Picture Imperfect

imageIn the same week as the Hillsborough Inquest finally delivered its verdict, to an outpouring of solidarity and shared celebration; the same week in which we saw renewed vilification for the slimy sods of News International – Nicola Sturgeon poses for THAT picture. Holding up a copy of the Sun, endorsing it as it endorses her…

Now, in the left-Indy-Yes voting corner of the local twitttersphere that I inhabit, this has of course provoked some comment. “It’s a fake,” yell some. “She was tired,” say others. ”It was a joke,” say yet more. And then, most ludicrously of all…”It was an accident.”

Please don’t try to tell me there was no thinking behind it, or that the SNP electoral machine, especially that surrounding the First Minister, is anything other than professional! Now that really is stretching the envelope of credibility: Nicola Sturgeon poses for a photograph…by ACCIDENT!?!

Next you’ll be saying that’s not really Ruth Davidson on that tank because she has no taste for her self image on various eccentric forms of transport.

So, given that what we’ve just seen is a piece of old fashioned machine politics; given that responding to the endorsement of the biggest selling paper in the country, with a wee bit of endorsement of the product, is just the expected quid pro quo, just business as usual… What was the thinking behind it?

Oddly enough, listening to Nicola Sturgeon this morning on the Today programme – effortlessly batting around that old Welsh Harumpher she was talking to – there was a bit of a clue.

It’s not about Independence, she was telling him. Over and over. Loud and clear. “I know YOU and my political opponents think we’re obsessed with nothing else” she seemed to say, “but the truth is that you’re the ones who keep going on about it. This is about a programme of government, and, by the way, the top item on the list is education.”

Now, in 1997 Tony Blair talked a lot about education…

(–BANG! There we go… That’s the trouble with politics at the moment. You just mention somebody’s name (Hitler, Tony Blair) and you find yourself in hot water–)

…As part of the New Labour project for occupying the centre ground of British Politics. And, in UK terms, of course, New Labour was hugely successful. The problem was that in endorsing, as Blair and Brown did, the Thatcherite “revision” of the post war settlement that held “Britain” together as a cohesive social unit, New Labour continued the fissuring of that project, fulfilling Tom Nairn’s prediction of the Break Up of Britain.

This opened the door, in electoral politics in Scotland, to the SNP strategy of replacing the Labour Party, occupying the centre ground of a distinctly SCOTTISH politics – a ground profoundly different from the UK.

The trap for Labour was that to do what it took to win a UK election, it had to abandon its base of support in the “regions”. And in THIS particular region, there was someone waiting to take their place. Someone who would dress in the left wing clothes that New Labour had shed (in order to win seats in the South East of England).

Thing is, that story is over now: the replacement job is done. If there is one thing that this election definitely signifies, it is that we have come to the end of that particular old (successful SNP) song.

This is the New Normal of Scottish politics, the new centre. The SNP in the middle, the Tories on the right, and contested territory on the left. And for a political party, the centre is EXACTLY where you want to be. Ask Tony Blair.

What is going on is that the SNP no longer need to wear the clothes of the left. Because – though it may offend the twittersphere – they know that there are more votes to be gained in a Sun endorsement, than there are votes to be lost to people who will probably vote Rise or Green or Labour on the list vote anyway.

They know that the people of Scotland are not nearly as left wing as the noisier folk among us would like to think. They know that Blair was right. Elections are won in the centre. But that was in the UK…then. This is Scotland now. And the centre is wherever Nicola says it is.

This election is about consolidating the centre ground. Competence is the name of the game. And independence, to the degree it is on the agenda at all, is in the gift of a UK electorate who may well vote for Brexit, and re-elect the Tories in 2020.

In that context, if independence comes, it will come as an award for this next period of manifest and displayed SNP competence. An award granted by what we used to call “the settled will” of the Scottish people.

We’ll see on Thursday night if they were right to make the choice to pose genially with a cover of the Sun. We’ll see over the next few years if nemesis follows hubris – the way it usually does. But please don’t give me any nonsense about “that photo” being the equivalent of Ken Livingstone making an arse of himself over the weekend.

The SNP know exactly what they’re doing.

Comments (170)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Tom Duffin says:

    Nah…sorry…still not gonna vote for Rise

    1. Leonard says:

      Vote for Solidarity then Tom.

    2. Onwards says:

      Yeah. Taking an endorsement from the Scottish Sun is a means to an end.
      It has half a million readers. Almost 1 in 10 people.

      Alex Salmond wasn’t too snobby to do the same.
      It’s about thinking strategically and looking at the bigger picture.

      Politics is the art of the possible, and you can’t achieve much without power.
      The biggest vision in Scottish politics is still independence.

      1. tickle says:

        socialism is the biggest vision.

        a small neo-liberal tax haven isn’t much different from a big one.

        1. Onwards says:

          An independent Scotland has a far bigger chance of enacting more socialist policies than remaining in the UK where most major powers are held by the Tories in London.

          But the SNP has to maintain a moderate centre-left approach to win independence in the first place. Most reasonable people can see that.

          They came close last time. Only a 5.5% swing is needed at the next referendum. And after independence, the SNP might not disband, but their support will naturally split.

          They are successful right now because most people understand that splitting the independence vote before independence would leave us in exactly the same position as the unionist parties are in right now with their vote divided. Or the position the radical left parties are in – where RISE and Solidarity couldn’t join forces, likely leaving them both with nothing.

      2. Kevin Williamson says:

        The Sun doesnt have half a million readers. Audited sales have plummeted to 218k. All the stuff about half a million readers is just more Sun bullshit & lies. Dont believe a word.


        1. Onwards says:

          Unfortunately it does Kevin.
          The newspaper industry generally estimates 2 or 3 readers for every tabloid sale.
          Family members, workmates, offices etc

  2. John Whiskyman says:

    “The SNP know exactly what they’re doing.”

    Yup. Trying to get the votes of 200,000 or so Sun readers. Enough with the holier than thou attitudes.

  3. Alistair Livingston says:

    The SNP as ‘heirs to Blair’? Not so much in their policies, but in successfully adopting the Blair (originally Bill Clinton) tactic of ‘triangulation’.

    “Triangulation is the term given to the act of a political candidate presenting their ideology as being above or between the left and right sides (or “wings”) of a traditional (e.g. American or British) democratic political spectrum. It involves adopting for oneself some of the ideas of one’s political opponent. The logic behind it is that it both takes credit for the opponent’s ideas, and insulates the triangulator from attacks on that particular issue.”

    That quote is from wikipedia, but I have found a reference in this article by Christopher Silver to the SNP and triangulation-

    “With no macroeconomic powers available to the Scottish Government, ideology operates at a remove from party politics. Essentially, the SNP’s triangulation is embedded in the constitutional set up itself. The party’s political reflex is to contrast any failings with the loathed, nuke toting, overlords in London. But if the radicalism within its ranks is primarily expressed through ultimately futile oppositional efforts at Westminster (against Osborne’s budgets and Trident renewal) it risks repeating the mistakes of Scottish Labour in its anti-Thatcher heyday.” http://www.christophersilver.co.uk/democracy-or-deferral-the-snps-reluctant-radicalism/

    In pure numbers, the ‘radical/left/Green vote’ may not be as important as the centre ground represented by the Scottish Sun. But without ‘radicalism within its ranks’ the more reactionary elements of the SNP’s support base are likley to become more influential. This will limit the scope for future triangulation. The SNP as ‘triangulator’ will then find it more difficult to insulate itself from attacks on its policies and practices in government from the left.

    1. JohnEdgar says:

      SNP is centre/left of centre. One can hardly call Slab “left” any more. Slab floats on surreal space around somewhere.
      SNP programme of good government and outreach to No voters is strategically sound. A recent poll indicated that fewer Slab supporters felt themselves to be on the left than SNP supporters/members. After Slab’s pfi fiasco and Tories’ frigate disaster, the unionist crew are up the creek, so to speak.
      The unionist crew just keep getting keel hauled.

  4. ED says:

    looking forward to another five years of S.N.P. magority government and independence, by the way, I would have credited Neil Oliver with a bit more maturity, what he said came from a man who knows the game is up, just a pathetic juvenile rant.
    S.N.P. X2

    1. Craig Miller says:

      Neil Oliver to tell us about our fatal flaws ….sorry, history ….Andrew Marr to tell us about our parochialism ….sorry, literature …Lachlan Gaudie to tell us about our lack of international cache …sorry , art ….the english hate our history we are not to be allowed it unless it is mediated to us by an ” assured Scot” …..they despise our culture as ” particularism” and in our current state of inner colonisation we accept it as relayed to us , in our own accent the better ” tae be tellt “

      1. MBC says:

        What have you got against Lachland Goudie?

        1. Craig Miller says:

          His programs were colonised ….inwardly …..nothing has merit , undisputed merit unless and until we see it thru Londons eyes ….of a piece with the rest , it made of Scotland , only failure inevitable ….only redemption thru accepting ones place , parochial , unusually self destructive …..it would take an entire blog to pick the bones out of the self hate engendered in the MetroScot who lurk too long in ivory towers Dahn Sarf

          1. MBC says:

            I watched his History of Scottish Art and never picked up any of that… he looked at ancient art, unique to Scotland, for which there were no parallels anywhere, then the continental influences, Dutch, Italian, French…. which were common to European and western art in the last three centuries… never picked up anything particularly London based. Were we watching the same shows, or can you give particular examples of how this series offended you?

            I know he’s London based. Is his living in London what you have against him?

  5. Craig Miller says:

    Ken Livingstone made an arse of himself ….yeah knowing stuff about inter war German politics and being truthful about it …what an arse ! …..still as for the rest ….being a fundamentalist , electoralism disgusts me , all that pretzel shaping of ones principles so as not to offend the know nothing who doesnt really care anyway ….fundamentalism doesnt win many political allies , thats for sure , which is why politicians dont indulge in fundamental principles ……the gradualists LOST the referendum by trying not to offend the most amount of people for the longest possible time , the brits slaughtered them ….more likely to achieve independence by accident than by this phony unequal contest

  6. George says:

    This is a photo shopped picture, the original picture was of her holding the SNP referendum.

  7. peter padden says:

    The First Minister could be implicated in a People Trafficking racket or drown a litter of kittens live on TV and you’d still get articles like this, making excuses and attempting justification. The endorsement of the Sun newspaper is absolutely disgraceful. Insensitive at best, but nonetheless utterly shameful.

  8. BW says:

    The Scottish Sun is the most widely read paper in Scotland and while I hate it with a vengance, over 200,000 people buy it. Nicola is the First Minister of Scotland, not the nice, “National” reading bit only. So as distasteful as it may seem, the opportunity to connect with a broader readership would have been too hard to pass up. Doesn’t mean anything in regards to her politics, it is just a chance to appeal to another section of the voting public (even Sun readers get to vote).

  9. June Stewart says:

    Typical storm in a tea cup pre election bosh. Any chance of moving onto some real news please ?

    1. Bryan Weir says:

      Nicola Sturgeon endorsing the SUN is real news in my opinion. Not one of her better moments.

    2. Craig Miller says:

      is this not REAL news ?……News International is corporate dogdirt , the SNP in a rather tawdry photo op ENDORSES this dogdirt , in return for being ENDORSED by this dogdirt , and why ? pray should people not be revolted by this unprincipled electoralism ? that neither represents the vast bulk of the membership or is likely to convince a single Sun reader that was ill disposed anyway …if it was even tactically astute i could perhaps be convinced it made sense …tie me to a Tar Baby

    3. Frank says:

      Nicola Sturgeon holding up a copy of the Sun newspaper in the same week as Hillsborough is ‘news’ I’m afraid. In fact, this might well become the defining image which marked the moment when people finally started to see through Scotland’s First Minister. She should be ashamed of herself.

      1. ED says:


        1. Hannah says:

          Does Aamer Anwar get paid £70,000 a year to write for that shitty right wing rag?

      2. Onwards says:

        What is more important ?

        Rejecting Scottish Sun support because the English Sun didn’t make yet another apology ?

        Or self-government for Scotland ?

  10. Cammy says:

    Wow. Not the most astute move, but the hullabaloo here says more about the author them anything else. I’ll leave this next to the breaking news about SNP parking infringement.

    Then I’ll vote for them, twice.

    Moving on…

  11. Drew Campbell says:

    The Sun has called every major UK election since 1979, spinning its own myth that’s “wot won it”; they like to back the winner then claim credit. The sole exception was when the SNP squeaked home in 2007, with the infamous black noose front page dangling there on polling day.

    So who needs who more? The Sun didn’t just need Nicola (and the stupid Star Trek mock-up) to reinforce their self-spun myth of invulnerability a week earlier than they normally assail their readers with voting advice. No, they were desperate for something – anything – to distract from the nightmarish memories of their vile Hillsborough calumnies saturating every other outlet last week.

    Will this help Nicola on Thursday? Marginally, at best. Will it help her govern over the next five years? Well, the accompanying narrative might be a little less vitriolic but Murdoch doesn’t give that away cheaply. Things will be expected in return – no taxes to scare the horses, for one – and no veering left on the road ahead.

    Has Murdoch promised to back a ‘Yes’ vote next time, if and when it happens? Well, if we’re only working for a future Scotland as the sort of state Murdoch and The Sun feel comfortable with then I think we have to find another kind of road.

    That’s why I’ll be voting Green on Thursday.

    1. niall dickson says:

      what did you think of the double page spread and video Patrick Haevie did for the sun yesterday?

    2. niall dickson says:

      what did you think of Patrick Harvies double page spread and video in the Sun yesterday

  12. Alf Baird says:

    200,000 list votes per seat for the Sun worshippers is a high price to pay for their new ‘manyana independence’ strategy. SNP1/Greens2 – to remove some more bricks from the unionist wall.

  13. BW says:

    Whenever I see a photo opportunity like the one being discussed, I cringe like the rest of you. However, I am also acutely aware that my parents buy both the Record and the Sun (sigh). Doesn’t make them bad people, just part of the majority. Mind you, it just so happens they would also vote for a donkey if it had a red rosette, so if Nicola can get through to them by appearing in their daily paper then I think I can live with it.

  14. K. A. Mylchreest says:

    Honestly I think her face has been pasted on, it looks very slightly too large. Amazing what technology can do.

    BTW as someone whose face was once displayed online photoshopped onto a baboon´s bottom, I have to say it could have been a lot worse 😉

    1. TheBabelFish says:

      No, that’s just what she looks like.

  15. Craig Miller says:

    I have never, when present failed to endorse the SNP ….the fact that i cant bring myself after nearly fifty years of franchise to even turn up , means i cant clearly see a credible vehicle for independence …the brits and the devolutionists between them make it highly unlikely another referendum will be allowed , and anyway , its only the SNP devolutionists that think the last referendum was even remotely free and fair …the english dont do free and fair ….if you dont know that the whole secret state was deployed last time you must have faeries at the bottom of your garden

  16. Bert Logan says:

    Sorry Bella C, you too have been pulled into this by the twitterati. Given the solo print media available to the SNP then any endorsement from the toilet paper is worth something. Who buys it? Whats its circulation, and why would they ignore it when they actually get wholly ignored by 90% of the media (I plucked that out).

    The toilet paper of Murdoch disgusts me, a bit scratchy and leaves a stain, but you must be naive to think that I now think the SNP are Labour/Tory/Libliar.

    You must also be naive to think that the SNP will exist post independence. Socialists will get my vote, Green ones, but I want to see the ‘Yes’ sides ignore the baiting by unionists, they are laughing at Bella C now, they win. Can you not see that?

    The fractures come when you fall to this pathetic ‘who cares’ level. I saw it, thought ‘bait’, and ignored it. What is wrong with you people? We are watching the Tories implode, Labour evaporate, and UK politics at its admitted most insane. This? This is painful, because it happened before and nobody thought anything of it, the same stinking toilet paper. Pot? Kettle?

  17. Craig Miller says:

    Endorsement from toilet paper …..Oh ye sons of Bruce and Wallace …..use the toilet paper to wipe the spittle running down their cheeks

  18. john young says:

    If she has agreed to this then her standing with me anyway has plummeted,I thought she had a bit more “character/honesty” turns out she is just another run of the mill politician that will bow and scrape the bottom of the barrel for votes.Is it ever going to be possible that we can elect honest decent truthful people?

    1. ED says:

      wise up john!

  19. Clive Scott says:

    Nicola can eat babies livers for breakfast for all I care- she still gets SNP x 2 from me on Thursday. The SUN has the highest circulation of deadwood print in Scotland. If endorsement from it achieves a net increase of one vote then independence is one vote closer. Simples.

    1. Radio Jammor (@RadioJammor) says:

      Your Independence at all costs attitude does you no credit.

      What is the point of independence if you behave like those you want independence from?

      I wonder if the bean counters at SNP HQ who thought this was a good idea, factored in the Scottish Hillsborough sympathy vote; that there may be floating voters more repelled by this association than approve of it?

      To err occasionally is human, but to keep on doing things like this will mean a pattern of behaviour, and the SNP will then start to lose some of that support it has gathered in the last few years.

  20. June says:

    So you are now printing photoshopped crap? Very unimpressed

  21. Redgauntlet says:

    The last straw….no votes for the SNP this time, folks.

    The SNP need a kick up the ass from the Republican Left…

    Let’s recap:

    1) Continuation of the outrageous council tax – the most socially regressive tax in Europe.

    2) Wishy-washy land reform measures

    3) No change of Osborne’s tax policy on high earners…our Nicola doesn’t want to scare away high earners…poor frigging high earners after all!!! Poor wee sauls!!!

    4) The outrageous, badly managed, corporate Great Clutha known as Creative Scotland… maybe somebody could do an arts project called The Creative Scotland Effect, and how it drives hundreds of Scottish artists away every single month of the year?

    5) And now sooking up to Murdoch and The Sun

    Nicola says it’s all about education…where are all these highly educated people of the future going to go and work, Nicola?

    Cause it’s certainly not an SNP run Scotland at this rate…unless, of course, they join the SNP. No doubt that’s quite a good thing to have on your CV these days in North Britain…

    1. Brian MacLeod says:

      So basically the result of your actions will be support for the Union.

      You’ve been sucked in, mate.

    2. Onwards says:

      Yeah, The choice is between Tory rule from London or the only party that can call a second referendum.

      The SNP aren’t perfect, but they are successful because they do what they have to do to win elections.

      You can’t do anything without power, as RISE will find out.

      1. Redgauntlet says:

        Nicola Sturgeon just went to great lengths in the debate to stress the point that the Scottish elections are NOT ABOUT INDEPENDENCE, that this was an obsession of the media and SLAB and the Tories, but not the SNP…

        What is it that you SNPx 2 brigade don’t understand about that iteration?

        And to say that the SNP are the ONLY party who can call a second referendum, is FACTUALLY INCORRECT. They are, today, the most likely party to call a second referendum, but that may change. Any party in power in Scotland with a sizeable majority could call a second referendum…

        It shows how completely blinkered so many SNP supporters are that when Nicola endorses The Sun, they automatically assume it is a bogus story….as if the SNP party machine wouldn’t have demolished the story in a couple of hours if it hadn’t been true…

        …wakey, wakey, SNP x 2 brigade. Time for some healthy criticism of how your party is dashing the hopes of so many Scots, and wasting the energy of the YES movement with, as Peter rightly says, a policy agenda not so different to New Labour when it at its heights…

        1. Onwards says:

          Get real.
          It took the SNP 60 years to get to this position, where we have a chance of self-government.
          Do we really want to throw that away by turning on ourselves, and divide and rule ?

          Can’t you see that Sturgeon HAS to ca’ canny on a second referendum *at this time* ?
          To try and gain another majority with the votes of ‘soft’ No voters, who still see them as the best placed to run Holyrood?

          I’m an SNP member and there is not a SINGLE person I know in the party that has given up on independence. But everyone understands it is all about timing and building support over the next 2 or 3 years.
          Waiting for onshore income to replace oil revenues.
          Waiting for a few more years of younger voters to come through.

          As soon as there is a chance of winning it we will see that referendum.

          And new Labour? GTF

          The party will oppose trident, maintain free education, scrap the tax break for the wealthy, raise business rates for big businesses, double free childcare, put £750m into closing the attainment gap, end anonymous land ownership, boost affordable housing, increase apprenticeships, restore housing support for young people, protect free personal care for the elderly, make the council tax fairer, scrap the bedroom tax, protect disability benefits etc etc

          1. Redgauntlet says:

            Waiting for Indie 2…. a remake of “Waiting For Godot” maybe….set in Scotland or the sequel maybe…

            But stop telling me that the SNP are progressive. Their tax policy both at the local and national level is clearly regressive. They go on about being pro Scottish, and they don’t give a damn for Scottish culture as is all too clear by their bizarre choices of arts administrators.

            They want everybody to be well educated, and the Scottish tax payer to foot the bill, so that the young can move elsewhere because there are no friggin jobs in Scotland outside the law, education and health…

            The SNP are a bunch of slogans tied up in a Saltire with a party machine with the efficiency of combine harvester…and the delicacy…

            I am not voting for them because I disagree with their policies. And the more the SNPx2 brigade tell me how I should vote, the less inclined I am to vote for them still…

          2. Onwards says:

            That’s fine. But remember if the SNP don’t win a majority it will end the chance of a second referendum, and see many more years of remote Tory rule from London.

            So you will be *effectively* voting Tory instead.

  22. Redgauntlet says:

    Exert of chapter X of “Animal Farm” which Orwell wrote against the totalitarian Left but which has parallels with the 2XSNP brigade…

    “Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer–except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs. Perhaps this was partly because there were so many pigs and so many dogs. It was not that these creatures did not work, after their fashion. There was, as Squealer was never tired of explaining, endless work in the supervision and organisation of the farm. Much of this work was of a kind that the other animals were too ignorant to understand. For example, Squealer told them that the pigs had to expend enormous labours every day upon mysterious things called “files,” “reports,” “minutes,” and “memoranda.” These were large sheets of paper which had to be closely covered with writing, and as soon as they were so covered, they were burnt in the furnace. This was of the highest importance for the welfare of the farm, Squealer said. But still, neither pigs nor dogs produced any food by their own labour; and there were very many of them, and their appetites were always good.

    As for the others, their life, so far as they knew, was as it had always been. They were generally hungry, they slept on straw, they drank from the pool, they laboured in the fields; in winter they were troubled by the cold, and in summer by the flies. Sometimes the older ones among them racked their dim memories and tried to determine whether in the early days of the Rebellion, when Jones’s expulsion was still recent, things had been better or worse than now. They could not remember. There was nothing with which they could compare their present lives: they had nothing to go upon except Squealer’s lists of figures, which invariably demonstrated that everything was getting better and better. The animals found the problem insoluble; in any case, they had little time for speculating on such things now….”

    1. Lenny says:

      Are you sure these quotes are from Animal Farm? I have to confess that I’ve not read the book, but I’ve seen the film and don’t remember anything as intellectual as that in it.

      Actually, it’s one of my favourite films of all time, but my wife won’t let me watch it when she’s home as she says it’s disgusting.

      1. Redgauntlet says:

        Yes, it is from “Animal Farm”.

        Google it, chapter X. It’s online.

        1. Craig Miller says:

          Jeezy peeps George Orwell ……are you sure he’s as intellectual as all that ? …..its his essays where he really deconstructs power structure …..i once as a young man read everything he wrote in a little town with a library but little else

  23. John Page says:

    Dear Peter
    Can you please clarify two things for me? I have been away but in any event, apart from getting the National on Thursdays for Matthew Fitt’s page in Scots I never touch newspapers.
    When was the Star Trek edition published?
    Was the photo of NS holding that newspaper also published in the Sun?
    Thank you

    1. Mike says:

      No the photo is a fake the question is did Bella knowingly put it up as a fake or were they fooled?

    2. Peter Arnott says:

      Hello John. The Star Trek front page was on Friday, the follow up on Saturday.

      “The SNP leader hailed yesterday’s Page One as “innovative and imaginative”, and joked: “I look forward to seeing what The Scottish Sun does with me in the next election.” She added: “I welcome The Scottish Sun’s endorsement of the SNP and myself as First Minister.” Asked for a Star Trek-themed message to readers ahead of polling day, she said: “If Scotland re-elects the SNP and re-elects me as First Minister, then I pledge that the new Scottish Government will boldly go where no Scottish Government has gone before.”


      When we get past the “it’s a fake” stuff, we can can get onto what the new normal in Scottish politics actually is…

      1. John Page says:

        Thank you, Peter. I am obliged to you. I will sleep on this and decide what to do with my SNP membership card
        John Page

        1. Peter Arnott says:

          I’m not sure we can blame a political party for acting like a political party…I think maybe it’s o”our” idealism we need to interrogate too

          1. John Page says:

            Thanks, Peter. You are right, of course. But this photo has been damaging. And the posts suggesting it was a fake are frankly astonishing and quite troubling.
            John Page

  24. Graeme says:

    I’m absolutely sure that those who are defending Sturgeon’s decision to pose for the Sun a few days after the Hillsborough verdict would be just as generous if it had been Kezia Dugdale.

    I’m also certain that those defending Sturgeon’s decision to offer her endorsement for the Sun would be just as generous if it had been working class Scottish football fans who the newspaper had climbed into the gutter to smear, only to keep their ultimate vindication off the front page.

    Of course few will change their vote over this, but it’s about character and it says something about the character of the First Minister, and also about the power News International still holds five years after they were caught tapping the voicemails of a dead teenager. Endorsements work both ways.

    Not only is it a cheap move, it is also a needless one. The Sun does not back losing parties, and having supported SNP in 2011 (and given broadly positive coverage since then) there is no reason to think they would have done anything different this time.

    Will it change many votes? No. Do I respect the First Minister less than I did a few weeks ago? Unfortunately yes, and I expect I’m not the only one.

  25. Mike says:

    Eh excuse me Editor that Photo is a fake. Its a proven photo shop print of Nicola Sturgeon holding up a Photo of herself which when looked at provides an optical illusion of infinity.


    Don’t tell me Bella is now putting out Yoon propaganda on behalf of RISE now? Seriously?

    1. TheBabelFish says:

      Emm, that’s just a link to the Wings twitter feed. What’s that meant to prove exactly? If it’s not real why has it not been denied officially. And don’t say it’s the bank holiday. I’ve been a campaign manager. They don’t take holidays.

    2. Frank says:

      The photo is real. Get over it. And I don’t think anyone should listen to the views of the Wings over Scotland editor, who let’s face it has a position on Hillsborough not too dissimilar to the lies that appeared in the Sun all those years ago.

      Nicola Sturgeon has disgraced herself with this picture and should hang her head in shame.

      1. TheBabelFish says:

        Euwwgh! I looked. I feel soiled.

  26. Mike says:

    Bella is losing the plot when it digs up anti SNP Yoon propaganda and uses it knowingly to discredit the Independence movement.

    Shameful folks. I thought you were here to create a bit of balance relative to the MSM?

    Get a grip.

    1. John Page says:

      Do you agree the photo was not a fake?
      Can you refer me specifically to the particular site/place on Wings that caused you to believe the photo was a fake?
      Does this issue cause you to question the reliance you place on Wings?
      If you have not sent off your postal vote, would you like to do your own List Vote 7 iterations for your own region to check if your SNP List vote might be wasted? I am suggesting this as it may be the case that Wings might not be a sound authority.
      Thank you
      John Page

    2. John Page says:

      Any chance of a considered reply?
      Thank you

  27. John Page says:

    There is a reference above to a statement by Wings that the photos in this article by Peter are fakes.
    Can you please clarify?
    As I said above, I have been away for a few days. I would really like to know what to believe here.
    John Page

  28. Craig Miller says:

    Hmmmn its a fake…….its not a fake ……

  29. Mike says:

    Youll be telling us next that Nicola John and Humza posed in Star Trek uniforms for the photo op.

  30. Rosie Kane says:

    That paper had already given a front page to SNP via the ‘Trekkie’ pic but for NS to them pose WITH that front page was really just about selling papers as opposed to gaining votes. However, I could manage all of that as I’m not SNP and have no big expectations but watching family and friends defend and invisible corner with that stupid Dandy pic was horrible. No word from SNP to help newer activists to discuss, argue, explain thief pic in the week Hilsborough verdict was delivered sat very badly with me.

    The problem was bad but the handling of it by SNP at the top was woeful and a bit cruel.

  31. Onwards says:

    It’s unfortunate that the Sun endorsement came in the same week as the Hillsborough verdict and brought that up again. But at the end of the day, the Scottish Sun is a different edition, with different editorial control, and didn’t have anything to do with Hillsborough.

    It endorsed the SNP last time, and Alex Salmond was pleased to pose with a cover, and it may have helped them to win an unexpected majority in 2011, from which we got the first indy referendum.

    We all know it’s because the paper wants to be on the winning side and hold up its own circulation – but IMO, after years of unionist anti-Scottish media coverage, it’s a welcome change to have at least one big selling paper on our side, for whatever reason.

    Indy supporters have to ask themselves – what is more important for Nicola ?

    A feeling of righteousness by rejecting support from the biggest selling tabloid in Scotland ?
    Or sucking it up, and using it as a means to an end to help gain independence for our country ?

  32. john young says:

    What is more important to me anyway onward is openness/integrity/honesty in everything,once you go down the dark road trodden by all political parties/politicians,you will certainly lose your way,I have voted for the SNP for a long time now but this has thrown me a googlie.

  33. DialMforMurdo says:

    Like it or not endorsing the Sun brand endorses the continued lies over the Hillsborough disaster and the character assassination carried out on a city by Kelvin McKenzie and his proprietor. It may be a long held grievance, but hey when are those of us on the pro-Indy side ever short of grievance accusations?

    I agree with Peter’s assertion that this is calculated politicking from Team Sturgeon to expand their voter base, but jings does it leave a foul taste in the mouth.

  34. kailyard rules says:

    Just SNP x 2 and Forward. It’s strategic politics paving the road to Independence. Keep the heid.

  35. Onwards says:

    Sometimes you have to dilute your principles to achieve something rather than nothing.

    That will always be the undoing of the left.
    eg RISE could have came to terms with Solidarity, and they might have got a few seats after burying their differences. Odds on they will both now end up with nothing.

    People need to ask themselves – Who is the real enemy here ?
    Sturgeon for holding her nose, and taking an endorsement from the biggest selling tabloid in Scotland ?

    Or the Tories in London, cutting the deficit on the backs of the poor, and led by David Cameron who admitted to Clegg that he ‘didn’t care’ about Scotland once the referendum was won.

    Independence gives us a chance to escape that.
    And the SNP have to take a broad church approach to achieve that. It’s the only way.

    I would literally suck Murdoch’s dick myself if it meant independence for Scotland.
    For the greater good.

  36. Graeme says:

    The argument that the Scottish Sun is a seperate paper is a crap one. It’s owned by the same people and also slapped the Hilborough victims in the face this week by refusing to put them on the cover.

    Again, would those who are defending the pic be doing so if it had been Scottish fans killed in Hillsborough? And would you be so generous if it was Kezia Dugdale in the photo?

    As for those claiming it’s a fake. You’re looking incredibly stupid.

  37. Craig Miller says:

    still desperately trying to defend endorsing the Sun , even after a little nap , i see , its that woman from the Perth gig , ” i dont support Independence , i dont want to break up the country , can i still join the SNP ? Nicola ….” Yes ” ……i stopped any support for the SNP from that moment …i dragged myself to the polls last year , unhappy to be endorsing “british politics” which was ALL the SNP were offering , but never again ……SNP good at british politics and THROWING referendums ….rubbish at delivering their raison d’etre

    1. Onwards says:

      What are you on about ?

      During the referendum, independence support went from 30% to 45%.
      We almost won. We probably would have won if it wasn’t for the last minute lie promising radical home rule close to federalism.
      There’s an example of tabloids still having influence right there.

      It’s all very well living in a little bubble of self righteous idealism, but you won’t achieve much if you don’t have political power. I’m glad the party takes votes where they can. It’s a means to an end.

      If the SNP wasn’t in power right now, then chances are we wouldn’t have free education, free prescriptions, free personal care. Chances are we wouldn’t have a new Forth Bridge, we wouldn’t have the bedroom tax mitigated. And we wouldn’t have any new powers coming to Scotland, that’s for sure.

      1. John Page says:

        You lost any measure of credibility with your comment above about Murdoch’s anatomy……we made progress during the IndyRef because thousands of disengaged and especially young people saw a chance for their idealism to flourish and to envision a better Scotland. You expect people to vote SNP*2 on the back of this rapport with The Sun?

        1. Onwards says:

          John. We still narrowly lost the first referendum. Votes from the disengaged & young weren’t enough.
          If the YES side had support from the Sun during the campaign, it might have took us over the line.

          Unfortunately the tabloids still have huge readership and influence in Scotland at this time. Two or three readers for every buyer. And online influence as well. They can’t just be ignored. At worst they will actively campaign against you as we saw with the Daily Record and their Vow.

          Those who won’t vote SNP twice, should still consider SNP for the first vote at least.
          They got us a referendum last time, and will do so against at the first opportunity.

        2. Mike says:

          Do you expect anybody but the SNP to be the vehicle to Independence?

          1. John Page says:

            Sorry, I thought you were claiming that the photo was a fake? You gave a link to Wings to prove that. Are you now saying that the photo was genuine but that its alright for NS to endorse that sexist rag because she leads the only party that can deliver independence and whatever she does is beyond criticism?

  38. Craig Miller says:

    IF and its not very likely we get the chance of another referendum , will the the tactics that LOST badly last time be employed again ? happy clappy hippy shit that “hates” nationalism and wants to remain part of “britains ” happy family even if it just wants its own room …..without deliberately stirring the NATIONALIST sentiment of our people , how exactly were you intending to persaude them to take a leap in the dark ?….they had to feel brave ….all the dafties could say was …..” a smile wins , a cudgel loses ” well the vile english have centuries worth of cudgels that they used to wipe the smile off the dafties faces

  39. Craig Miller says:

    who knows what might have happened in the tactics hadnt been so shit ? WE LOST ….miss / mile . telling people we still desperately wanted to remain “british” ie using all “their” stuff , but we just wanted our own room in the family home , was stupid and persisting with it when they played like the psychopaths they are , was doubly stupid …..telling people that national self determination could be achieved without NATIONALISM was the stupidest thing of all …..BTW electoralism isnt the ONLY way to gain Independence , on its own it is useless at facing down the vile british state

  40. Mike Adams says:

    Everything about the argument that it’s fine to deeply offend some of your supporters in order to attract others is morally bankrupt.

    1. Craig Miller says:

      the ” woman from Perth ” syndrome ….”.i dont like the idea of Scotland being free . would i still be welcome in the SNP ? ” Nicola …….” YES ” ……i stopped supporting the SNP there and then , i am a NATIONALIST …not a supporter of the best placed to RULE us under the british state

      1. Onwards says:

        No. Effectively you are a UNIONIST.
        The SNP is the only realistic path to independence in the near future. And they will take support where they can get it as a means to that end.

        It’s like saying “I am an soldier” if I dream about joining the army.
        You actually have to sign up.

        1. Craig Miller says:

          its that proprietorial streak that runs thru the gradualists very middle , like they OWN the debate , like it was an army …..shot for disobeying orders ….thats quite army-ish ……i have campaigned on the streets up closies and down …Penny for Scotland ..i had boxes of them leftover …Scotlands Voice in the rain on Gorgie rd , 13% in the polls naeboddy wanted thim ……i have swallowed gradualisms slimy “tactics” when it seemed dishonest and cowardly …all in the hope of a referendum ….which was conducted not like the self congratulated like to say , but …dishonestly and cowardly ….dressed up in clothes everybody could feel happy about wearing after ….WE LOST ….they , the english , fought DIRTY …we didnt even turn up ……i am a bit like that Mel Gibson film ….anti english …and for exactly the same historical and contemp. reasons …they are the ones fucking us up at the minute ….but hey …we are where we are , eh ?

        2. John Page says:

          You are digging yourself into a bigger and bigger hole and are looking and sounding ridiculous. Who are you trying to persuade by these posts? I suspect you are trying to convince yourself as the Sun issue does not look right and you know that. You are certainly not convincing anyone who thinks for themselves rather than blindly following party orders.
          This was a serious mistake by NS. Many people will be reflecting carefully on this issue……….your rants can only result in getting right up peoples’ noses
          John Page

          1. Alf Baird says:

            More like – ‘To “blindly” go’.

            Still worth a constituency vote though, this time: SNP1/Greens2

          2. Onwards says:

            John, My point is that there is no easy way to gain independence with the situation Scotland is in.
            We have 95% of the media against us, including the BBC.
            Just look at the unbalanced audience in that last TV debate when it came to independence support. That wasn’t a coincidence.

            Of course the Sun endorsement is going to be controversial. I bet Nicola was holding her nose during that photo. But it’s a calculation she had to make. Does accepting an endorsement from the Scottish Sun win more votes than it loses ? Perhaps it was a bad call in those terms, perhaps not. They have half a million readers..
            You have to consider that a few thousand votes could mean the difference between a majority or not.
            And the opportunity for a second referendum in a few years.

            I would hope that those who disagree entirely with the Sun endorsement can still see the thinking behind it, and the fact that it is done for the greater good, and a chance to try and help level the playing field in the popular media.

            It certainly doesn’t mean the SNP have turned into Tories/new Labour when you look at their proposed policies:

            Free education, Free prescriptions, free personal care, opposing Trident, scrapping the bedroom tax, raising rates for big businesses, scrapping the tax band break for the rich, £500 million extra for the NHS, £750m extra to help close the attainment gap, restoring housing benefit for 18-21 year olds. Protecting disability benefits etc

        3. John Page says:

          The Scottish Sun recorded an 11.5% drop going down from 246,066 copies (Aug 2014) to 218,609 in August this year.
          These are the latest figures I can find ….to August 2015
          As I made clear above I don’t touch newspapers apart from the National on Thursdays for the page in Scots to help my vocabulary.
          Does the Sun still have topless models? Do most readers still move from Page 3 to the sport at the back? How many of the readers vote?
          I do think you have overplayed the influence of The Scottish Sun on Scotland’s politics.
          In any event, you seem to be rowing back from your anatomical enthusiasm for the Dirty Digger.
          We are clearly both supporters of Independence but disagree on the details.
          I’ll leave you with one final problem…….would you substitute Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos for Rupert Murdoch in your regrettable offer mentioned above?
          John Page

          1. Onwards says:

            There are generally considered to be 2 or 3 readers for every paper sold.
            Family members will read it, workmates, copies left in trains, offices, coffeeshops.
            Thousands more glance at the front pages in the shops. Before an election they are effectively political billboards.

            As much as I wish it wasn’t true, it still has big influence.

          2. John Page says:

            I take it your unswerving loyalty to the party wouldn’t extend to allowing fracking?

            John Page

          3. Onwards says:

            I’m fine with their position there. They can’t ban it due to legal challenges from licences already granted by Westminster. But they can hold it up indefinitely with a moratorium.

          4. John Page says:

            Not what I asked you…….would you be happy to see the SNP suck up Ratcliffe if it helped get independence?

          5. John Page says:

            Would you kindly also point me to authority for the claim that we can’t ban fracking outright in Scotland now?

          6. Onwards says:

            Energy policy isn’t devolved.
            They can only hold it up through planning permission laws.
            Or delays in the meantime for safety studies.

            Personally I would be fine with it offshore if it was proved safe.

          7. John Page says:

            I genuinely want to get to the bottom of this. If energy is not devolved, why is Ferguson Ewing the Energy Minister?
            Can you show me where there has been a legal opinion definitively saying the Scottish Govt can’t ban fracking?

  41. Craig Miller says:

    Ah !….thinking for oneself, eh?…..that can get you bumped on many a mainstream publication …and they rarely get humour too , i find ….has anyone looked at the Hootsmon recently ?

  42. Craig Miller says:

    , Onwards i am aware of which electoral strategy is being used ,gradualism i know personally people who have a profound belief in the electoral system of the british state and its supposed democratic basis , they truly believe in what they are doing and that it will on its own deliver an independent Scotland , i dont know you , you are obviously one of them , ….i dont believe another referendum held under the same conditions , led by the same gradualists would deliver anything other than the same loss …..it would be , a YES vote, in its philosophical sense , a revolutionary act ….revolutions dont require so much patience , far sightedness , and dedication ….they require an enthused leadership and a receptive population ….how does the promise of continued neo liberalism under the aegis of Rupert Murdoch ? electoral timidity ? and inviting UNIONISTS to join the party ? enthuse me …..i am a NATIONALIST …i want my country back …not telling people that in case it disturbs some woman who will only vote for the SNP if it DOESNT want my country back , Whats my motivation ?

  43. Redgauntlet says:

    The SNP (So-called National Party)’s so called independence:

    Same head of State as England? Check.
    Same currency as England? Check
    Same income tax top rate as Tory England? Check
    Same regressive and unspeakable local tax system as England? Check.
    Same arts body as England? Check
    Same defence policy as England? Aye and naw…they are for staying in NATO, but getting rid of the nukes….

    ….HA HA HA. Nicola Sturgeon and Swinney won’t even stand up to 100,000 Scots on more than 40K a year, and we´re meant to believe they are going to do with NATO and Obama?

    A complete farce of a National Party…

    1. Onwards says:

      “Same head of State as England? Check.”

      one step at a time..

    2. Tony Rozga says:

      You can’t really expect all those situations to change without first becoming independent.

      1. Redgauntlet says:

        Tony Rozga, are you trying to say the SNP can’t A) abolish and replace council tax, b) alter the top rate of tax and C) change our culture policy?

        Utter gibberish!!!!

        Where have you been the last few months? Have you no been reading the papers?

        Why don’t the SNP do what is in their hand to do to make Scotland more progressive? Because they are a centrist party, as Peter Arnott rightly says….

        1. Mike says:

          You want folk to be deterred from voting SNP on the grounds that they will put up their taxes if they do? Don’t you feel taxed enough? If not you’re perfectly welcome to pay mine as well if that’s your thing.

          The SNP have balanced the Devolved powers with the Devolved authority without having to make Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK and that’s in spite of an ever decreasing funding via Barnett.

          They’ve chosen to pass on the ENFORCED cuts via Westminster rather than pass the burden of mitigating cuts onto the working poor as the Red and Blue Tories would do.

          There is no justification for raising taxes within a economic environment which has ENFORCED ZERO to low wage increases for years. Not to mention introduced Zero hours contracting in place of full employment.

          Like I said it seems to me RISE and the Greens are more concerned about building their own power base than seeking to redress the inequalities which can only happen for us within a Fully Independent and accountable Parliament.

          Its a no brainer.

          1. Redgauntlet says:

            There are about 100,000 people who earn enough to pay the top tax threshold in Scotland…and most of them probably vote Tory anyway….

            …plus, you know, there is this thing called principle? Well, I vote according to my principles, and I believe in the principle of a progressive tax system. So I’m not voting for the SNP at this election, because they have reneged on the pledge to replace the council tax and Nicola just blew the chance to point the way to a more progressive society by using EXACTLY the same argument George Osborne used to justifying keeping a 45p top rate in the pound…

            Why would I vote for a centrist and centralizing political party when I am on the Left and interested in the distribution of power, not its concentration?

            They used to call them the Tartan Tories….well, that term is now back in fashion, for that is how I would describe the SNP in terms of their fiscal policy.

            A disgrace, a scandal, and betrayal of the thousands of Left wing YES campaign activists who stood in the wind and the rain campaigning for a better and fairer Scotland throughout 2014…

  44. Bloody_Mary says:

    The issue is not the Sun’s endorsement of Nicola Sturgeon. It’s about her endorsing THEM. It’s also about her endorsing a publication that she denounced last year as being ‘sexist’ when they photoshopped her face onto a pic of Miley Cyrus in the Wrecking Ball video. For the first female First Minister of Scotland to support The Sun after such a vindictive sexist attack, whilst making equality part of her agenda, is highly distasteful in the extreme and sends out the wrong message.

    1. Onwards says:

      I get that. But it will be part of the deal. You scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours. We don’t know the circumstances. Maybe there was a threat to endorse the Tories instead and campaign against the SNP. Politics is a dirty business.

      One thing I do notice is those making the biggest issue about it aren’t on the side of independence. It is being deliberately stirred up to divide the indy vote.
      I know there are plenty of SNP supporters who aren’t happy, but they know better than to make a big deal about it 2 days before an election.

      The prospect of another referendum and an independent Scotland free of remote Tory Governments is much more important.

      1. John Page says:

        Sorry, I don’t get that. NS endorsed the Sun to divide the Indy vote? It was her decision to initiate this.
        Or are you actually implying that the SNP is entitled to take Indy voters for granted to such an extent that NS can endorse the sexist rag Sun and we will all just accept it?

        I honestly think you should just give this up. If you said “I am really disappointed that NS endorsed this sexist rag but I will still vote for the SNP.” No one would object. But you keep digging this hole.

        John Page

        1. Onwards says:

          That’s not how I feel though.
          I’m not happy she felt she had to do it. I’m not happy that tabloids still have a lot of political power. But considering they do, I’m glad she wasn’t too snobby to take an endorsement from the Scottish Sun.

          She obviously didn’t meant any disrespect to Hillsborough victims. It’s just unfortunate the verdict happened the same week and all that was stirred up again. It was the English Sun who came out with that terrible front page, after being told a bunch of lies from the police, and they have apologized for it numerous times. The Scottish Sun had nothing to do with it.

          But independence is more important to me personally, and a Sun endorsement could mean the difference between an SNP majority and the chance to get a second referendum or not.
          Remember the SNP and Alex Salmond first gained power on the back of 48 votes in Cunninghame North Constituency. That’s 25 individual voters who decided the future of Scotland. If they had voted Labour instead we would have got another Labour government in 2007, and the SNP would never have been set up to win a subsequent majority and a mandate for a referendum

          So every single vote counts, and if the Scottish Sun can help to push several thousand extra votes towards the SNP and another referendum, then I will take that.

          I’m glad the Hillsborough victims got justice, but Scotland still hasn’t got justice.
          We still have a heartless Tory government lording it over us from Westminster, and there is only one practical way to prevent that happening time and time again.

          (Remember that RISE and Green members have also written for the Sun and the NOTW.)

          1. John Page says:

            “I’m not sorry she felt she had to do it……”
            ” …….she had to do it…….”
            I propose to leave it there, Onwards

          2. Frank says:

            It’s not about being snobby – the Sun is a racist and sexist rag. Have you no principles whatsoever? How we carry ourselves in the fight for independence will ultimately shape what our independence looks like.

      2. Graeme says:

        Her timing was awful. Would you be taking the same line if it was 96 Scottish fans and their supporters that the paper had smeared?

      3. Bloody_Mary says:

        By jove, you’re right. I can reveal that tomorrow Nicola will be endorsed by The Digger and will be photographed alongside their front cover, after they threatened to back the Partick People’s Front, in an attempt to divide those who want Scottish independence and those who just want independence for Partick.


  45. Craig Miller says:

    its important to be careful when bandying about the word “hypocrite” …..but thats what it amounts to …if Dugdale had posed on the front of the Sun in the same week as the Hillsboro vindication , these uber loyalists would have crucified her …and rightly …but first it seems they must get a steer , its WRONG to endorse ANYTHING to do with Rupert Murdochs newspaper , WRONG WRONG WRONG , its not “tactics” its WRONG , advantage bought at such a price is an illusion , we , the YES movement if not the SNP are BETTER than this

  46. Craig Miller says:

    more likely to win independence by accident , than by any conscious tactic deployed by the current SNP…..damping down nationalist sentiment during the only chance we will ever get to fight a referendum was the extent of their political nous ….good at fighting british elections and losing referendums , dont hold your breath for the devolutionist wing of the SNP fighting for IndyRef2 outside of an electoral cycle any time this century

  47. Mike says:

    Seems some people believe we can get our Independence overnight simply by convincing pro Indy supporters to switch from the SNP to RISE.

    Seems RISE would have more appeal to Yoons than the SNP probably because they are far less radical far less extreme and far closer to the mainstream of political support.

    Or they’re full of shite and are arguing from a position of trying to gain a personal political power base.

    I know which one sounds closer to the truth than the other.

    1. John Page says:

      Hi Mike
      You said the photo was a fake. Can you answer my reasonable questions to you about why you made that claim above before you dish out any more abuse to independence supporters?
      Thank you
      John Page

      1. Mike says:

        I have already posted that the picture was photoshopped. Ive seen 4 different versions of the same picture on Twitter.

        Abuse to Indy supporters? In what way is pointing out the fact that some folk are trying to send the Indy progress back to 2007 is abusive towards supporters of Indy?

        Do you think RISE or the Greens can ever get into a position to deliver Indy? I certainly don’t.

        1. John Page says:

          Sorry my post crossed with yours.
          I will leave you to your views
          Thank you

          John Page

    2. John Page says:

      Given that you have not replied I will assume you either deliberately lied when you claimed last night that the NS photo was a fake or you are so stupid you misinterpreted some of the foul drivel on the Wings Twitter feed.
      I fervently hope that we have another IndyRef in my lifetime. I sincerely hope that wherever you live, the future local Yes Campaign chair has enough experience of you and wisdom to keep you as far away from both the public and fellow campaigners as possible as you would be a complete liability.

      1. Mike says:

        Wow and all that because I don’t see RISE or the Greens as being the vessel to deliver our Independence based on reality. And neither do I see any advantage in splitting the pro Indy support in the same manner as the Pro Yoon support is split which would allow the Yoon created Devolved Parliament to do exactly what it was designed to do keep out a pro Indy Government majority.

        I think on those grounds its folk like you who should be kept away from the Scottish public.

  48. Craig Miller says:

    deflection time …..i have no faith in the SNP to deliver another referendum , or to make any better show of leadership than they did last time , if they somehow followed thru ……the british state is anti democratic , it fixes things it doesnt want …like they did last time

    1. Mike says:

      You have no faith? Based on the fact that they are the ONLY party in over 300 years to actually deliver an Indy ref?

      Who else is in a better position to do so then?

  49. Craig Miller says:

    if there is no ferment in the street , the SNP made sure there wasnt last time , its all activists and not enough Indians ….fiscal outlook this , and economic gurus this ..if there is no fire in the piss it wont clean the gutter ….making us less Scots , less connected to our OWN country our OWN history , more Scots economic units , didnt work big time …..WE LOST miss/mile

  50. Craig Miller says:

    Perhaps it is Old Chap ! ……its a very subtle thing the sapping of Scottish confidence , we must have watched the same program differently ….my overriding impression was one of implied second rate-ness , its inside the head of most Scots on a subliminal level , so Mr Goudie is no great exception …you can be sure commissioning editors for the Greater English Broadcasting Corp can spot the trait

  51. Mike says:

    I get the impression there are folk who think the best time to hold another Indyref is when we are ensured to lose it again.

    Is it too much to ask or expect the next Indyref to be a sure fire winner? Is it so wrong to work towards that goal? “COLLECTIVELY”?

  52. Craig Miller says:

    Honesty ? Too much to ask ….? ….not radical enough to want it enough ….the only party , that i did as much as any volunteer to advance ….until they LOST the only referendum for 3oo years ….by being utterly british ….everything would be the SAME …..same money , same central bank , same head of state …..how did that work for us again ? ….whats the point ? ….you dont get it …party before cause

    1. douglas clark says:


      A couple of points.

      18 September 2014 was the first and only referendum. We did not have one 300 years ago. Losing it was frankly unexpected. I thought we would win, but there you go.

      If you expect to win by telling us that everything will be different, then good luck to you.

      I suspect that we have to decide now on either the euro or an independent Scottish currency. As an arguement going forward.

      It seems that the pound in your pocket has been devalued. In the sense that you only own it if the Bank of England let’s you, and despite them saying it would be the best option for EWNI as well as Scotland, well, the government, Westminster branch, isn’t going to let us.

      Fine. Move on.

      I hear very little about the Central Banks of small nations such as Iceland, Tuvalu and others. What are the Central Banking arrangements of, say, New Zealand or Singapore, both of whom appear to be viable economies.

      An independent nation can determine it’s banking arrangements.

      Just as, an independent nation can determine it’s own head of state.

      You, sir, are putting the cart before the horse.

      Only with independence will we be able to consider these issues properly, and we may, heaven forfend, change our minds about the best answers. But they will be our answers.

      Your radicalism does you proud, your path to independence is however strewn with broken dreams and heartache. We are not a perfect nation, and never will be. But we need to attempt to be governed better than we have been for the last 300 years.

      BTW I have already voted SNP 1 & 2.

      1. Craig Miller says:

        Gosh where to start ….the 300 years ? No, nothing at all democratic then or since , troops along the border , massive personal bribe paid to the leader of the Patriots to get toothache …steeped , positively marinaded in Scottish history , but we are where we are , the referendum WAS LOST using exactly the reasonable and reasoned line of thought you display ….it wont win a referendum without first igniting nationalist sentiment …..the people need to want to endorse their future con gusto not cos some guy says it’ll be 500 english quid better or worse , and they need to want to shove it up Jeremy Paxmans arse , not peek from behind the couch as he sneers “poverty” at them ….no fight last time , like Muhamad Alis’ famous ” rope a dope ” tactic without the late killer punch …i know you think you have logic firmly on your side ….we need some magic

  53. arthur thomson says:

    I just came to Bella to see what was happening and came upon this set of comments.

    My immediate thought is that most of them – for and against – seem to have been written by people who are being employed to write them by the British State, in order to disrupt. I have no evidence to back that up (how could I have?) but they are so shrill that that is how they come across to me.

    Maybe if the font used for comments was radically reduced it wouldn’t seem like a shouting match and a wider cross section of people would contribute.

  54. douglas clark says:


    Well, a lot of the comments would be against the British State. Could you perhaps point me to one that appears to have been written by a mandarin?

  55. douglas clark says:


    Despite being in the ‘sin bin’ around here for voting SNP 1 and 2, and despite saying that sometimes bella caledonia cuts off it’s nose to spite it’s face, I am pretty sure that no-one that comments or writes here fits your description as an agent of the Westminster state. (I assume that is what you meant by the ‘British State’?)

    BTW, any smaller font size would make this hard to read. Is that what you want?

  56. Alf Baird says:

    Q: Capt Kirk: Why did all the Yes people vote SNP1/Greens2?
    A: Mr. Spock: Obviously, it was the logical thing to do to destroy Unionist MSP’s (i.e. Aliens).

  57. Onwards says:

    So it turns out that Patrick Harvie has done an interview for the Scottish Sun, and Jim Sillars and Colin Fox have written articles for the News of the World.

  58. douglas clark says:


    Q: Capt Kirk: Why did all the Yes people vote SNP1/Greens2?
    A: Mr. Spock: Obviously, it was the logical thing to do to destroy Unionist MSP’s (i.e. Aliens).

    Was that supposed to be an answer?

    SNP 1 and 2 would make more sense.

    I note that Arthur has gone silent. Or perhaps the font he is using is jusy too small to read?

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Douglas, SNP1+2 may make more sense (to one party/’tribe’), but is illogical in that it guarantees the survival of more ‘aliens’ (40+) and may bring about a Klingon (Tory) opposition, which the empire will trumpet as a ‘victory’; this arguably makes less sense to the Yes population as a whole where obliteration of aliens would be all but assured with a comprehensive SNP1/Greens2 pincer movement.

  59. douglas clark says:


    Q: Capt Kirk: Why did all the Yes people vote SNP1/Greens2?
    A: Mr. Spock: Obviously, it was the logical thing to do to destroy Unionist MSP’s (i.e. Aliens).

    Was that supposed to be an answer?

    SNP 1 and 2 would make more sense.

    I note that Arthur has gone silent. Or perhaps the font he is using is just too small to read?

  60. douglas clark says:

    Och, shit. You really need an edit function.

  61. Craig Miller says:

    I love the fact that this is not a hangout for people who shun critical thought , someone said earlier , what would independence mean, if to achieve it you have to agree to continue the same old same old ? …..we need to think better futures , having achieved overwhelming electoral success on the back of the 45 , a position of strength undreamt of for most political parties , they have made only baby steps , if that , towards the mandate that was so firmly given …it was a radical movement that marched far to the front of our timid , media monopolising , SNP leadership ….we are as likely to fall into independence by accident as achieving it thru SNP electoralism only

    1. Alf Baird says:

      “as likely to fall into independence by accident ”

      You could be right Craig, yet the SNP leadership would no doubt still claim total responsibility, with the Sun saying ‘it were them wot won it’.

  62. john young says:

    She is a huge dis-appointment and has unfortunately proved that she is just another politician another lackey to the establishment,I know of many that will now look elsewhere,they just couldn,t carry it through,where is Mhairi Black and co now? have they also been swallowed up by the Westminster monster,give them enough rope and they will hang themselves,tried and tested.

    1. Craig Miller says:

      Too get such a mandate …..mandates …..and what a timid no show ….managerialist…..scared to say boo to an electoral goose even after a landslide , Land Reform ? theres obviously hidden pooers wha wouldna like it …Dukes an the like , nae doot ….Tax ? ditto …extra parliamentary demands for better democracy is more likely to win our better future than slavish obedience to the current corrupted politics ” the way its done ” …the referendum taught me that

  63. Mike says:

    “There are about 100,000 people who earn enough to pay the top tax threshold in Scotland…and most of them probably vote Tory anyway….”

    And every single one of them will be adept at Tax avoidance and know tax haven law like the back of their hands.

    “plus, you know, there is this thing called principle? Well, I vote according to my principles, and I believe in the principle of a progressive tax system.”

    Meanwhile the likes of Amazon Yahoo Google etc are allowed to walk away with billions in unpaid taxation at any rate because its too much effort for the revenue service to chase after it.

    Its not only about raising income tax its about raising income tax at the same time as local council tax, charging prescriptions and introducing new stealth taxation all at once while keeping wage increases between zero and below inflation.

    I don’t know what Rise hope to achieve within a Devolved Parliament with less representation than the Lib Dems except to prevent the SNP gaining a majority again.

    Maybe if somebody explains how that helps us get closer to Independence I may see the sense of it? Anybody?

    1. John Page says:

      This is an article about NS holding up a picture of the Scottish Sun. You believe this was a fake. Why should anyone engage with you or answer your debating questions?

      1. Mike says:

        Patrick Harvey does a double page spread in the Sun. Colin Fox and Jim Sillars write articles for the News of the world.

        And John Page is noticeably silent in his objections and sanctimonious accusations of hypocrisy.

        Its not so much the inconsistency of principle its the sheer bare faced hypocrisy and worthless attempts at electioneering in place of principle consistency and honesty.

        At least there is reasonable doubt that the picture of Nicola is genuine there is none where Colin Fox Jim Sillars and Patrick Harvey is concerned. So where is your sanctimonious principled condemnation?

        1. Craig Miller says:

          Dont worry mate …i dont care nothing about these , i didnt fight thru 40 voting years for them , only to be betrayed ..and see it end up in the hands of people who have independence on their lips but devolution in their heart , Scottish simmit but british knickers …..they are “british ” part of our ” greater british ” family ….they dont want soverignity just a better deal from the english …..thats why WE LOST ……they dont like Scottish Nationalism …the same way NEWLAB didnt like socialism ….scares the know nothings we want to vote for us ….dishonest and tactically inept

        2. John Page says:

          If you think there is reasonable doubt that the NS picture is a fake you are a bampot.
          And if you were not such a bampot you would be able to discern a difference between getting reported in or contributing your articles to a paper and holding it up in such a way a it could be portrayed as endorsing it.
          You have made a complete fool of yourself over your assertion that the picture was photoshopped and rather than retract or just stay quiet you keep digging……a bit like that menace on Wings who sees himself as some omniscient oracle and whose self absorption is fuelled by clowns like you who inhabit his parallel universe.
          Just reflect for a minute on this……..very many people are really disappointed about the SNP generally and that picture in particular……..uncritical bullying support to the SNP from you and others like you are losing votes and members.
          I regret that I ever engaged in this conversation.

          1. Mike says:


            You want folk to believe that there is a moral difference in holding a newspaper relative to contributing to its contents? Seriously?

            When you contribute to a newspaper you doing so expecting and encouraging people to buy it in order to read what you have said.

            You cant be serious?

        3. The News of the World was shut down in 2011

          1. Craig Miller says:

            What about ” Scotch Ginger : extra parliamentary politics answerable to none , the only route to Indyref2 ? ” good blog ….or “Is there ever a GOOD campaign that loses an Independence referendum .?…so few examples in history its very hard to tell ” ….another good blog

    2. Craig Miller says:

      I have no brief for Rise , ANYONE who believes in Independence, holding the SNPs majority in their hand….would be better than these managerialist , greasypole climbing nobodies unwilling to fight , content with devolution as long as its them in the chair ….the dafties that THREW the last referendum by hogging the whole campaign, and whose tactics were so poor they led us to an almost unique defeat in freedom plebicite history …..the dont believe in Scotland as a nation ….they are politically british and want to stay that way

      1. Mike says:

        And what would RISE or the Greens have done differently? How would they have combatted “Project Fear” and gain support from 25% to 51% in a year and a half?

        New currency? Adopt the Euro?

        What a field day the Yoon media would have had with that. They could truthfully tell the population of Scotland that every penny they owned every penny they had in savings would devalue overnight.

        They wouldn’t even have to lie.

        The SNP are being accused of nothing but playing it cagey and smart. We’ve never been closer to Independence and we never would have been if RISE or the Greens where the vehicle.

        That’s just a cold hard fact.

        1. Craig Miller says:

          How near ??? As close as when we had a referendum that they threw by refusing to make it about ANYTHING else , they danced the Tango (the english led ) we all wanted to do the Pogo and clear them off the floor …..but the electoralism that has completely obscured the raison d’etre of the Party is repellant to a free thinking person ….canny and smart …..sleekit and arrogant …you pays your money you takes your choice …i just care about redemption , democracy as it is played by neo liberal money club might demand suppleness , but greasing yourself up with such alacrity as i say …its repellant …at least look like you oppose it

          1. Mike says:

            Nobody threw the referendum we went in 20 points down from day 1 and came within 6% of winning. Against a massive hostile media circus of broadcasting Satellite Print and online.

            Smothered by Project Fear. There is no way RISE or the Greens combined could have done any better and whats more you know it!

            You offer nothing but unjustified ranting.

            Nobody was more disappointed with the result than I was but I quickly took a lot of comfort in the fact that the movement didn’t dissipate it didn’t die it only grew stronger to a point where we are now on parity with the Yoons. The SNP has 56 MPs in Westminster that’s staggering. They came within a hairsbreath of getting all 59 seats. Where was RISE? Where were the Greens?
            Do you think for one microsecond the Westminster establishment is worried in the least about either of them?
            We know how not only worried they are about the SNP we know they are absolutely terrified of them. Its nothing but SNP bad everyday in every media because they are a genuine threat to the very existence of the UK state.

            A threat people like you would dilute in some quest to allow what? A few left wing extremists into Parliament? To do what? Be ignored by Westminster?

            Spare me.

          2. Craig Miller says:

            Tell ya what Mike …..next time willna happen …..you seem very pleased to have LOST …..narrowly …i dont believe the tactics would be any more successful and you’d be back …one more heave …i want there to be a successful next one , which is why i dont want another SNP led campaign that would lose it again ….they have ceased to be driven by Nationalism , and now positively purr about their place in the british mainstream …..naw , nae mair that …ken ?

  64. Craig Miller says:

    Entryists and greasypole climbers ….dodgy business figures seeing the main chance …..56 MPs ….apart from their initial amusement at sword hangerz , i dont see them doing anything for Scotland ….collecting their exes with more urgency im guessing

  65. Craig Miller says:

    Name me another referendum on National freedom that failed ? …..there are possibly a couple of instances …..probably led by the same kind of inept leadership that had no fight for ours ….we were a laughing stock ….all the hippies and SNP losers slapping themselves on the back for losing so jolly decently in such a colourful and dramatic campaign ….WE LOST ……most times people would have questioned the leadership …..the tactics ….naw

    1. Onwards says:

      We lost but we came close.
      Next referendum we have a good chance of winning after all the broken promises.

      The reality is the only the SNP can realistically get us that next referendum.
      Then we will all come together and fight to get us over the line.
      The reality is that voting anything other than SNP for the constituency vote is endorsing Tory rule from London by default.

      After independence the SNP can disappear up their own arse for all I care.
      Their job will be done.

    2. Onwards says:

      And the main reason we lost is because 99% of the traditional media was against us.
      That’s why I am willing to give Sturgeon a break on this.

  66. Craig Miller says:

    WE LOST amost uniquely in history ….next time ( ha ha ha ha ….yeah maybe ) the leadership of the SNP will insist it speaks for YES ….and will promptly repeat the same tactics…..it wasnt a fluke …they could do it again at will ….damp down Scottish Nationalism and make it about inter british economics ….Scottish Economic Unit versus Proud Scottish Person ….its a groundhog tactic …no critical analysis means we aint learned nothing

  67. Mike says:

    “Tell ya what Mike …..next time willna happen”

    So that’s it then? We’re done? We’ve hud oor Tea? If We’re done why does Bella continue to exist? Whats it arguing for? Socialism? Within the Neo Con Brit Nat state?

    We just ignore the fact that the polls have us at parity now?

    A majority Government at Hollyrood and 56 out 59 MPs in Westminster and its all for nothing?

    If I believed that I would do what you should do emigrate.

  68. Craig Miller says:

    I didnt say it wouldnt happen ….just that IF , big IF , it happened the SNP would fail to enthuse the humblies enough to make them want to ignore the same state media that frightened them last time ….you dont seem to want to answer anyones reservations …just talking about another referendum the SNP have kicked into the longest grass ….they dont want one …its good for them just now

    1. Mike says:

      Did you miss the bit about the polls having us at Parity? That’s a long way from 25%.
      They are clearly not failing in their task of convincing doubters to vote Yes.

      And the better they Govern the more people become convinced and no Government can Govern better as a minority than they can as a majority.

      I’m answering all your so called reservations with reality.

      If you believe the SNP have given up on Independence then you clearly believe its never going to happen at all because nobody else is going to get us over the line.

      See that’s what you call reality again.

      1. Craig Miller says:

        Ok …you win ….SNP SAY THEY ARE OUR ONLY HOPE …..still not voting for them , i dont believe them ….more likely to fall into independence that get it thru the SNP

  69. Tommy says:

    The Scottish Sun and The Sun are sister papers, like the Daily Record and Mirror are sister papers..

    This article is from the Guardian in 13th September 2012 and it points out..


    “The Sun produced in Glasgow 23 years ago didn’t defame the Liverpool fans with “The Truth” headline that appeared in the London-based edition.”

    Nicola is holding The Scottish Sun, not The Sun.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.