A Peeliewally Campaign; the SNP Must Discover some Smeddum if Independence is to be Won

Definitions. Smeddum: courage, spirit, common-sense, drive.

Smeddum is a fine word from my other native tongue, and like a lot of Scots words is a little difficult to define in English. Two more Scots words: peeliewally and peeliewersh. Peeliewally is the better known word, it means weak, insipid, off-colour. However, I suspect peeliewally only really applies to humans. Peeliewersh has a similar meaning, but I believe may be a more appropriate word in this context. So I begin this short note with an apology for poor grammar.

The Vote
Is it not extraordinary that for an entire election campaign, independence was a central theme of the Scottish Tory party, but not of the SNP? Now I understand the Tory logic: around half the population are opposed to independence; they sought these votes and did so successfully. It is rather more difficult for Labour to imitate Tory tactics, as a huge chunk of their support actually back independence. This means that if you are completely opposed to independence a Tory vote is a logical vote. Furthermore, if you actually believe in neoliberalism, and either like (or have no great problem with) xenophobia, then staying in the UK is common sense. Here again the Tories have the edge over Labour. There are many Labour supporters who are not yet convinced of independence, but who dislike neoliberalism and the UKIP-style view of the world. Those Labour supporters must be increasingly ambivalent about independence. They may not like the idea, but it must be increasingly obvious to them that only independence is likely to bring the social justice and internationalism which they crave. Labour, therefore, have a problem; go too hard against independence and you risk losing your independence supporters whilst at the same time pushing those who are ambivalent into a position where they have to make a decision. This decision is not something Labour want to push their supporters to make. They simply cannot afford to let their support sink further. The Tories have a clear advantage in pushing an anti-independence agenda and that showed with the huge increase in their vote.

The interpretation of the results by the Tories and Labour is that the vote is a huge rejection of a second independence referendum. This may also be Nicola’s view, given her comments indicating her belief that a call for a second independence referendum cost the SNP votes. There is, however, a problem with this interpretation. Polls prior to the election indicated a rise in support for independence. Now it is a little difficult to relate a rise in support for independence, or even static support for independence, with a collapse in the SNP vote due to a rejection of a second referendum.

What Happened
There are only two logical conclusions:

Independence support has collapsed. This is not very likely, given that the polls indicated otherwise and, more importantly, nothing whatsoever has happened that might conceivably change the mind of independence supporters. Rather the opposite in fact, given that a huge part of the No campaign centred round the risk of Scotland being forced out of the EU.
The result, therefore, had little or nothing to do with the call for a second referendum.

Readers of my writing will not be overly surprised that I am going to argue the opposite view.

What happened was the triumph of courage and conviction over cowardice, arrogance and complacency. The triumph of courage and conviction was of course that of Corbyn, who has argued his political principles in the face of a barrage of abuse, smears and internal civil war. Well done, Corbyn! The failure of arrogance and complacency was of course the failure of May, who decided at the start of the election that the constant media abuse of Corbyn, combined with the high poll rating of the Tories, guaranteed her success. How pleasant to see solid rational political argument win over smears and fear. And the failure of cowardice, you ask? (I assume you ask this, as you are still reading.) The failure of cowardice was the failure of the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon.

I feel the need, the need for smeddum.

The SNP under Nicola’s leadership have shown a consistent lack of courage since the independence referendum. But the lack of courage starts before that.

Prior to the independence referendum the SNP spent remarkably little time actually pushing for independence. Their manifesto said it supported independence, but no manifesto had ever actually put a strong case for independence. Worse, the SNP became caught in the devolution trap. Many within the SNP came to believe the facile argument that if they demonstrated that they could run a devolved government then people would support them for independence. This argument is facile on two grounds. Firstly, government ministers change; even if the present lot can deliver good government that does not prove that the next lot will be able to do the same. Secondly, and more importantly, proving that you can make devolution work can only convince the electorate that they should vote for you to run the devolved parliament. It provides no argument whatsoever for independence.

Look at it this way. Imagine that everybody in Scotland agrees that the Scottish Government has done a great job with the NHS, turned back the tide of privatisation, improved care delivery, etc. So everybody agrees that the Scottish Government has done a great job with the NHS, does this demonstrate that the Scottish Government will do a good job on defence, international affairs, and cutting tax evasion? No! Running a devolved government well is an argument for devolution, not for independence. The argument for independence needs to demonstrate what Scotland can do better as an independent nation. Other than at a very superficial level, this is not something the SNP has ever done.

The referendum campaign by the SNP was pretty gutless. I have given my views on this elsewhere so I will be very brief here. The idea of the big tent – let’s try to keep everybody on board – is a cowardly idea. It arises from a fear that if you run a radical campaign you might put some people off voting for independence. When you avoid talking about a vote on the monarchy, or redistributive taxation, you may well avoid scaring Tory monarchists. But seriously, will they ever vote for independence? The problem is that the ‘big tent’ also reduces your appeal to republicans, socialists, and liberals who believe in a more just society, all of whom are much more likely to vote for independence than neoliberal monarchists.

Following the independence referendum, the lack of courage in the SNP leadership continued. The vote was close. Logically that was the time to start building the argument for the next referendum. Whether that next referendum was sooner or later is irrelevant. Given that almost half the population supported independence, it was essential that the SNP keep the independence argument running. It will be a huge error to leave the actual campaigning for independence until the referendum is declared. We need to build support well in advance of the next referendum

One of my final acts as a member of the SNP was to argue that a section of the party manifesto should be dedicated to independence – that the manifesto should not just state that it supported independence, but that it should provide a raft of policies that could be delivered under independence. My argument was rejected, and an opportunity to further the argument of independence was lost. Worse, at that Scottish Parliamentary election Nicola barely mentioned independence, whilst Ruth Davidson argued constantly against it. The SNP gave the impression that they were running scared of the argument: not the way to inspire support for the cause.

Now we come to the recent general election.

If ever there was a need for smeddum it was this election. The SNP failed on two counts.

They failed on general policies. An obvious example is progressive taxation and the fight against inequality. Yes, they said they would increase the higher tax rate. The problem with that argument was that they could already have done that in Scotland. Their failure to do so makes a sharp contrast with their general election manifesto. What they are in effect saying is: we believe in progressive taxation, as long as somebody else takes the risk of introducing it. Not a terribly convincing argument.

But their big failure was on independence. Nicola had already committed herself to a second independence referendum. Having made that commitment, the general election was clearly the time to argue the independence case and highlight the failings of Westminster: to attack Westminster on austerity, foreign policy, and xenophobia; to make a clear case for how much higher an independent Scotland might aim. Take the worst-case scenario, a huge collapse in the SNP vote. Well, in that case the SNP would have known that independence was not on the cards. OK, they would have lost some seats, but then if the SNP are about independence (as against careers) that would be a price worth paying. As for the best-case scenario, supporters of independence would have reacted to Nicola’s courageous and principled arguments and shown their support for Scotland and the high road.

Does principle and courage work? Hell, I don’t know. Ask that fellow Corbyn!

Comments (35)

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  1. tom kane says:

    Wow, Bella… It looks like you’re starting to love this… And that’s really disappointing. I was amazed when you thought splitting the yes vote was a good thing in the Scottish Parliamentary Elections. Almost as if you have had enough of the SNP…

    And then the recent drivel from GHassan and now this? With a couple of Scots words attached? It’s hard to know where to start with it… It’s so riddled with self-righteousness, revisionary hubris… And a little shrill.

    Still, this “Is it not extraordinary that for an entire election campaign, independence was a central theme of the Scottish Tory party, but not of the SNP?”

    Are you joking? The Tories timed this election for maximum advantage… The SNP were asking to represent Scotland in the British Parliament, and the request for indyref2 was in the bag.

    Frankly, and I imagine most Tories were happy not to have to talk about foodbanks and cuts to social welfare commitments… Much better to pucker up for the BBC and try to get everyone to swallow that this election was about fighting indyref2 than getting ready for Brexit.

    I just wish this nonsense of blaming the unionist retrenchment on a poor showing from the SNP would stop. There are questions about when the unionist parties knew there was going to be a general election, and if they were working together in Scotland. If so, things just got nasty.

    1. Hi Tom, sorry to disappoint you but the author is a former SNP MSP.

      Many within the SNP are having a perfectly healthy and honest discussion about tactics, policies and approach. We don’t back any party but are perfectly happy to host this, and other discussions, about the way forward for the movement for democracy.

      If you want to digest content that pretends there’s nothing wrong (anywhere, ever) then go ahead, there’s a crowded market of websites that will offer up the same thing day in day out.

      Personally, I dont share Bill or Gerry’s views but I’m happy to publish them as grist to the mill in part of the wider conversation.

      1. tom kane says:

        Dear Bella Editor… You see… That answer is just the kind of thing that’s worrying about where Bella has been for some time now… This “If you want to digest content that pretends there’s nothing wrong (anywhere, ever) then go ahead, there’s a crowded market of websites that will offer up the same thing day in day out.” Is childish and quite a strained reading from my comment.

        This is a time for reflection and you have done brilliant work here over the years, but now it looks like you are carrying grudges, and adopting strong anti-snp positions that are loving the zeitgeist and dismissing salient points.

        Disappointment doesn’t touch it.

        1. You are responding to the writing of a former SNP MSP …

    2. Wul says:

      Tom, people who want the SNP to win (i.e. get independence for Scotland) need to be able to criticise the party if they think they are doing a poor job.

      If they just shut up, like you seem to be wishing, then they would be placing their dream of an independent Scotland at risk. Your position makes no rational sense.

      The SNP has its own PR department and Bella Caledonia is not part of that, nor should it ever be.

      The SNP campaign was dull & uninspiring. Corbyn’s relative success showed that political leaders need to trust the electorate to back a positive, radical vision and stop treating us like frightened schoolchildren.

      As someone who has voted SNP every time for the last few years I now wonder if they would rather have a business-as-usual independent Scotland sometime in the distant future before a fairer, more socially just indy Scotland now.

  2. J Galt says:

    Are you really that sure that Corbyn is the genuine article?

    1. Glasgow Clincher says:

      And are you suggesting he isn’t? If so, what makes you so sure?

    2. The Glasgow Clincher says:

      And are you suggesting he isn’t? And if so, where is your evidence for that?

  3. David Allan says:

    LIke Gerry before ,Bill Wilson is absolutely correct to identify SNP weakness and Bella is equally correct in publishing views of those frustrated by the events contributing to the loss of so many MP’s.

    I’m not reading many articles in support of the SNP election campaign and that speaks volumes!

    The YES campaign is not split over this issue some are merely expressing concern over a perceived
    unwillingness on part of SNP to actually articulate any radical arguments to win support in favour of INDEPENDENCE.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      Spot on, David!

  4. Eleanor Ferguson says:

    The SNP had to contend with Labour and Tories constantly banging on about independence
    and the media letting them get away with it. Ruth Davidson was not asked any questions about Tory policies or Brexit which was after all the given reason for the election. Nicola Sturgeon was constantly asked about independence and despite saying over and over again that there wouldn’t be a referendum until after it became clear what Brexit would mean, was misrepresented in the media. It is difficult to see what she could have done different with the onslaught from the Unionist parties aided and abetted by the media ,apart from perhaps putting a more positive slant on the referendum by portraying it as a unique chance to escape the madness of Brexit. It seems that people have finally awakened to the poison of Tory policies with the catalyst of the London fire and it has taken that for the media to start reporting properly on the injustices of what has been going on. Maybe now the people who voted Tory in Scotland will get a true picture of what they voted for and the SNP will make gains again.
    Another thing that the SNP could do is to point out that there are many non SNP supporters who support independence and that although,thanks to the brainwashing tactics of the Unionist parties, people may be fed up with the idea of another referendum, they may well be very glad of the chance of a vote when the consequences of Brexit become apparent.

  5. Abulhaq says:

    Sadly it is becoming all to evident that SNP cannot be trusted with independence. Its commitment, always rather capricious, has gone flaccid once more. Are we approaching an Irish situation here with possible equivalents of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour Unionists, Unionists etc competing for our votes and the British state stirring the pot and adding its own secret poison? A rerun of Ireland would certainly be ‘advantage Ukania’.
    When the party of independence is squeamish about proclaiming its merits to the electorate, indeed seems unable to get fired up about the subject, perhaps it’s time we had a party with a stronger stomach, more imagination and aggression and an independence movement feisty enough to keep that party’s leaders in check.
    Scotland may eventually have to be shocked, even kicked into independence mode. The ballot box in normal circumstances is the desirable way but current circumstances are far from normal. The British state is actively dealing unionism. We do know how bad that is for our national well being, don’t we?

    1. MBC says:

      I think you are right about the shock. Today I learned that a project to rejuvenate a central part of Edinburgh had been abandoned because the US investors behind the project had pulled out because of Brexit. That’s right, major inward investment is being threatened because England is driving us out of EU. My informant is savvy enough to realise Brexit is a disaster, and agrees with me that in bonkers Brexit Britain, Scotland will be at the back of the queue for any aid coming from Westminster. Yet still the same gentleman finds the prospect of an independent Scotland within the EU a more risky prospect than clinging to the Titanic. There is a peculiar acknowledgment of fact, but a total failure of imagination to grasp the reality of UK collapse. Such are the deep bonds of union and subservience to the idea of Britain.

  6. Alf Baird says:

    Bill Wilson is right, the SNP’s ‘we don’t do independence now’ strategy is a gift to the Tories, and is also undermining and weakening the Yes movement and its achievements. No nation ever secured its independence through mere competent management of a devolved puppet parliament. Independence takes courage, aye smeddum or even gurr. Independence is not for the faint hearted, and certainly won’t be delivered by career politicians or party yes men/women, as we can now see. We need to ignore the unionist noise coming out of the msm and start to lead change ourselves. The SNP should start by using its democratic majorities already secured at UK, Scottish and local government levels, plus in response to the UK refusal for a mandated 2nd referendum, and Scotland’s ignored pro-EU vote, to give notice to end the union of parliaments now. The UN will recognise this as a democratic basis for independence, possibly advocating a further referendum to ratify the already secured electoral de facto independence; the latter can be more fairly managed in Scotland, working with the UN rather than Westminster. Independence is about pushing the oppressors out, and ignoring their hostile voices and threats; we have already secured the democratic basis to do this. Gurr and smeddum is aw whits needit.

    1. Eric says:

      Well said, Alf Baird!

      I think the SNP also needs to educate itself about the lack of evidence for neoliberal precepts delivering anything other than ecocide and massive inequality. It is distressing that several of the SNP’s representatives are on record as opposing redistributive taxation. I would like every SNP candidate to be tested on Ha-Joon Chang’s ’23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism’ (http://hajoonchang.net/category/book-reviews/23-things/). Hardly a radical, this award-winning economist provides irrefutable evidence of the nonsensical nature of neoliberal policies.

      Another remedy is Nick Hanauer’s (initially) banned TED talk, debunking the myth that the rich create jobs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKCvf8E7V1g

      As a final point, I would love to see the SNP champion SMEs at the expense of transnational companies (which, I repeat, do not create jobs. (Indeed, as an example, Walmart – the parent company of Asda – destroys three jobs for every two it creates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlPW2CXVnAw&feature=youtu.be&t=7m10s .)

      SNP, give back the money you got from Hydracrat Limited, and refuse donations from tax-dodging transnationals, please. https://theferret.scot/snp-criticised-for-links-to-drilling-company/

    2. Abulhaq says:

      Independence will not be secured without a fight. What that fight entails will depend on the wiley nature of the opposition. But a fight will be engaged at some point for old established imperial powers do not surrender, they have to be defeated. At the moment many Scottish nationalists seem either blissfully unaware of the natural course of liberation struggles or are not prepared for the prospect of hard times. I fear that Scots could so easily not obtain the prize by refusing to leap that hurdle. The SNP, as a collective, appears to lack the smeddum the task requires. Its petty bourgeois origins are showing.

    3. john young says:

      Again I find myself agreeing with Alf the SNP has typified what is wrong or has been wrong with this country for a long long time,”bottlers”,they came up with nothing that could fire up this country young/old alike look what Corbyn did for Labour with a few “shots across the bow” the SNP offered fcuk all and duly got fcuk all.I hate to go on about the Common Weal but in their booklet “A book of ideas” it was chockfull of invigorating far sighted ideals,they should have read it and acted on it inmo.

  7. Willie says:

    The relentless anti Sturgeon message carried by the BBC and the MSM was co-ordinated to chime with the sole Tory message that folks had to send a message to Sturgeon played a huge part in colouring people’s opinions.

    Put simply, the never ending barrage of negativity, influenced people as it was intended to, and people base their views on sentiment and not hard assessments of policies and achievemts.

    Voters are fickle, it the nature of the beast, and we all to a greater or lesser extent predicate our decisions on feelings rather than analysis of the evidence. We see things through our prejudices and the BBC assists in that.

    Corbyn too was subjected to a barrage of hostile media and the BBC., and to counteract he went direct to the people. The SNP however did not and the results have shown.

    And finally, I think voter fatigue kicked in. Too many elections. But yes, the SNP need to smarten up a bit. The Feeble Fifty Six played into that with their near invisible existence, because what were they for if they never achieved anything,

  8. JPJ2 says:

    The SNP are going to be squeezed out in most Westminster elections. 2015 was the exception that proves the rule.

    I do not suggest for a minute that the SNP does not seek to win as many seats as possible, but they should emphasize that zero seats at Westminster counts not a jot against independence referendums or independence itself

    They should keep pointing out that it is the ability of pro-independence parties at Holyrood to obtain a majority that is the evidence for support for a referendum and/or independence. Otherwise Nicola Sturgeon’s treble lock becomes a treble requirement according to unionists and their MSM lackeys!

  9. Richard MacKinnon says:

    The penny drops.
    Apologies in writing please to C/O Bella Caledonia.
    You know who you are.

  10. Gordon Benton says:

    Could we in Scotland look at our future in a clearer way? The SNP, which I joined in about 1950, has taken us a long way towards its goals – those are:
    1) to govern the country well; and
    2) to achieve Independence asap.
    The two responsibilities are different and this must be clear to all if we are to achieve both goals. Perhaps there are examples, but I cannot think of any country achieving independence whilst governing (albeit partially) that same country. The ‘attack’ for each comes from quite different directions, and I respectfully suggest different skills, and, if you like, levels of smeddum and gurr.
    Our FM knew that however brilliantly she and her colleagues governed, they were always going to be a target for massively funded Unionist jibes supported by a MSM (92% agin us) and (Establishment) BBC. It was so easy to attack, for instance, education and health strategies using selected polls, data, complainants and ‘alternative truths’. The Scottish Government’s logic of demanding a referendum on Independence once Brexit details became known was drowned in a seemingly irrelevant but a well-planned ‘get on with the day job’/ ‘take Indy off the table’ Unionist attack. There was not a word about Brexit, nothing on their policies. We thought that that was unfair, not ‘cricket, – and when we won more seats than all the other parties put together, we still ‘lost’. In that sense, we can never and, I fear, will never win.
    Trying to be brief, but what about leaving Holyrood to get on with ‘the day job’, and reset the YES clock with ALL Indy parties represented to commit totally to achieving Independence? There is so much talent out there, so much smeddum, even gurr, but, I suspect, to succeed the SNP must totally buy into it. Of course there will be overlaps – who will set out the long-term strategies for the Nation’s health, education, investment, environment, infrastructure et al? – but that will not negate the argument that we have two jobs to do, each large enough to individually concentrate our talents and resources.
    We would ask Perth (as one of our ancient Capitals) to host the Independence Assembly, the members of which would be, in another situation, a Senate of Representatives – elected and/ or selected but representing Scotland’s talents in the arts and culture as well as engineering, trade, finance and so on.
    The Assembly would set out the aspirations for the Nation for, not just the next Election, but for the next 25 or more years. ‘Scotland 2050’ would be the aspiration set before a voting public, implementable, and this has to be made clear, only when we became independent. It would present Scotland with the ‘Dream’, something to aspire to and what the young and the senior citizens each from their own perspectives, would want to buy into.
    I know that much of this is presently being discussed, but first, to see real progress soon, let’s get the SNP on board. “Don’t even go there” I was told off by a senior SNP official member – but events are proving that we all must “go there”, clear our brains, stop moaning, assemble a meeting of minds and plan the way ahead. We won the Election, for godsake!

    1. Richard MacKinnon says:

      Gordon,
      You remind me of the Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi.
      Stop fighting. Its over.

    2. tom kane says:

      Gordon, there are excellent points here. Got to remember that the SNP priority of governing Scotland better than the Labour Party after devolution has been achieved.

      The new-look socialist Labour Party is based on creative SNP policies from years ago… Such things as nationalising the railway system can only happen after independence. They can all go on about Corbyn, but he’s a second-hand cipher who wants to build nuclear missiles and not put nuclear warheads in them, who wants to get the best deal for UK just as long as it leaves Europe, who was happy to abstain on the social services cuts that see Virgin running social services in England. If Corbyn is a socialist, he still has to prove it… Though he was magnificent over Iraq.

      The SNP have proven a great deal. We need to make a space for the SNP in the dialogue on Scotland’s future, and not ask them to win every battle for everybody else and then take all the flak when there are losses. We definitely need to move on together.

  11. Redgauntlet says:

    Sometimes I ask myself if we’re not wrong. I mean if we all put in the same resources and time to, for example, help the children of Syria, would we not be making the world a much better place?

    The poor children of Syria. We don’t talk about them enough. They need us, they are crying out for help.

    1. Abulhaq says:

      I can assure you that the ‘poor children’ of Syria, of Libya, of Iraq would support us in our aim. Freedom is not a case of ‘either or’. Without freedom we cannot make humanitarian decisions except on an isolated, individual level. As a free, albeit small, nation on the other hand, we can collectively carry much more influence.

      1. Redgauntlet says:

        Aye, the only important thing is Scottish indie. I hear you, man….too much.

        They are children. Who need help. What part of your tiny nationalist brain doesn’t get that?

      2. Redgauntlet says:

        There is no inverted commas required for the poor children of Syria…

        Is there anything lower than a Scot Nat? Yes, a Brit Nat….

        Fck you, mate….

      3. Redgauntlet says:

        Abulhaq “assures me” he doesn’t state his case, his arrogance is incredible. He “assures·” me. God, I’m only 48 years old. To be talked down to by some two bit Scot Nat.

        You know why we lost the referendum? Cause of you guys. The Scot Nats. From Alan Riach downwards. Nobody can fricking stand yous….

  12. Hilary Christie says:

    Redgauntlet, I think there’s a lot, nay! everything in what you say. We need to show the world what kind of a country we want to build and live in; one where other people really count and we should manifest this intention in actions, at home and overseas. We need to set out a foreign policy that inspires and demonstrates our best intentions.

    I became an independence supporter firstly because I want to live in a country which has nothing to do with nuclear weapons, secondly because I want to get away from being a pawn of the USA which is a very divided set up, half the folk being heroic pacifists and environmentalists and poets, and the other half mad men. UK politicians seems to love the mad men. Thirdly I know from personal experience how becoming independent takes the cork off a person so that amazing energy surges out. That’s the energy we need and that we’ll get when we can at last go it alone.

    We heard nothing about nuclear weapons during the election. Why not! Weapons of Mass Destruction define us. They say ‘We are willing to annihilate millions of innocent people so that we can be cosy. Just US, US, Us. We’re all that count. The rest can roast.’ This attitude is all around us. Take the council that should be concerned with the Great Fire; look at the laxity, the irritation when folk outside come a-bothering with their ‘made up grumbles about safety’. The Grand Inquisitor asks, ‘Why do you come to trouble us. Go away!’ It happens time and time again. Cosiness versus commitment. It makes me sick.

    We’ve got to do better than that. Brave New World. The Dream – but it has no place for self-seekers.

  13. Ottomanboi says:

    Britishness needs to be stripped of its ‘mystique’. It needs to be exposed as the destroyer of our nationhood, our culture and a vehicle for the exploitation of our people by the Unionist caste. A system that benefited the few at the expense of many and allowed our ‘partner in imperialist crime’ to grow very fat on the proceeds.
    The Union is a tightening garrotte. Before long it will kill us.
    There is a ‘Scottish exceptionalism’ conceit that we will be made free through the ballot box. Unlike others we will not have to fight. Reason and ‘fairness’ will prevail. How naïve. The British have never left any territory without a struggle. Why should our case be different?

  14. Jamie Stirling says:

    I think that Nicola Sturgeon’s biggest mistake was in thinking that those who voted to remain in the EU were made of sterner stuff.

    The losing side in the Indyref1 did not fold their tent like the ‘remainers’ they joined the SNP in large numbers.

    I think that those who want Indyref1 should play a waiting game and see what the Brexit shambles brings.

    1. Alin Scot says:

      Question is, are all these new members still members? What exactly has the SNP done to keep them onboard?

  15. Vroni says:

    Thanks for this amazing article, Bill. It expresses exactly what I was thinking for a long time. But the media distorts everything constantly, so I didn’t find my own opinions anywhere. I don’t feel as harsh about the SNP. I do think they are caught between a rock and a hard place. But I agree that they’ll have to be more decisive about their fight for independence promised in their manifesto. And that they should tell the voters why it is a good idea. Why are some of the most obvious reasons for independence now fading into the past instead of becoming stronger? And the new political landscape, with the mess Westminster is making out of internal and foreign affairs, should totally help the cause for independence. Instead it seems that people are just scared.
    I am sad that everyone is anxious; scared of terrorism (less likely to experience than winning the lottery); scared of change (independence with an aim to fight inequality); scared of ‘foreign rule’ (the EU). In terms of the latter it is the current UK government who makes the mess, why can’t people see that?
    I can’t believe Theresa May is still PM. I’m counting the days.
    Thanks again, Bill, I hope you’ll be back in politics soon : )

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