% of the list vote, but to make it as hard as possible for them to claim the final list seat, let’s assume that every non-SNP list vote is won by a single opposition party – and in Angela’s honour, we’ll also assume that party is Solidarity (although it doesn’t make a jot of difference whether it’s Labour, Tory, Lib Dem or whatever).

    * * *

    List result –

    SNP : 240779 votes (95%)
    Solidarity : 12673 votes (5%)
    All Others : 0 votes (0%)

    * * *

    First count –

    Because the SNP already have 10 constituency seats, their original vote is divided by 11 (10 + 1).

    240779 divided by 11 is 21889.

    As Solidarity have no seats yet, their vote is unchanged.

    SNP : 21889 votes
    Solidarity : 12673 votes

    The first list seat is won by the SNP.

    * * *

    Second count –

    Because the SNP already have 10 constituency seats and 1 list seat, their original vote is divided by 12 (11 + 1).

    240779 divided by 12 is 20065 (after rounding).

    As Solidarity have no seats yet, their vote is unchanged.

    SNP : 20065 votes
    Solidarity : 12673 votes

    The second list seat is won by the SNP.

    * * *

    Third count –

    Because the SNP already have 10 constituency seats and 2 list seats, their original vote is divided by 13 (12 + 1).

    240779 divided by 13 is 18521 (after rounding).

    As Solidarity have no seats yet, their vote is unchanged.

    SNP : 18521 votes
    Solidarity : 12673 votes

    The third list seat is won by the SNP.

    * * *

    Fourth count –

    Because the SNP already have 10 constituency seats and 3 list seats, their original vote is divided by 14 (13 + 1).

    240779 divided by 14 is 17199 (after rounding).

    As Solidarity have no seats yet, their vote is unchanged.

    SNP : 17199 votes
    Solidarity : 12673 votes

    The fourth list seat is won by the SNP.

    * * *

    Fifth count –

    Because the SNP already have 10 constituency seats and 4 list seats, their original vote is divided by 15 (14 + 1).

    240779 divided by 15 is 16052 (after rounding).

    As Solidarity have no seats yet, their vote is unchanged.

    SNP : 16052 votes
    Solidarity : 12673 votes

    The fifth list seat is won by the SNP.

    * * *

    Sixth count –

    Because the SNP already have 10 constituency seats and 5 list seats, their original vote is divided by 16 (15 + 1).

    240779 divided by 16 is 15049 (after rounding).

    As Solidarity have no seats yet, their vote is unchanged.

    SNP : 15049 votes
    Solidarity : 12673 votes

    The sixth list seat is won by the SNP.

    * * *

    Seventh count –

    Because the SNP already have 10 constituency seats and 6 list seats, their original vote is divided by 17 (16 + 1).

    240779 divided by 17 is 14163 (after rounding).

    As Solidarity have no seats yet, their vote is unchanged.

    SNP : 14163 votes
    Solidarity : 12673 votes

    The seventh list seat is won by the SNP.

    * * *

    At that point we stop counting, because there are only seven list seats to be distributed. So how is it possible that the SNP have won every single seat? Basically the aim of the Additional Member System is to make the overall number of seats won by any party in a region (constituency and list seats combined) roughly proportional to the percentage of votes won by that party on the list ballot. In the region we’ve been discussing, there are seventeen seats in total, which means that any party that wins more than sixteen-seventeenths of the list vote (approximately 94.1%) can’t be beaten to the final list seat, even if the opposition vote isn’t split at all.

    And what if, more realistically, the opposition vote is split between multiple parties? In that event, the seventh count in the above example might look something like this…

    SNP : 14163 votes
    Labour : 8527 votes
    Conservatives : 3289 votes
    Liberal Democrats : 1002 votes
    Greens : 925 votes
    Solidarity : 231 votes
    RISE : 189 votes

    As you can see, the SNP have won the final seat even more easily.

    1. John Page says:

      This is deliberately and vexatiously misleading.
      The question is not whether the SNP get no List seats even with 95% of the List votes. The question is whether the SNP get no list votes if they get all the constituency seats (as expected) and get the expected 44% or whatever per current polls.
      Why would anyone do all this arithmetic on a patently nonsensical Aunt Sally situation if not to deliberately mislead people who do not understand the de Hont system. The final paragraph is an absolute disgrace
      I am absolutely disgusted and very very angry

      John Page

      1. yesindyref2 says:

        John, re-read Dan’s posting, he says this: “… that if the SNP win 100% of the list votes they’ll take 100% of the list seats. But she stuck to her guns and insisted I was wrong.”

        Dan was mathematically and accurately proving that he is right, and she was wrong.

        1. John Page says:

          You know fine it wasn’t mathematical or accurate but rather deliberately misleading by doing that detailed calculation on a patently unreal situation and then pretending to produce a more realistic scenario only for List Seat 7.
          see my comment re your other reply to me above
          John Page

          1. yesindyref2 says:

            It’s absolutely completely acruate John it’s maths. As I said, he was proving the other person was wrong when she claimed that 100% vote on the list wouldn’t give the SNP 100% of the list seats. It would, it very clearly would, and that’s what mathematical proof is all about – proof.

    2. Alf Baird says:

      BS in: BS out.

  43. JohnEdgar says:

    Or to put it another way for Slab.
    Revolutionary changes, radical seismic shifts often happen under the radar, so to speak. The experts never notice, the think tanks never see it coming because they ate using old models of perceiving.
    For example, when Gorbachev uttered the words glasnost and perestroika and heralded change in the USSR, the Kremlin watchers in the USA, like Condolisa Rice, stated after the event that they were taken aback. Because their old assumptions about the USSR were out of date.
    Now look what happened in Scotland after the 2014 Referendum the week after Cameron uttered EVEL and dished Labour’s Gordon Brown and his Vow in one fell swoop. The SNP membership rose dramatically. That was above the radar. Slab never saw it. Secondly, and this was above the radar, Glasgow, that bastion of Labour for 50 years or more voted Yes in the Referendum. No one saw that coming and Slab did not react to it. The alarm bells did not even ring. Then, after the 2015 General Election, when Labour lost all its MPs bar one in Scotland, it did not even panic. Jt did not ask why?
    In other words a teal fundamental shift took place in Scottish politics. And the SNP got 50% of the Scottish vote. Something Slab or UK Labour have never achieved. Radical revolutionary change? Yes! And Slab just carry on in the same old way hoping for normal pre-2015 politics to return. The msm don’t even read the runes either.
    So Slab, doomed.

  44. yesindyref2 says:

    So basically speaking pro-Indy voters have to decide which is most important to them.

    Vote SNP for Indy Ref 2 and Independence = X + X

    or

    Vote other Political party for great opposition forever under Westminster rule

  45. Bill McLean says:

    I can see it. I can feel it. Britnat divide and rule is at play big time and some well-intentioned political purists are falling for it! I’ve lived in many colonies and ex-colonies and this is how they do it/did it. Eventually people see the rabbit and kick them out but it would appear that Scots, once again, would rather argue with each other. Anyone who really wants Scottish freedom can only vote SNP x 2. Anything else is delusion until we get independence!

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Bill, a majority of SNP MP’s is sufficient for independence, as even Mrs Thatcher acknowledged. If the SNP really wanted independence they had it on a plate in 2015 (and even in 2011), and now they don’t even campaign for independence at national elections. Scotland is therefore most unlike other ex colonies, none of whom were naive enough to depend solely on dubious referenda to remove the oppressor.

      1. Bill McLean says:

        Alf – with respect you appear to miss the point. To attempt to claim independence on the numbers of SNP MPs would be counter-productive and could cause the mayhem we certainly do not want. I’m on about how the unionists and the empire loyalists use people to disrupt movement towards independence and how they have followed the same line in almost every colony/ex-colony. We more than anyone, apart from the Irish, should have cottoned on by now. In my view this is happening here and now with people losing sight of what our main aim should be to bring us real democracy which is, and always has been, in short supply anywhere Britain has run the rules! In that respect Scotland is exactly like other colonies!

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Bill, appreciate what you say, however I repeat other colonies did not depend on referenda, national elections being more than sufficient. Arguably some short term ‘mayhem’ might ensue regardless of the independence vehicle employed. A Westminster majority is ‘sovereign’ as EVEL (i.e. constitutional) changes and other decisions demonstrate. Thus a Scots majority (there) is all that was ever/is required, and recognised so by Westminister. Hence we have de facto independence but refuse to take what is ours. That the SNP no longer since 2014/2015 campaign for independence speaks volumes (to me at least). This makes them rather difficult to differentiate (constitutionally) from any other unionist party.

  46. Iam Scott says:

    Bill McLean has it spot on.

    The unionists are trying to set an agenda with accusations of the SNP not using the powers it has to divide and conquer.

    It does this to move the discussion away from independence and toward criticism of the SNP, and by doing so, undermining indy.

    And when they accuse SNP supporters of being quiet or uncritical, they do so in the hope we will prove them wrong and expose divisions they can exploit.

    Now we have some left wing indy supporters falling for this and questioning what more could be done.

    Now the unionists can say the indy movement is divided.

    But please remember back to the indyref campaign when all sort of ideas were being discussed on what a future indy Scotland might look like.

    We didn’t criticise the SNP then because they were the vehicle toward indy.

    That hasn’t changed, they are still the vehicle toward indy.

    Get back to that idea – discuss what we want when we get independence and keep the focus on independence and use the SNP as a vehicle.

    1. JohnEdgar says:

      That is it in a nut shell! If we do not attain full independence, then there is no way the country can achieve its aims set by the people. Whether it be SNP, Rise or variations thereof, a re-invigorated (independent) Slab, or whatever it calls itself, ILP or the Greens.
      Westminster emasculated all proposals post Vow and post Smith. We knew they were a charade, but people were duped. But the unionist remnants now are floundering. The main vehicle for independence is the SNP. In terms of experience at Holyrood, they can take the country to independence. After that the people will make its choices.
      No more phoney vows, charades, pooling and sharing, broad shoulders and all that nonsense. No more House of Lords and unelected placemen and women, party has been, hingers on from Westminster.
      If we don’t do it, we remain a reservation with hand- outs.
      After the years of Thatcher, Major, Blair ( latterly), Brown ( disaster as PM) and Cameron, if future choices at Westminster are Johnston, Osborne or Corbyn with UKIP in the wings, then we must take the independence step. We owe it to future generations.

  47. Punklin says:

    Strategy, strategy, strategy. I worry that Bella C Rise Craig Murray Loki and some of the comments here tend to think and react to surface appearance and miss the bigger picture precisely because they see the situation solely through their own opinion. In other words if you don’t agree with me you’re wrong. Whereas the SNP for all its deficiencies acts by looking at the political situation from a number of different views. Don’t underestimate their long term approach as optimum route to controlling our own country in the longer term.

    1. muttley79 says:

      I have yet to hear a viable strategy from the radical and socialist elements of the indy movement on how we win over the more conservative part of the electorate to independence. That goes for Bella Caledonia as well. Shouting about radicalism and socialism is not going to win over those who voted No. To think it would is nonsense.

  48. chris says:

    (William Godwin)what are the regulations which will conduce to the well being of man in society; and, secondly, what is the authority which is competent to prescribe regulations.
    Mr Bain , competent being the word to ask yourself about .
    none in my view .
    none = no vote

  49. Gary Winter says:

    The hopeless belief in Independence as radical is frankly depressing here. The entire movement is locked into a mindset that paralyses any meaningful action. The SNP has been an agent of Tory austerity since 2010, and has chosen to implement it fully. It has squandered scarce resources on policies which benefit everyone except the poor in the surface, and which simply magnify the effects of austerity in the poor. Its own choices have increased inequality not decreased it. It has destroyed any local government power to make significant choices to improve the lives of their own communities, it has brought in the only National police force in the whole of Wrstern Europe and made it effectively unaccountable, it has introduced arbitrary laws which criminalise selectively groups that the police deem offensive. In no way is this party radical, nor is it even left of centre in a vaguely Labourish manner. It is a conservative party, first, last and always. It is Nationalist, Centralist, Authoritarian, Anti-egalitarian and is the chosen method of delivery to Scotland of Westminster actioned austerity. That is your SNP, and that has always bern your SNP and always will be your SNP. Many commentators remark on the apparent absence of a right of centre mass party in Scotland. The irony is that it actually has perhaps the most successful and popular right wing populist party in the Western world running its parliament tight now, and in a position of almost unchallengeable power. It’s very depressing really.

    1. JohnEdgar says:

      I think a slow hand clap is appropriate after wading through that.

    2. James_Mac says:

      Ah yes, if we just vote Labour, we can change Britain.

      What exactly has Corbyn proposed? Will Labour will increase taxes in England, or is it just Scots that should increase taxes because that’s what we are all about? Has there been any meaningful policy on tax avoidance yet? Corbyn’s not scared of the City is he?

      1. JohnEdgar says:

        Correct! You point out the flaw in the ssi

      2. JohnEdgar says:

        Correct! You point out the flaw in the argument Slabber supporters put in support of UK Labour. UK Labour even under Corbyn is part of the UK Westminster establishment thinking and mentality. Two of its big beasts Brown and Darling are now paid salaries for advice to big moneyed firms in international finance. What irony?! Just as Cameron’s family affairs hit the spotlight. Think of the other UK Labour and Slabber big beasts now in the House of Lords, that fine example of elected democracy, equality and egalitarian principles where class, heredity and patronage have no place. And yet, these pseudo-lefties still cling to Slab and UK Lab and call it radical. Think UK Labour and Slabber, think PFI, austerity, tests for cutting funding to the disabled – all proposed by Labour before they crashed out under Brown.
        Anyhow, as is now known, Slab are nearly off the radar. With one MP in Parliament, that is an embarrassment to their English party members. An insignificant one!! Not even lobby fodder any more and with EVEL even more useless to their head office. They are a broken twig, not even a branch.

    3. Alf Baird says:

      A certain element of truth to what Gary says here. SNP ‘reforms’ have been weak in many other instances too (e.g. land reform, universities, marine/maritime, economic development, renewables, ferries) and the £10bn offshore private equity (i.e. added public debt) deal is a major mistake in my view; it makes publication of Nicola’s tax return a joke when they are doing things like that and actively ‘working’ to enhance the profits of offshore tax haven owners of Scottish industry every day (e.g. Edinburgh Airport, Forth Ports, land estates, whisky etc).

    4. Iam Scott says:

      The mistake of the left is to think that independence should equal radical when in fact the real issue is self determination.

      The danger is that the left, in it’s attempt to push a radical agenda, destroys the vehicle that could deliver self determination and the only prospect to implement those radical policies.

      Of course, the reality may very well be that an independent Scotland rejects radical policies and parties in favour of centralist mild social justice.

      But at least it will be what we in Scotland voted for.

      1. JohnEdgar says:

        Good points. Radical policies are not just a prerogative of the left. They have claimed that tag for too long as their own.
        Strategy is tantamount at the moment:
        1. Independence, ie Westminster no more.
        2. Country moves towards its own developments.
        3. One is nor going to unravel 300 years of unionist scourge overnight.
        4. As the Gaels’ say: Bi glic, be wise.
        5. Finally, independence means we get governments we vote for.
        If we are still thirled to Westminster, that can never happen. Currently, the three unionist, Westminster parties in Scotland are minor entities. That avenue is a dead end.

  50. douglas clark says:

    Wow!

    Contrary, or even in agreement with the opinion piece, it seems that our future is up to us.

    The debate is about how to get from a to b.

    Mike Small perhaps believes in a shrapnel approach to it. If you think indpendence would be better, and who, hereabouts doesn’t? Then diversity leads, eventually to it being in our DNA or summat.

    The practicality leaves Mike angry that such a weak vehicle as the SNP is in charge of the, ahem, charge. Far better to diverify and delay.

    I want a similar society to Mike Small.

    Getting there is not about the detail, it is about the big picture. We could wait a million years for land reform if we fracture ourselves before an independence victory. Frankly Mike is looking at telling you what you should expect of a future independent Scotland, and in a very negative way:

    “You got that? Don’t frighten the horses. Another Scotland isn’t possible. Sounds to me like UK:OK has been replaced by Scotland: OK.”

    Really?

    Another Scotland is indeed possible.

    Only by the people taking over the levers of power is that likely to occur.

    It may be, heaven forfend Mike, that the status quo after indepenence might not be as left as you and I desire.

    But.

    It will be the will of the Scottish people, not you nor I. And that would be enough for me.

    Fighting the battles of a post independent Scotland is what you are striving for. It would help if we coud get to first base, wouldn’t it Mike?

    So.

    SNP 1 & 2.

    1. James_Mac says:

      I actually agree with the diversification approach, a party for indy fundamentalists actually agitating for change now and proposing a second strategy to the SNP.

      Right now the SNP have put forward a coherent strategy. Steady the ship, and it will come eventually. I don’t disagree with the likes of Jim Sillars, but radicalists can’t even have a common platform themselves.

      How long did it take before the SSP joined RISE? Why are the Greens and Solidarity separate? There needs to be a second strategy presented to voters, and the Radical Independence Strategy that says clearly “The SNP are wrong, we need to x,y,z to get independence and not a,b,c”.

      Right now, it seems like the pitch is “Vote Greens! We are nice, we campaigned for independence and it would be good to have a second pro-indy party doing stuff”. Okay – they might be able to convince me to lend their vote with that, but I do wish there was something more to it than that.

  51. Onwards says:

    “The latest bout of Eat Your Cereal probably stemmed from Loki’s Dear Nicola piece.”

    This is where this article loses all credibility. It’s fair enough arguing for a more radical alternative to the SNP on the regional vote where there are various choices.

    But the Scottish National Party is the only independence supporting party on the constituency vote. Apart from Patrick Harvie in Kelvin, as far as I am aware there are NO other Green, RISE or Solidarity candidates in any other constituency. The SNP might not be perfect but they are the ONLY pro-indy option.

    So for a pro-indy site to be giving it “eat your cereal” abuse against those who call out anti-independence BS when they see it is simply amazing. The guy is promoting abstentions on the first vote !! How on earth does that help the cause of independence ?

    His anti-SNP article being pimped by the yoons was titled:
    “Why I’m not voting SNP this year and why you should consider doing the same.”
    Perhaps Bella could clarify its stance on this ?

    It’s no use counting our chickens and taking an SNP vote for granted. Anti-SNP tactical voting together with an abstention campaign by indy supporters on the left could see the SNP fail to gain on their existing Holyrood seat count, with many targets lost to unionist parties.
    To quote the story, you’d have thought that to be “moronically obvious”.
    No pro-indy majority, no second referendum.

    And talk about self-defeating for RISE supporters.
    Any dip in the polls will see SNP members less willing to ‘lend’ their regional vote to others, as they will all be needed to try and make up the numbers on the list vote.

  52. douglas clark says:

    Mike Small has a lot to answer for, particularily ‘Onwards’ comments.

    I trust he will.

  53. John Page says:

    TINAs from all directions.
    There is no alternative to free market capitalism.
    There is no alternative to the SNP.
    I for one am grateful for a site that provides thought provoking and stimulating material on a regular basis giving me interesting books and films to pursue and a collectivist, anti militarist, pro Indy, localist and pro environment approach……..
    Thanks, Bella

    John Page

    1. Mike says:

      No John there is no real alternative to Independence and no real chance to get there with anybody other than the SNP.

      Is that really so difficult to grasp?

      1. John Page says:

        I am finding this to be a real a turn off…..I would like an SNP majority govt after May with a substantial number of Green List MSPs to help ensure no fracking among other issues that are important to me.
        How difficult is that to grasp?

        John Page

  54. Gavin C Barrie says:

    The SNP have walked the walk. Constancy to Purpose wins my respect, and vote.

  55. douglas young says:

    Whatever happened to bellacaledonia since the referendum, this is the stuff of Scotsman/Record/Herald?
    Genuine drivel from a bygone age.

  56. Anna Mac says:

    Nearly 200 indignant comments – you must be doing something right, Bella!

  57. yesindyref2 says:

    I think there are 5 reasons for how Indy supporters can decide their list vote, and they all have different potential outcomes.

    1). To vote for the party of their choice, regardless.
    2). To vote for any non-unionist party apart from the SNP because they hate the SNP.
    3). To vote for a party to create a strong opposition to the SNP in a devolved Parliament.
    4). To vote to get revenge on the Unionist parties.
    5). To vote for the party that gives the best chance of Indy Ref 2, and Independence.

    Only option 5 puts Independence as the top priority for the voter.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Lets hope the SNP promise a REF2 in their manifesto then, so the 55% feel they are actually voting for something.

      1. Mike says:

        The 55% is currently hovering between 43% and 48% and trending in the same direction it has been for the last 20 plus years.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Mike, I am referring to polling for the Holyrood constituency vote.

  58. Eleanor Ferguson says:

    Perhaps the time to frighten the horses is not just before an election…..

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Doubtless some people are frightened by independence Eleanor, however that does not mean the SNP as our ‘party of independence’ should no longer explicitly offer indepedence as its no.1 objective. Personally I think people should be more frightened of the status quo/devolution and continued Westminister rule and I have little appetite to vote for a party which is only offering that prospect.

      1. Onwards says:

        @Alf, something tells me you would be no good at chess. You have to think more than one move ahead. Of course the SNP’s main objective is independence. Everyone in the party wants that. But they have to get elected first and think tactically to get us in a position where we can actually win the next referendum. And that’s easier if they can get votes from everyone in the meantime as a centre-left social democratic party that won’t scare away business investment.

        No other party is going to open the door to a second referendum. We have a FPTP system for the constituency vote and it has taken decades for the SNP to get to a winning position there.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Onwards, your Queen is in check, self-constrained by her limited ambition in merely heading up a despicable unionist institution for another term. The winning move simply depends on securing a majority for independence, where independence/REF2 is on offer, at any national election.

          1. Onwards says:

            No it isn’t.
            Independence will only realistically come through a second referendum.
            Think about it. The SNP could win all 73 seats in Holyrood with say 40% of the vote in each one, and the unionist vote split between 3 parties. Is it acceptable to declare independence without a majority of the vote ? There would be uproar and it wouldn’t be internationally accepted.
            I want independence as much as the next SNP member, but there are no shortcuts. We need to win it fair and square and take the majority of voters with us. A hard left agenda will never do that.

          2. Alf Baird says:

            Onwards, I did say – “where independence/REF2 is on offer”, no mention of UDI.

  59. Mike says:

    “I like RISE I like the greens I like the National collective Scotland is lucky to have them but now is not their time!”

    National Collective ended some time ago.”

    And?

    How does that advance your argument?

  60. Frank Lynch says:

    I agree that policy should be more radical: but deliberately frightening the horses at election time by the only party with a credible chance of winning again against the serried ranks of establishment unionism isn’t the best strategy of edging towards an independent Scotland.

  61. Graeme says:

    There is a difference between the SNP as a party and the Scottish Government. It is perfectly fine and consistent for people to support the party unequivocally while disagreeing with their handling of health, education, justice and other devolved areas.

    Party politics is a balancing act, it’s about where we think our votes are best placed. You can criticise a party all you want but still vote for it. Equally you can agree with every word of a party’s manifesto and still not vote for it on a tactical basis.

    All polls suggest the SNP will get almost certainly get another majority. And in the unlikely event that it doesn’t then there will be enough MSPs between SNP and Green for another referendum in the next parliament should MSPs back it (which until the SNP manifesto is published we can’t take for given they will as they may deem it better tactics to wait).

    If another referendum is your main priority as a voter then I suppose the next questions are when you want it and how you think it will be called. If you want it ASAP then maybe vote for RISE who will call for it, if you are pragmatic and prepared to wait for polls to suggest a stable lead first then maybe vote for SNP.

    These are important tactical questions and deserve serious debate and discussion.

  62. impossiblysmoothcobra says:

    I am absolutely loving the anger, bitterness and resentment towards +2m carefully considered votes on display here.

    I am absolutely loving the rage, division, othering, blaming and bullying you Hard Left Nutters are displaying towards each other. Which is what you Hard Left Nutters always do.

    “Independence”. “Constitutional Change”. “Another Scotland is possible”.

    Deluded Hard Left Nutters. None of you have a clue, do you? None of you have a clue that when living in a mature advanced western liberal democracy operating a model of state regulated capitalism, with free at the point of delivery healthcare, and free at the point of delivery education (Higher Education in Scotland!!!), 99.9% of your life chances and outcomes are derived from your (and your parents) choices and self-agency.

    You’re sat around on your fat, lazy, indolent arses, waiting for the State and ‘constitutional change’ to solve your problems for you.

    Try preparing yourselves and your children to compete.

    Bitter, angry, pathetic losers, the lot of you.

    1. Noel Darlow says:

      Oh I think they do have a clue. That’s probably why they are so keen to change things. Like living in a country where the government deliberately starves its own people.

      1. impossiblysmoothcobra says:

        “Like living in a country where the government deliberately starves its own people”.

        The SNP is starving its own people now?

        I knew they were centre-right populists, but things have taken a turn for the worse, I see.

        1. thomaspotter2014 says:

          ‘but things have taken a turn for the worse,I see’

          Is that your last word on it Loki?

  63. twathater says:

    I personally am dismayed by the amount of infighting taking place here, I am 65 and have lived under far to many ar** hole governments for too long, we have had slab in charge of Scotland since I was a boy in Govan and all they have done is self serving corruption, taking the electorate as fools and idiots, ffs they even told us that. I personally don’t agree with a lot of things the SNP say or propose but and it’s a big but, none of the other parties could or would do any better under these same circumstances, Alf and others I feel your hurt we all are but please don’t play into the unionists hands, we have to show solidarity and give Westminster a message that we will never be put back in the box, Independence for Scotland is the only GOAL, as others have said we can sort out the details when we have achieved that

    1. Alf Baird says:

      This is not “infighting”, it is simply debate. Yes voters are more or less all in agreement to vote SNP on the constituency in May, following the successful 2015 GE outcome. However, many Yes voters in this election also see the list vote as a valid opportunity to further strengthen the push towards independence. It is the Yes ‘group’ (i.e. the people) as a whole who are disciplined and cooperative and willing to see different options and how they play out. A serious bone of contention here is that the SNP leadership, since the Ref1, have taken it upon themselves to suddenly and unilaterally decide to no longer campaign for independence. In this election they are merely seeking no more than to ‘manage’ for another 5 years what is essentially a unionist devolved institution. Personally I think this is misguided, and as you say yourself, “Independence for Scotland is the only GOAL”. I also think the 56 “roaring lions” at Westminister have been a major disappointment – they were not put there by the Yes ‘movement’ to meekly sit on the benches taking the nice salaries and add on benefits. In all of this there appears to be some confusion between what is simply the SNP, and what is the wider Yes ‘movement’. Some see the SNP as driving the independence ship, others, like me, see the wider Yes movement doing the steering. In any event we are entitled to tell the politicians to get a move on when we see them dragging their heels, wallowing in their well paid complacency, talking of ‘tactics’ and the like, but essentially going nowhere fast. As you also imply, we have been here before with Slab.

      1. John Page says:

        Both Alf and Twathater make sensible points. We are all deeply frustrated that we can’t see a date for the next IndyRef and in our more lucid moments acknowledge that a lot more work needs to be done. I am not sure that managerialism and the cautious cultivation of the Scots middle class vote is the work that should be done………these people might be happy to vote SNP now but as I said above will vote with their wallets in IndyRef2. The quality of the debate at the last two SNP conferences was simply not good enough…….self congratulatory, frightened of headlines and disengaging activists who wanted a chance for honest and transparent discussion on the issues that need to be tackled on the road to gaining independence.
        I wonder if anyone with a better grasp of history than I have, might see parallels between the current cohort of SNP MPs and the Redmonite Nationalist MPs at the turn of the 20th Century.
        At the last SCND conference a challenge was placed that the SNP should arrange for each of its Holyrood, Westminster and European elected officials to attend Faslane en mass to protest the renewal of Trident. It might just be a gesture but it might also be a salutary excercise to realise that sitting and participating in conventional politics is sometimes not sufficient

        Thank you

        John Page
        (Accusations of being either a unionist stooge or a hard left nutter will be ignored)

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Certainly agree with you on a number of issues there John. Indeed, what nation would ever achieve independence with its elected members merely “sitting and participating in conventional politics”? As for the ’56’ role, they could be active in setting up ‘shadow’ Ministries for reserved powers – Defence, Foreign Policy, Treasury, Business/Trade. And in addition, they might establish a ‘shadow’ second chamber for Holyrood. The MP’s could split their salaries to help employ people/experts in these areas, people like Craig Murray, Robin Macalpine etc., to develop policies and structures in advance of Ref2. Is this too outlandish for the SNP, too scarey for the unionist horses (sorry, donkeys)? Appreciate the unionist imposed constraints of ‘The Scotland Act’ but the electorate spoke and elected members merely “sitting and participating in conventional politics” is not walking the walk in my view.

  64. twathater says:

    Alf that is a great idea to set up shadow ministries , and also to set up a ghost second chamber, I am sure Craig and many more alternative media individuals and groups would be a massive font of experience , knowledge, and have the advantage of unconstrained access to most iS supporters. Independence supporters can be very opinionated as is evidenced here but ultimately their goal of an independent Scotland should trump party allegiance

    As you point out we and the SG have to be prepared , I am not saying the SG are not prepared but there is no information coming forward to explain their ideas post independence and reassure and convert the undecided . I also agree Alf that the SNP should include indy ref 2 in their manifesto , we had 45% , if we lose support even while the tories are illuminating their total corruption and while slab and the lib dumb are embroiled in the disgusting PFI scandal, it begs the question, will we ever have enough converts.
    The SNP have to rip slab and the libdum to pieces re PFI , vociferously and publically at every opportunity , they also have to pose the question in Hollyrood, why have the msm not been highlighting this gross injustice perpetrated and imposed by slab, Brown , Blair and the lib dems on the people and schoolchildren of Scotland , slab and wee Willie are first to shout about educashun the SNP have to highlight their hypocrisy and call for an enquiry with any wrongdoing being severely punished

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Certainly agree Twathater that PFI incompetence and the offshore tax scandal are fertile areas for more Yes voters, though Slab and Libdems have already collapsed.

      Also agree that “a massive font of experience , knowledge, and ..unconstrained access to most iS supporters” could be used by SNP/56 to help establish ‘shadow’ Ministries etc, and many experts/folk would happily volunteer too. We are simply not using what Iain Hamilton QC called “our greatest resource” which is our people, their knowledge, skills, experience and commitment. With all the resources SNP HQ has now from Yes membership and elected salaries and support costs etc it could easily establish a shadow Ministry building/infras to house all this. We have electoral de facto independence now and this would demonstrate serious intent, a shadow 2nd chamber also, plus keep the 56 busy and prepare!

      1. James_Mac says:

        I feel sorry for you Alf. I really hope an SNP victory in 2016 won’t be too hard on you. You’re pretty obvious a hardcore unionist. I’d put a bet on you being a journalist or a Slabber.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          On the contrary, James, the SNP has my constituency vote, and its a toss up between Greens, RISE, and Solidarity for my list vote. How that makes me a “slabber” I have no idea. Perhaps this debate has gone right by you, as it were.

  65. James_Mac says:

    That’s my position too right now, but will vote SNP on list if there is too much slippage in their vote. It’s just your anger at SNP not coming up with something radical on the indy front. I can kind of understand it but we did lose the referendum.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      “we did lose the referendum.”

      That’s questionable, James.

      What’s wrong with 56 MP’s (a massive numerical Scots majority) creating shadow Ministries and a shadow 2nd chamber in Scotland? Surely better than the current lame Westminister
      ‘spokespersons’. This should have been work in progress, were the SNP really serious about creating an independent Scotland.

      1. James_Mac says:

        We have a cabinet. I think the SNP have been reasonably effective, better than Labour certainly. I think something happens it would need to be in Holyrood.

  66. Jac Gallacher says:

    HELLO. *listens for reply….no reply*. Just as I thought , no echo chamber in here, thankfully!

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